Catholic CEO Group Withholds Tithes To Vatican, Cites ‘Recent Revelations’

"In escrow, pending further determination"

A group of Catholic CEOs has cut off their funds to the Vatican due to "recent revelations" regarding the sex abuse scandal, which has implicated several bishops and even Pope Francis himself.

Described as "the most influential lay organization in the Church” by the late Cardinal Anthony Bevilacqua, the famous CEO collective, Legatus, has 3,000 members who own or operate businesses with net worths between $5.3 million and $10 million. According to LifeSiteNews, their expressed mission is to "integrate faith, family and business in its members’ lives, and upholds Church teaching as part of its mission."

In a letter from Legatus CEO and founder Tom Monaghan on Thursday, the group said the annual Vatican tithe has been placed "in escrow" due to "recent revelations and questions."

“We have also had discussions regarding our (Legatus’) annual tithe to the Holy See, specifically pertaining to how it is being used, and what financial accountability exists within the Vatican for such charitable contributions," Monaghan states. "The Board has begun a dialogue along these lines, and in the meantime has decided to place the Holy See annual tithe in escrow, pending further determination (by the Board)."

“We certainly pledge our continued devotion to Holy Mother Church, and recognize the tithe has been an important commitment of Legatus since our founding," the letter continued. "However, in light of recent revelations and questions, we believe it appropriate to respectfully request clarification regarding the specific use of these funds."

The sudden move by Legatus follows the Pennsylvania grand jury report that accused 300 priests of participating in the sexual abuse of minors (mostly pubescent boys) over a 70-year period and the local bishops of covering up the crimes. The scandal further worsened when Pope Francis was later accused by one of his former ambassadors, Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano, of participating in the cover-up.

In the 11-page letter, Vigano alleged that Pope Francis knew about the sexually abusive Cardinal McCarrick of D.C. and did nothing to stop him, going so far as to charge that the Roman pontiff lifted sanctions that were imposed upon McCarrick by Pope Benedict. Thus far, the claims of the Archbishop's testimony have held up to much scrutiny.

Pope Francis has chosen to remain silent.

The full letter from Legatus below:

September 6, 2018

Dear fellow members –

Events over the past few weeks have prompted many members to contact the national office and members of the Board of Governors regarding the current crisis in the Church. 

This is a time when each member of Legatus is truly needed. Our mission to study, live and spread the Catholic faith in our business, professional and personal lives is more crucial now than ever. 

We are certainly blessed with the leadership of Cardinal Daniel DiNardo, president of the USCCB, who has called for a “prompt and thorough examination,” into how the recently uncovered moral and ecclesiastical failings have persisted and what steps are to be taken to remedy this indescribably difficult situation.

We have also had discussions regarding our (Legatus’) annual tithe to the Holy See, specifically pertaining to how it is being used, and what financial accountability exists within the Vatican for such charitable contributions.  The Board has begun a dialogue along these lines, and in the meantime has decided to place the Holy See annual tithe in escrow, pending further determination (by the Board).  We certainly pledge our continued devotion to Holy Mother Church, and recognize the tithe has been an important commitment of Legatus since our founding.  However, in light of recent revelations and questions, we believe it appropriate to respectfully request clarification regarding the specific use of these funds. 

Please join the Board as we continue to pray for healing and clarity during this troubled time: for our Church, for all victims of abuse and injustice, and for our clergy.

Sincerely in Christ,

Thomas S. Monaghan

Chairman & CEO

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