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The Catholic Church in Canada is worth billions, a Globe investigation shows. Why are its reparations for residential schools so small?

Catholic Church In Canada
Title: The Catholic Church in Canada is worth billions, a Globe investigation shows. Why are its reparations for residential schools so small?
Authors: Tavia Grant & Tom Cardoso
Publisher: The Globe and Mail
Date: 07AUG2021
Altogether, Catholic institutions had net assets of $4.1-billion in 2019, and that’s a conservative figure. Meanwhile, residential-school survivors say it’s time for the church to take broader responsibility for its role in past abuses.

The Catholic Church in Canada has billions of dollars in assets across the country, a Globe and Mail investigation has found, suggesting it has ample means to help in reparations for Indigenous communities and reconciliation efforts to address the legacy of residential schools and the abuse that thousands of children suffered there.

To investigate its wealth, The Globe and Mail procured tax filings for thousands of Catholic Church organizations from the Canada Revenue Agency, and worked with the research organization Charity Intelligence Canada to arrive at an overall financial picture for the Roman Catholic Church in Canada.

The calculation reveals the vast combined assets of Catholic organizations in the country. In all, 3,446 registered Catholic Church charities – mostly dioceses and parishes – received a total of $886-million in donations in 2019, making them combined the largest charitable organization in the country. All told, 2019 net assets – the sum of cash, investments, property and other holdings, after accounting for liabilities such as debts and loans – are valued at a minimum of $4.1-billion. (The number does not account for the assets of Catholic organizations such as monasteries.)

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