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Knights Of Columbus Announce $100 Million Fund To Aid Catholic Dioceses During Coronavirus

(Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

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Mary Margaret Olohan Social Issues Reporter
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A Catholic fraternal organization established a $100 million fund to aid Catholic communities and churches and a national volunteer program during the coronavirus crisis.

The Knights of Columbus, a global Catholic men’s organization, established both a $100 million fund that offers up to $1 million in secured lines of credit to each Catholic diocese and a national volunteer program called “Leave No Neighbor Behind.”

“Christ’s words: ‘love your neighbor as yourself’ are particularly important right now, and He made clear that our neighbor was anyone in need,” Supreme Knight Carl Anderson told the Daily Caller News Foundation. “Our ‘Leave No Neighbor Behind’ initiative is designed to pay special attention during the Coronavirus pandemic to all of those who are our neighbor and who need our help.”

He added: “With 1.25 million members in the United States — in communities from coast to coast — our members are uniquely suited to put their faith into action and help their neighbors with everything from donating to blood drives to helping with food deliveries. This initiative is a good example of the Knights’ long history of responding to the unique needs of the moment — something we have done for nearly 140 years.”

WASHINGTON, DC - OCTOBER 10: Knights of Columbus member, Dick Bissel holds an Amerian flag during a Columbus Day ceremony at the National Columbus Memorial in front of Union Station, October 10, 2016 in Washington, DC. Columbus Day celebrates Christopher Columbus' arrival in the Americas on October 12, 1492. (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

Knights of Columbus member, Dick Bissel holds an Amerian flag during a Columbus Day ceremony at the National Columbus Memorial in front of Union Station, October 10, 2016 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

Funds from the credit line program are intended to assist dioceses with short-term financing and ward off, at least for a time, negative financial impact from the pandemic. The credit line program began Monday for 60 days, according to a Knights of Columbus press release. (RELATED: Texas Governor Deems Religious Services Essential As Police Arrest Southern Pastors For Holding Sunday Services)

Lines of credit will have interest rates equivalent to that of the one-year Treasury Bill, according to the press release, with an additional 225 basis points. Each line of credit has a two-year term, after which dioceses can convert the line of credit to a Knights of Columbus church loan.

“The Knights of Columbus has been a key lender to parishes and dioceses for more than a century, and the ChurchLoan program remains a key source of financing for Catholic parishes and institutions,” the press release added.

Anderson noted in a statement that it’s critical for the organization “to support the Catholic Church in the United States at this time, so that the Church can continue to provide irreplaceable spiritual and charitable support, and can keep the staff supporting its mission and outreach employed.”

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