USCCB backs disaster aid for churches damaged by Hurricane Sandy
July 30, 2013
The chairmen of two committees of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) have announced their support for the Federal Disaster Assistance Nonprofit Fairness Act of 2013, a Senate bill that would ensure that houses of worship damaged by Hurricane Sandy are eligible for disaster assistance.
Similar legislation passed overwhelmingly in the House of Representatives in February.
“Discrimination that treats houses of worship as ineligible for federal assistance in the wake of a natural disaster, beyond being a legal violation, hurts the very communities most affected by the indiscriminate force of nature,” wrote Archbishop William Lori and Bishop Denis Madden in a letter to the bill’s senate sponsors.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency has declined to provide grants to houses of worship damaged by the hurricane.
- Archbishop Lori, Bishop Madden Urge Senate To Support The Federal Disaster Assistance Nonprofit Fairness Act Of 2013, S. 1274 (USCCB)
- Full text of letter (USCCB)
- Bishop, rabbi: don’t discriminate against houses of worship in disaster relief (CWN, 7/17)
- House approves aid to rebuild churches devastated by Hurricane Sandy (CWN, 2/14)
- Houses of Worship Seeking FEMA Grants Face Constitutional Barrier (The New York Times)