Is a conflict of interest behind some of the U.S. Catholic bishops’ strong criticisms of President Trump’s immigration policy, in particular his two temporary travel bans? That’s the question being raised by a number of experts in foreign policy and Catholic charitable work, including a former adviser to President Bush and a leading figure in conservative Catholic media.

These critics are pointing out that in Fiscal Year 2016, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) received more than $91 million in government funding for refugee resettlement. Over the past nine years, the USCCB has received a total of $534,788,660 in taxpayer dollars for refugee resettlement programs, reported Ann Corcoran, editor of Refugee Resettlement Watch.

In an appearance on Fox News earlier this month, Catholic personality Raymond Arroyo, managing editor of EWTN News, cautiously suggested that some of the USCCB’s response to Trump’s immigration policy may be related to a fear of losing these government contracts.

“They have a heart for people who are suffering. There are a lot of people who are looking for a homeland,” Arroyo said in response to a question about the Catholic and Lutheran Church’s statements condemning Trump’s travel bans.

“But these groups I think, sometimes their heart, and perhaps the financial motive gets in the way.”

Deal Hudson, editor of The Christian Review and a former adviser to President Bush, takes a dimmer view, saying the magnitude of government funding, to both the USCCB and Catholic Relief Services (CRS), severely muddies the waters.

“Just how dependent have both agencies become on taxpayer money to cover their annual overhead, apart from special programs and services?” Hudson asks. “What percentage of annual receipts does this federal money represent?”

Criticism from Catholic bishops, collectively and individually, has been extensive toward Trump’s two executive orders.

“We never hear the USCCB complain about much except for the decisions to cut funding from the troughs feeding its social programs,” Lepanto Institute President Michael Hichborn told LifeSiteNews. “The USCCB cried the same sob-story over USAID and PEPFAR, despite the fact that they both work hand in glove for the spread of abortifacient contraception and condoms.” 

“The fact that Catholic Relief Services receives nearly two-thirds of its annual revenue from those agencies is most definitely linked to the lobbying efforts,” he continued. “So its concern over refugee resettlement is really no different.” 

Hudson summed up the concerns, concluding, “How can the Catholic Church be a free, prophetic voice when it has created a financial dependence on the federal government? Answer: It cannot!”

Full story at LifeSiteNews.