U.S. Bishops Chairmen Commend Provisions in Budget Act that Ensure Houses of Worship Can Apply for Federal Disaster Assistance

February 9, 2018
By SS. Peter and Paul

WASHINGTON–This
morning, the Bipartisan Budget Act was passed by Congress and signed into law
by President Trump. The bill includes the Federal Disaster Assistance
Nonprofit Fairness Act, which codifies fair and equal treatment for houses of
worship damaged in natural disasters by enabling them to seek assistance from
the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). Archbishop Joseph E.
Kurtz of Louisville, chairman of the Committee for Religious Liberty, and
Bishop Joseph C. Bambera of Scranton, chairman of the Committee on Ecumenical
and Interreligious Affairs, praised Congress for including disaster relief
fairness provisions in the Act:

“When
hurricanes and other natural disasters strike, houses of worship are on the
front lines of rebuilding efforts. Churches, synagogues, and mosques are
vital to their communities, and they, like other important community institutions,
need help recovering from the impacts of natural disasters. We applaud
Congress for including provisions in the Budget Act that direct the Federal
Emergency Management Agency to make disaster relief assistance available to
houses of worship on the same terms as other nonprofit entities. These
provisions ensure that houses of worship are treated fairly. That’s good
not only for houses of worship but for the communities that depend on them.”

Links to
letters of support for the Federal Disaster Assistance Nonprofit Fairness Act
can be found here: www.usccb.org/issues-and-action/religious-liberty/upload/Letter-of-Support-to-House-for-Federal-Disaster-Assistance-Nonprofit-Fairness-Act-of-2017.pdf

www.usccb.org/issues-and-action/religious-liberty/upload/Letter-of-Support-to-Senate-for-Federal-Disaster-Assistance-Nonprofit-Fairness-Act-of-2017.pdf

A
backgrounder is available at: http://www.usccb.org/issues-and-action/religious-liberty/upload/Federal-Disaster-Assistance-Nonprofit-Fairness-Act-2017-Fact-Sheet.pdf


Keywords:
Archbishop Joseph Kurtz, Bishop Joseph Bambera, USCCB, Federal Disaster
Assistance Nonprofit Fairness Act, Bipartisan Budget Act, Federal Emergency
Management Agency, FEMA, religious liberty, religious freedom, houses of
worship, disaster relief

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Media
Contact:
Judy
Keane

202-541-3200

Source:: United States Conference of Catholic Bishops