The Archdiocese of Guam is asking the federal court to rule in their favor so that the Church can avail itself of federal funding under the pandemic.
The government raised concerns over the possible misuse of federal funds by the Catholic Church if granted eligibility under the SBA’s Paycheck Protection Program or PPP loan forgiveness program.
But Archdiocese of Agana’s bankruptcy attorney Ford Elsaesser says that’s nothing more than a fabrication.
Elsaesser contends that there is no basis for the SBA to discriminate or classify the Catholic Church as ineligible.
He told District Court Chief Judge Frances Tydingco-Gatewood that the idea that somehow the Chapter 11 would subject the PPP to inappropriate utilization is really nothing other than a fabrication.
“There’s absolutely positively no indication that an organizing Chapter 11 debtor would be somehow more prone or more likely to abuse the PPP than any other borrower,” he said.
Elsaesser argues that it’s a violation for the SBA to essentially come up with a justification that can’t be explained in the context of how a Chapter 11 operates. More importantly, he said there is no historical ruling on record.
Chief Judge Tydingco-Gatewood has taken the matter under advisement and will issue a decision.