Bishops, C.R.S. Challenge Pew Figures

According to “Lobbying for the Faithful,” a report from the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops spent $26.6 million in 2009 on advocacy and outreach. The bishops, according to the report, were only beaten out by the $88 million spent by the American Israel Public Affairs Committee. Pew also reported that Catholic Relief Services, at $4.7 million, was the 19th biggest religious spender in Washington. The U.S.C.C.B. and C.R.S said the figures were grossly overstated. Alan Cooperman, associate director for research at the forum, defended the study’s methodology and pointed out that the report included caveats about organizations that in addition to advocacy work were also large social service or relief and development providers. Forum representatives are meeting with officials from both agencies to resolve the dispute and Pew plans to offer new figures in a revision of the report.

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