PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – The Catholic Diocese of Pittsburgh and entities within the diocese received an estimated total of at least $15 million in loans meant to help small businesses survive the coronavirus pandemic.

The diocese announced Tuesday it applied for and got a $2.5 million loan to fund payroll for its employees. They say money from the federal Paycheck Protection Program allowed them to “avoid, delay and lessen” furloughing and laying off employees.

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Earlier today, the diocese announced it was eliminating 11 positions.

There are 124 entities within the diocese that also got an estimated $13 to $14 million in loans. These loans went to 110 parishes, eight high schools, two regions encompassing 14 elementary schools and four elementary schools.

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“As a point of clarity, parishes, schools, and charitable organizations, such as Catholic Charities, within the diocese are separate legal entities from the Diocese of Pittsburgh. As such, they were required to apply for PPP loans individually, and many received diocesan support and guidance in doing so,” a press release says.

The diocese says none of the small business loans went toward the Reconciliation Compensation Program for survivors of clergy sexual abuse.

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As of June 30, the federally funded Paycheck Protection Program handed out $521 billion.