Father Eduardo Samaniego, the Jesuit pastor of Most Holy Trinity Catholic Church in San Jose, Calif., protested foreclosures by Bank of America against those in his flock and beyond by moving $3 million of his parish’s funds to a local credit union.
RealtyTrac.com, which compiles foreclosure figures, reports that Most Holy Trinity’s ZIP code had 1 foreclosure filing per every 271 “housing units” in September. That number is higher than that in surrounding Santa Clara County, which stands at 1 per 441.
Appearing somewhat hurt by the decision, Bank of America insisted that it had done a great deal to keep a large number of people in their homes. Presumably, not everyone could be saved. —ARK
The Bay Citizen:
In October of this year, after hearing story upon story of foreclosures in his parish, Samaniego translated his compassion into action. He brought the issue to members of the parish’s financial committee, and together they decided to take a stand against large banks. Samaniego announced the divestment of the parish and its school’s accounts, amounting to $3 million, from Bank of America. The money was deposited in a local credit union.
The move came as part of a grass roots, inter-faith community effort in the Bay Area to pressure banks to change their loan modification policies and do more to keep families in their homes.
“We are putting our funds into an institution that we would be proud to be served by,” Samaniego said. “[The divestment] is in solidarity with those who have already suffered the loss of their homes and those who are in danger of losing their homes because of … practices that the banks have found to nickel and dime us to death.”
“Capitalism and communism, neither one is an economic system that truly takes care of its people. But communionism, it’s like Jesus. It welcomes all to the table … making sure nobody goes without,” Father Samaniego said to his congregation.