Saturday, 1 August 2015
Last updated 1 day ago
May 24 2007 | 12:41pm ET
Beset by financial difficulty, forced to close parishes and schools, the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of New York has found an unusual savior: a hedge fund pioneer who happens to be an atheist.
God moves in a mysterious way, indeed.
Robert Wilson, the billionaire retired hedge fund manager and major philanthropist, has pledged $22.5 million to help fund scholarships for inner-city students to attend Catholic schools. It is the largest gift ever received by the archdiocese, it said.
“Shunning religious organizations would be abhorrent,” the normally publicity-shy Wilson told Bloomberg News. “Keep in mind, I’m helping to pay tuition. The money isn’t going directly to the schools.”
A spokesman for Edward Cardinal Egan, the archbishop of New York, said that Egan never considered rejecting the gift because of Wilson’s atheism.
“It was a chance for a very modest amount of money to get kids out of a lousy school system and into a good school system,” Wilson explains. The program he’s supporting, the Cardinal’s Scholarship Program, is trying to raise $158 million to fund 11,700 scholarships. Applicants do not have to be Catholic in order to be considered.
May 27 2015 | 2:15pm ET
Support Hedge Funds Care, also known as Help For Children (HFC), by participating in this year's raffle. All proceeds go to support HFC's mission of preventing and treating child abuse. Read more…