2 Irish dioceses say money is tight; SNAP responds
If Catholic officials will deceive people about child sex crimes, they’ll surely deceive people about wealth.
We urge citizens to take these claims of tight diocesan finances with a healthy dose of skepticism. In our experience, such claims are often designed to deter, guilt-trip and shame victims into staying silent.
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Statement by David Clohessy of St. Louis, Executive Director of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (+1-314-566-9790, SNAPclohessy@aol.com)
Contact - David Clohessy (+1-314-566-9790 cell, SNAPclohessy@aol.com), Barbara Blaine (+1-312-399-4747, SNAPblaine@gmail.com), Peter Isely (+1-414-429-7259, email@example.com), Barbara Dorris (+1-314-862-7688 home, +1-314-503-0003 cell, SNAPdorris@gmail.com)
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By Paul Melia and David Whelan - Friday August 19 2011
A SECOND diocese rocked by the clerical sex abuse scandal has admitted it is under "extreme" financial pressure.
On Wednesday, the Archdiocese of Dublin said a fall in donations and the cost of settling abuse claims meant it was near financial collapse.
Yesterday, the Diocese of Cloyne said it was also struggling to make ends meet.
In a statement, the diocese said it had sold property and used cash reserves to meet day-to-day expenses, but those options were now "almost exhausted".
Just last month the Murphy Report investigating the diocese's handling of abuse allegations sharply criticised Bishop John Magee after it found he falsely told the State and the HSE that the church was reporting all abuse allegations to civil authorities.
It also found that he had misled another inquiry by creating two different accounts of a meeting with a priest-suspect, one for the Vatican and the other for diocesan files.
Yesterday, the Irish Independent contacted each diocese in the country and asked if they were under financial pressure. Seven admitted that resources were stretched, with Cloyne saying it depended on weekly collections to make ends meet.
"The finances of the diocese of Cloyne have come under extreme pressure from a number of sources over the past few years," it said in a statement.
"While in the past the diocese has sold property and used reserves in order to meet its commitments, this option is almost exhausted.
"Ultimately the diocese and each parish depend on the generosity of the faithful in the weekly collections and other contributions for the funding of our activities and the meeting of our commitments. We are continually grateful for their generosity and support."
Falling numbers at Mass, a drop in donations and settlements with abuse victims means dioceses across the country are also under pressure.
Ardagh and Clonmacnoise said the recession had an affect on finances, but that it was not linked with abuse cases.
In Galway, there was "definitely" a fall in donations and "some of it will have been an effect of the abuse cases".
Collections in Kilmore are falling, while Monaghan has "limited financial resources".
Tuam said its finances were "not an issue of concern".
Limerick said it had cut spending, adding there had been a fall in collections.
Meath said its accounts were being prepared. Ferns, Waterford and others were not in a position to respond to requests for information.
Kildare and Leighlin said it had cut spending, but recorded a surplus of €11,000 last year.
world youth day
- Paul Melia and David Whelan Irish Independent
50 State AG Call for Grand Jury
Any investigation must be:
- independent of and separate from the church
- must have subpoena powers and ability to compel testimony under oath
Anything short of these criteria is a sham and whitewash.
In addition, write letters to the editor, make phone calls to politicians as they can apply pressure to keep them responsive to our demand. We need to make efforts to ensure that they follow up on what the state is doing to investigate these crimes.
The Attorneys General of forty states have inquired about the grand jury process in Pennsylvania. Let's get statewide investigations going in fifty states.
Note to Letter Writers
Use your own words and style of writing. Cut and paste from the templates as you wish. Include your experiences, whether as a survivor or as a member of the community. And relate your letter to the state you were abused in or state now living in.