Fund for Needy Kids in Pittsburgh Targeted by Diocese to Use in Paying Abuse Claims, SNAP Reacts

A catholic diocese in Pennsylvania has run afoul of the state attorney general for attempting to use funds earmarked for impoverished children to help pay for compensation for victims of clergy sexual violence.

This latest news out of the Diocese of Pittsburgh is a depressing look at how church officials act when their money is on the line. It is terrible that people were subjected to abuse in the first place. It is sad that those victims have no recourse criminally or civilly in Pennsylvania. And it is disappointing that church officials want to use funds earmarked for needy children to dodge the financial burden of these lawsuits.

Church officials have other options when it comes to raising money. Rather than pickpocket from poor children, they could borrow funds from the Knights of Columbus as Cardinal Bernard Law did in Boston. They could sell auxiliary church property and land in order to make up the shortfall. Or they could take up a collection explicitly for the purpose of making whole those victims and survivors who were hurt by priests, nuns, deacons, and other church staff.

We believe that when wrongdoers experience no real sacrifices for wrongdoing, they have no incentive to do right in the future. So we oppose any effort by church officials to rob a fund for needy kids to help victims of church officials’ criminal behavior. We hope that Attorney General Josh Shapiro is successful in his challenge and that the Diocese of Pittsburgh will have to look elsewhere to make up its monetary shortfall.

CONTACT: Judy Jones, SNAP Midwest Regional Leader, (636-433-2511, snapjudy@gmail.com), Zach Hiner, Executive Director (517-974-9009, zhiner@snapnetwork.org)


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