Thursday, August 18, 2011

#Paedophilia in our Churches:Leaked document says child abuse compensation payouts have brought many parishes in Irish capital close to financial collapse

St Patrick's Catholic Church in Dublin
St Patrick's Catholic Church in Dublin: Many parishes in the Irish capital face bankruptcy. Photograph: Peter Morrison/AP
Reparations for child abuse victims and the recession have brought Ireland's largest Catholic diocese to the brink of bankruptcy, according to a leaked document from a group of priests.

The paper from the Council of Priests concludes that many parishes in Dublin are close to a state of financial collapse.

It cites the ongoing cost of compensation payments made to victims of clerical abuse, the death of the Celtic Tiger economic boom and falling numbers going to mass in the Irish capital.

The document, which was leaked to this week's edition of the Irish Catholic newspaper, proposes imposing a parish-based levy on Catholic families living in Dublin that would raise up to €3m (£2.6m) a year.

The priests also recommend cuts in the wages of religious orders and lay people working for the church in line with public pay cuts imposed to trim back Ireland's massive national debt.

A spokeswoman for the Dublin archdiocese has confirmed the existence of the document, saying it was aimed at addressing the economic realities facing the archdiocese. She said making no changes would have serious financial consequences.

Two years ago a damning report into clerical sex abuse found that the diocese had covered up the activities of 46 priests accused of abusing children.
It found the church placed its own reputation above the protection of children in its care.

It also said state authorities including the Garda Síochána facilitated the cover-up by allowing the Catholic church to operate outside the law.