Diocese Seeks Cash to Pay Irish Victims

From the Associated Press:

DUBLIN (AP) -- A Roman Catholic diocese at the center of Ireland's child-abuse scandals appealed Tuesday to its parishioners to cover some of its more than €10 million ($14 million) in bills to victims and lawyers.

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Bishop Denis Brennan of Ferns, the southeast Irish diocese that was first to face state investigations into decades of cover-ups involving pedophile priests, spelled out its abuse-related costs Tuesday in a rare admission.

Brennan said the diocese has already paid €8 million to settle lawsuits from 48 abuse victims. But it has yet to settle 13 pending cases, and also has remortgaged the bishop's residence to cover €2 million in its own lawyers' bills for defending the church.

The diocese's chief financial officer, Eugene Doyle, said the church had no option but to ask its faithful to help foot the bill. He estimated that the diocese's 100,000 members in 80 parishes would be asked to contribute €60,000 ($85,000) annually for the next 20 years, or €1.2 million total -- but stressed that no money would be taken from normal weekly collections.

The appeal coincides with Ireland's worst recession since the 1930s, with unemployment at a 15-year high of 12.5 percent.

Read the rest here.

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