Catholicism in Ireland facing financial bankruptcy


The UK’s Guardian reports today that many parishes in Dublin are  close to financial collapse due to child abuse compensation payments. Their source for this is a leaked internal report from the Council of Priests that was published in this week’s edition of the Irish Catholic newspaper. The Guardian article says …

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

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My own thoughts? … I consider this to be excellent news.  Catholicism has proven itself (in a very public manner) to be morally bankrupt. It has not just been a story of a few bad priests, but has also revealed itself to be an organization that has conspired to cover up the abuse, protect abusers (permitting them a free license to continue), and at the same time has also shown that they simply do not give a dam for any victims, but instead pressures them to be silent.

Given this clear compelling case for moral bankruptcy, it is oh so appropriate for them to be now facing financial bankruptcy as well. Now that is good news, because once parishioners are pressured for funds to pay out for the abuse, it becomes a strong incentive for these parishioners to refuse all such funding and simply walk away.

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