DIOCESE /State Watch

San Diego CA: The Los Angeles Times reports a legal confrontation over church property in the San Diego archdiocese bankruptcy proceedings. Read more.

Rockville Centre NY: “It is the first time the diocese has come face to face with its accusers in a sexual abuse case in court. Most cases have been settled or they have fallen outside the statute of limitations.” AM New York site has the story. Also note Stamford Times coverage and the Stamford Advocate. Newsday reported this story, as well.

Spokane WA: From VOTF’s bi-monthly one-page newsletter "Focus": The diocese of Spokane WA headed by Bishop William Skylstad, President of the USCCB, recently emerged from bankruptcy proceedings. But unlike the Archdiocese of Portland OR, which came out of bankruptcy a few days before, Spokane refused to release the personnel records which would have revealed the numerous diocese officials who had cooperated in these heinous crimes by transferring known abusers from parish to parish ever since the 1930s. That Skylstad had once shared a residence with a priest who has admitted to abusing dozens of boys makes the need for accountability and transparency all the more vital. For VOTF’s statement click here. For a news account, click here.

VOTF Greater Phila., PA: On May 1 fifty-three members of Greater Philadelphia Voice of the Faithful heard Dr. Robert West of Villanova University speak about the survey he and Dr. Charles Zech conducted on church finances. Although the news media picked up on the statistic that 85% of the Dioceses responding to the survey (78 in number) experienced embezzlement in the past five years and in 11% of these dioceses the embezzlement was more than $500,000, this was not the most important information Dr. West shared with his audience.

Dr. West said that more importantly the survey revealed that independent audits of both dioceses and parishes are held infrequently if at all. In addition, he said that there are often too few members of a parish staff to allow for a segregation of duties, which could effectively cut down on the number of opportunities for embezzlement. Perhaps the most surprising thing that he said was that while the Catholic Church is hierarchical in its very nature, when it comes to financial structure there is not a hierarchy; each parish can set up its own system and very few ordinaries will interfere. Another interesting statistic was that of the five largest drains on a diocesan budget, litigation (in general) was only listed third.

The meeting was held in St. Katharine of Siena Parish Center in Radnor Township, PA with Marita Greene presiding and Bill Culleton introducing the speaker. Mary Ellen Norpel and Tom Connolly offered the opening and closing prayers respectively. Submitted by Gaile Pohlhaus

Cleveland OH: “Kenneth Schoettmer was convicted of a felony in 2003 and is on Ohio’s sex offender registry. In 2004, Thomas Kuhn was convicted of 11 misdemeanor counts of public indecency and providing alcohol to minors. More than three dozen men sued David Kelley, alleging he sexually abused them as boys. All three remain priests on the payroll of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Cincinnati.” For more, go to the Dayton Daily News.

Long Island NY Faith Convention IV was held on April 14, 2007. Read the highlights submitted by Joe Bongiorno, Steering Committee Northwest Nassau Parish Voice, April 21, 2007.

In the Vineyard
May 3, 2007
Volume 6, Issue 9 Printer Friendly Version (PDF)

Page One

CONVENTION 2007 Update - October 19-21 in Providence, RI

DIOCESE/State Watch

Priests Support Working Group Update

Survivor Community News

Once There Was a Parish Rich” from Betty Claremont, VOTF Atlanta GA

“Following the Money” – VOTF/Fairfield University conference recap

BOOK Review: Hinze B. 2006. Practices of Dialogue in the Roman Catholic Church: Aims and Obstacles, Lessons and Laments. New York, Continuum, 326 pp. With thanks to reviewer Thomas F. Malone, Greater West Hartford, CT VOTF


Structural Change Working Group

Voice of Renewal/Lay Education

Prayerful Voice

Goal 2 - Priest Support



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