Junho 13 2002, category: Misc, by: Yaelle

The New York Times
June 13, 2002

Roman Catholic Church Faces Questions About Finances

Of the church's assets, one of the most visible is real estate — churches, rectories, offices and land donated by parishioners. Some dioceses have begun to move their properties into separate corporations, putting them legally beyond the reach of plaintiffs.

A few have sold or mortgaged property. Last month, Cardinal Francis E. George of the Chicago Archdiocese said he might sell his $15 million mansion, adding that the money could be used to pay abuse settlements.

In 1997, the Diocese of Dallas mortaged several vacant lots, its chancery and a building that once housed an elementary school to raise part of a $30 million sexual abuse settlement. The alternative was bankruptcy. "That was potentially catastrophic," Bronson Havard, a Dallas church official, recalled.

In 1995, the Archdiocese of Santa Fe sold a retreat run by Dominican sisters and other New Mexico properties to pay what its insurance did not cover of abuse settlements estimated at more than $30 million.

For years, churches have relied on insurance to bail them out. But churches can no longer assume their liabilities will be covered. Last month, the Boston Archdiocese found that its policy would cover a third - or less - of the claims to 86 victims.

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Religious Abuse?

Too Little! Too late!

Recently, you have seen the Catholic Church react to the numerous scandals it has caused. Whether they are accusations of pedophilia, rapes of nuns, abortions of nuns or financial scandals, there seems to be no end, and this is only the tip of the iceberg. Well, those American Cardinals were quite a sight as they paraded in front of their pope!