Laity, Clergy Asked to Defray Sex Abuse Costs

San Diego bishop draws support from pulpit, less backing from pews
By Jonas Oransky,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 8, 2007 12:00 PM CDT
Church In San Diego Barrio Celebrates Easter Mass   (Getty Images)
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(Newser) – The San Diego Diocese is turning over every stone to pay its $198.1 million settlement to sexual abuse victims, asking both priests and parishioners to chip in. Clerics are apparently willing—many will donate a month’s salary—but parishioner responses are far less positive, the LA Times reports. One says: "The Vatican can sell a painting or two."

Many say the diocese or Rome should sell property to pony up; others refuse to empathize, saying predators should be jailed. Still, one national survey found 44% of Catholics consider it “acceptable” to fund the settlement. More skeptical were the attorney who fought the diocese and the judge who denied it bankruptcy: Both argue church coffers are more than deep enough.