Cloyne Diocese orders parishes to consider property sales to fund abuse pay-outs
Huge compensation claims force drastic measures
The crisis-torn Diocese of Cloyne has instructed priests to draw up a list of parish property that can be easily sold.
The Cork diocese, at the centre of recent child abuse allegations, is desperate to raise funds to pay compensation.
The legal bills and pay-outs from cases involving abuse victims have left the Diocese on the brink of bankruptcy.
Parishes will also be hit with a six per cent diocesan levy on all future sales of property.
The Irish Independent reports that parish priests throughout the ‘scandal-hit’ Diocese have been ordered to compile a list of properties suitable for sale.
The Diocese itself owns little in the way of saleable property according to the paper and will lean on parishes to sell assets.
In normal circumstances a parish is entitled to keep all proceeds from such sales but the Diocese is now demanding a six per cent levy to fund compensation payments and legal costs.
The spiraling cost of the cases outlined in the Cloyne Report is expected to cost the diocese millions of Euros.
Current Archbishop of Cloyne Dr Dermot Clifford has admitted it could be years before his diocese’s finances eventually recover from the costs of the scandal.
“There will be a lot of compensation to be paid, some has already been paid. The resources of the diocese financially will be very low and it will be a big job to rebuild the Diocese of Cloyne,” said Dr Clifford.
There are 46 parishes in the diocese where 133 priests serve the needs of some 250,000 people.
Diocesan spokesman Fr Jim Killeen told the Independent that the six per cent levy would be ‘aimed at supporting diocesan finances’.
He added: “The diocese actually owns very little property suitable for sale. That is what we will be asking parishes to contribute.
“Parishes have been reluctant to sell property since the market collapsed. It is perfectly understandable, after all, the market is pretty difficult at the moment.”
Sources have also confirmed to the paper that the Cloyne Diocese has settled five abuse cases but many more are underway.
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