An Irish diocese has gone directly to parishioners and asked them to help solve the financial crisis caused by the spiraling cost of sex abuse cases.
Parish priests in the Cork and Ross diocese have introduced two new quarterly collections to meet a near $500,000 deficit in finances.
The new collection was forced on parishes by the diocesan hierarchy to ensure pastoral duties can continue while this extra revenue stream will not fund child abuse cases directly.
Like the neighboring Cloyne diocese, the Cork and Ross diocesan leaders have been forced to find extra funds after a drain on resources to pay survivors of clerical sex abuse.
Diocesan leader Bishop John Buckley said: “Two collections would be needed every three months from now on, to ensure the diocese had enough funds to carry out its day-to-day duties.”
He stressed that the extra funds would not be "used to compensate abuse victims."
Monies raised would, however, be "used to help fund child-protection training across the parishes.:
Appealing to parishioners to help the diocese meet its financial losses, Bishop Buckley added: “I know that many families and parishes are feeling the pressure of these times.
“In introducing this collection, I am very mindful of that context and I assure you that costs are being kept to a minimum.
“However, best practice and current realities dictate that we must focus on areas of need without losing sight of the pastoral and evangelical mission of the local church.”