Irish priests in the Catholic dioceses of Ferns have been asked to donate $1300 of their own money towards the payment of compensation bills to clerical abuse victims.
According to the Wexford Echo, a Friends of Ferns Diocesan Fund is to be established early next year which will be initially funded by subscriptions from the diocese’s 92 priests.
A letter sent by the Bishop of Ferns Denis Brennan outlined the need for clergy men to contribute to the fund.
"A number of suggestions were put forward. The one that came across very strongly from all groups was that the clergy should take a lead and contribute themselves in the first instance.
"The advice from the groups was that this initiative should be rolled out immediately and, depending on the response, the diocese would be in a position to judge if other suggestions would need to be implemented in the short term or could be left in reserve for the moment."
The letter included a standing order slip which is to be returned by September 30th.
Bishop Brennan was criticized earlier this year when he asked parishioners for donations towards the mounting compensation bills. He said the request was about “asking for help to fulfil a God-given responsibility”.
An extensive enquiry into clerical abuse in the Ferns diocese investigated more than 100 allegations against 21 priests. In March Bishop Brennan told his parishioners that the diocese had paid over $10 million to settle 48 civil actions arising from decades of sexual abuse by priests