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Bankrupt Wilmington diocese will not pay benefits to priests accused of abuse

Catholic World News - June 14, 2011

The Diocese of Wilmington, Delaware, has abandoned a plan to continue providing financial benefits to 6 priests who were removed from ministry because of abuse charges.

The Wilmington diocese, which filed for bankruptcy protection last year, needed the bankruptcy court's permission to pay the priests' benefits. Other creditors objected, as did lawyers representing sex-abuse victims. The diocese has withdrawn the request, saying that it has proven "so divisive, time-consuming, and costly" that it has stalled the bankruptcy proceedings.

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  • Posted by: stpetric - Jun. 14, 2011 11:28 PM ET USA

    "Accused" priests? Have the accusations been sustained in court, or indeed in any serious way? If not, the diocese is unjustly and uncharitably hanging them out to dry. Even amid the sex scandals, presumption of innocence and due process rights have to count for something.

  • Posted by: Jim.K - Jun. 14, 2011 8:38 PM ET USA

    "Aw Gee, what about all the good things they did during those years?!" That is what another Bishop said in his diocese. My reply was that policemen, firefighters and teachers would lose their pensions if they did the same crimes. "But these men are PRIESTS he exclaimed" -- and they got their pensions, even as the diocese was filing for bankruptcy! And these Bishops wonder why we have so little respect for them!

  • Posted by: rpp - Jun. 14, 2011 6:17 PM ET USA

    If the abuse has been proven or settled, then I suppose not paying benefits to priests who have violated their priestly vows in such a grave manner is reasonable. On the other hand, if they have merely been accused, but not proven, that is not just.

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