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Belgium: abuse scandal leads to financial concerns

Catholic World News - September 20, 2010

Church leaders in Belgium have become increasingly concerned about the abuse scandal’s financial ramifications, according to news reports.

“Already confronted with empty churches, fewer priests and growing secularization, the Church is now anxious about more mundane matters of financial culpability,” The New York Times reports. “These questions are particularly acute in Belgium, where the state pays the salaries and pensions of clergy members and the upkeep of religious buildings, while supporting religious schools and broadcasts. The state subsidy is more than $417 million a year, of which the Roman Catholic Church gets 86% … Higher-ranking Catholic clergy members, like bishops, make more than $9,000 a month, well above their counterparts in other religions.”

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