Catholic World News

Late Australian bishop’s estate to assist abuse victims

September 06, 2016

An Australian bishop has decided to allot his predecessor’s estate to assistance for victims of clerical abuse.

Bishop Ronald Mulkearns left his estate of $2.1million ($1.6M US dollars) to be used by the current ordinary, Bishop Paul Bird, at his discretion.

Bishop Mulkearns served as bishop of Ballarat from 1971 to 1997, when he resigned at the age of 66. He died in April 2016—two months after apologizing to a government commission for failing to take sufficient action against abusive priests.


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  • Posted by: Randal Mandock - Sep. 07, 2016 10:37 AM ET USA

    In 1983 a parish priest was explaining to me the difference between secular priests and priests who belong to a religious order. His explanation was in response to my questioning his ownership of boats, houses, cars, etc. He told me that secular priests do not take a vow of poverty and are therefore entitled to accumulate wealth and material prosperity, whereas priests of the religious orders are not allowed this concession due to their vows of poverty, chastity, and obedience.

  • Posted by: 1Jn416 - Sep. 06, 2016 5:25 PM ET USA

    Some research reveals that almost the entirety of the $2.1m (AU) estate is the value of the house Bishop Mulkearns lived in, which was left to him by his father. Nothing scandalous here.

  • Posted by: 1Jn416 - Sep. 06, 2016 10:08 AM ET USA

    Where did Bishop Mulkearns obtain such a substantial estate? It seems unusual and perhaps scandalous for a bishop to have such a great net worth. But perhaps it is family money or something else easily explained?