Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Catholic orders plead poverty in Irish abuse

Text by Shawn Pogatchnik (AP)
Photos: video pull of penitent Pope Benedict at Israel's Wailing Wall, 2009; below, penitent Catholics crucifying themselves in the Phillipines.

DUBLIN – The Catholic orders responsible for abusing Ireland's poorest children say they're struggling to come up with money to help their victims. Yet investigations into their net worth paint a very different picture — that of nuns and brothers with billions' worth of carefully sheltered assets worldwide.

Irish government leaders said Wednesday they expect the 18 religious orders involved in abusing children in workhouse-style schools to pay a much greater share of compensation to 14,000 state-recognized victims. They also demanded that the secretive orders reveal the true scope of their wealth for the first time in face-to-face negotiations with the government.

"We have to ascertain how much they actually have. The government is adamant and determined that they will make an appropriate contribution," Defense Minister Willie O'Dea said. More>>

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