Archdiocese of Cincinnati behind on Fund-Raising Goal

By Katie Bunker
Hamilton Journal News [Hamilton OH]
Downloaded December 2, 2003

HAMILTON — The annual fund-raising drive by the Archdiocese of Cincinnati is behind in its goal, Archbishop Daniel E. Pilarczyk said Monday before celebrating Mass in Hamilton.

“Our annual fund drive is down five percent,” Pilarczyk said.

Pilarczyk celebrated Mass at the Mercy Franciscan at Schroder Retirement Center for residents and friends of the retirement community.

Last week, the archdiocese pleaded no contest to charges that the archdiocese failed to report priests’ sexual abuse of children. Although Pilarczyk did not address the child sex abuse scandal at mass, he did ask parishioners to pray for more good priests, and for him.

“Many people have been very supportive (throughout the ordeal); many people have not,” Pilarczyk said.

A group of Catholic laity in Dayton, about 70 members of Voice of the Faithful, have called on Pilarczyk to resign — something he has no plans to do, Pilarczyk said.

While many people are angry, Pilarczyk said, they also realize that a minority of priests are at fault.

“Most people are aware that the Church is not made up of (a few individual priests),” Pilarczyk said.

While parishioners may offer moral support, some monetary support has decreased.

Although the fund-raising effort is running behind, donations could conceivably go back up before the end of collection, Pilarczyk said.

Last week’s settlement involved an agreement that the archdiocese would establish a $3 million victim compensation fund. Pilarczyk said the fund will not be supported by the money obtained from parish collections.

“We’ve got some reserves from sale of property,” Pilarczyk said.

Pilarczyk’s appearance in Hamilton is part of a regular series of visits to retirement centers in the Cincinnati area, conducting mass and meeting residents.

“I think older people are important people,” Pilarczyk said. “It’s important for me to keep in touch with them.”

The Rev. William Schwartz, who retired from St. Peter’s in 1999, led the mass with Pilarczyk.

“This (annual visit) is a sign of his care, of his presence,” Schwartz said.

John Koehs, a Mercy resident for two and a half years, attended this year’s service with his wife Alma.

Koehs enjoyed last year’s mass with the archbishop as well.

“It was really good,” Koehs said.


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