Leslie Hittner: Diocese of Winona should show us the Christian way

Winona Daily News

Leslie Hittner

It was nice to see the Diocese of Winona respond to my last column. Even then, the diocese was vague about the nature of the criticism.

When I asserted that the collections in December went to diocesan priests, I was wrong. Thanks to a friend of mine, I found out that those monies go to men and women in religious orders. Diocesan priests pay into a separate fund — one to which the diocese no doubt contributes as well. It was not clear about diocesan contributions in the news release — but that would be normal.

I promised my friend that I would write a column to correct my error. The defensive response of the diocese made it much easier for me to do so. I found it of continuing interest that financial issues can be counted upon to bring the diocese forth. It sounded like the bishop of Winona corresponded with each parish about the error that I had made in my recent criticism of the church’s continuing cover-up of sexual abuse.

But predictably the bishop’s response was about the money. It was not about the sexual abuse cover-up.

Since 2008, I have written a total of 10 columns that were critical of the actions of the church. I have also written a letter to the bishop of Winona that was critical of the reasons that led the Catholic Campaign for Human Development, the social justice arm of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, to decide not to fund the Land Stewardship Project after having done so for over two decades.

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