Catholic Group Calls for Withholding Offerings Once a Month Due to Handling of Clergy Sex Abuse Scandal


November 11, 2008

A small group of Roman Catholics called “Send the Bishops a Message” wants to do just that. KPCC’s Brian Watt explains that the new organization plans to employ the power of the purse.

Brian Watt: The group accuses the hierarchy of the Roman Catholic Church of failing to protect children from clergy sexual abuse – and of continuing to cover it up. Frank Douglas, a spokesman for the group, called on all parishioners to hang onto their financial contributions once a month on designated “Withholding Sundays.”

Frank Douglas: They can send a message by doing nothing. All they have to do is pass the collection plate to the next guy without putting anything in. It’s the perfect Catholic passive resistance activity.

Watt: His group says that although Los Angeles Cardinal Roger Mahony approved a $660 million settlement with sex abuse victims, he continues to keep secret church files he’d agreed to hand over to the victims’ attorneys.

L.A. Archdiocese spokesman Todd Tamberg says Mahony is following a procedure for releasing those files that both sides had approved. Tamberg questioned the wisdom of a campaign to limit donations.

Todd Tamberg: This is a very bad idea at a very bad time.

Watt: Tamberg says that Catholics support a network of social service agencies handling a surge in need during the economic crisis.


Any original material on these pages is copyright © 2004. Reproduce freely with attribution.