Issues of Parish Closings and Catholic Church's Sex-Abuse Settlements Are Not Related

By Robert Tayek
The Plain Dealer
March 19, 2009

Tayek is director of media and public relations for the Catholic Diocese of Cleveland.

This is a response to Mel Maurer's letter Tuesday asserting that the closing of parishes in the Catholic Diocese of Cleveland would not be necessary had money not been spent to settle clergy sexual abuse cases. For the record -- expenditures for compensation, treatment and legal fees were made from the Diocese's Property and Casualty Insurance Reserve Fund, a fund established more than 20 years ago. No diocesan general fund or Catholic Charities money was ever used.

The diocese reconfiguration is based on several factors, most prominently demographic change and the outmigration of parishioners from the urban centers. There are simply fewer and fewer people in the city parishes. However, once the plan is completed, a more-than-adequate 36 parishes will remain to serve Catholics in the city of Cleveland.


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