Okay, so that’s probably not exactly how they’ll phrase it, but it is essentially what the Los Angeles Catholic Archdiocese is thinking about asking as it struggles to pay off the debt it incurred in the wake of the clergy sex abuse scandal. The Los Angeles Times reports:
In the midst of renewed public outrage over its handling of clergy sex abuse, the Los Angeles Archdiocese is considering a $200-million fundraising campaign that could erase debts brought on by the scandal.
The archdiocese has hired a New York company, Guidance In Giving Inc., to study the feasibility of a large-scale fundraiser that would shore up a bottom line hit hard by costly abuse litigation. It would be the archdiocese’s first capital campaign in 60 years.
The archdiocese’s $660-million settlement in 2007 with more than 500 victims was the largest in U.S. history. According to a December financial report, the archdiocese is still paying down loans it used to cover the settlement, and its liabilities now outstrip its assets by $80 million.
This news comes at a particularly awkward time for the Los Angeles Archdiocese, just one week after Archbishop Jose Gomez took the unprecedented step of stripping his predecessor — Cardinal Roger Mahony (left), a previously popular prelate who led the archdiocese from 1985 to 2011 — of all his adminstrative and public duties. The move came in the wake of the release last month of thousands of pages of internal Catholic church records that show that Mahony and other top-level archdiocesan officials worked together to prevent police from discovering that children were being sexually abused by priests.
But never mind all that, the Church needs your money. Pay up please! (Seriously, could these people be any more tone-deaf?)
In other news, AMERICAblog reports that the Irish Prime Minister (sort of) apologized today for a 74-year-long conspiracy between that nation’s government and the Catholic Church in which as many as 30,000 women were forced against their will to work without pay at church-operated commercial laundries. The last of these laundries shut down in 1996, meaning that the Catholic Church in Ireland literally was using slave labor in my lifetime. And the Church still hasn’t apologized for it.
Let’s see. Sexually abusing children and protecting pedophile priests? Check. Enslaving women? Check. Castrating boys they suspected of being gay? Check. So tell me, dear sirs, exactly where do you claim to derive the moral authority to wage a global crusade against LGBT rights? With such an appalling rap sheet, do you really think you have the right to condemn LGBT people and our loving, committed, consensual, adult relationships? To borrow a quote from Barney Frank, on what planet do you spend most of your time?
Cross-posted at johnmbecker.com.