US Catholic Faith in Real Life

Down goes Milwaukee, and bad news in Boston for parish vigilers

By Bryan Cones | Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare

Add the Archdiocese of Milwaukee to the list of local churches heading to bankruptcy court. Archbishop Jerome Listecki cited ongoing sex abuse obligations as explanation for the filing, according to Reuters.

Over in Boston, where the nine-member Council of Parishes has been resisting their suppression in 2004, word came today the parishes' direct appeal to the pope has been declined. (I wonder if the pope ever saw their appeal.) Five of the nine churches remain occupied in protest.

Many in Boston (and others trying to keep open closed parishes) have complained that the crippling costs of sex abuse settlements are forcing dioceses to close otherwise healthy parishes. While Milwaukee is undoubtedly filing bankruptcy because of sex abuse costs, the continuing rounds of parish closings are probably more complicated. But what both share is the fact that their burdens fall most heavily on the Catholic rank-and-file, who are by and large innocent of wrongdoing regarding sex abuse and poor financial management that led to the fiscal troubles many dioceses face.