Monday, August 29, 2005

Judge defines Spokane Diocese assets broadly

You might recall that Spokane Bishop William Skylstad had his diocese file for bankruptcy because of clergy sexual abuse claims. The U.S. Bankruptcy Court has now ruled that parish assets are subject to claims of the diocese's creditors, and so might be sold to pay their claims.
"We applaud this decision and hope it speeds the day when hundreds of deeply wounded and still hurting abuse victims get some relief and healing," Clohessy [David Clohessy, national director of Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests] said, adding he hoped "bishops will act more like caring shepherds and less like cold-hearted CEOs."

A "cold-hearted" CEO would not have let his organization be put in danger of liquidation by sexual shenanigans of subordinates. Soft-headed, not cold-hearted, might be the appropriate adjective.

Fortunately for Bishop Skylstad there do not appear to be any leadership abilities required to head the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. By protocol, he was next in line for the position, and the bankruptcy of his diocese didn't keep him from being voted in by his peers.

Perhaps we'll hear his fellow American bishops talk of him as a possible future pope, if he can figure out a way to bankrupt the Church nationwide.

[Associated press at MSNBC 9:49 p.m. ET August 26, 2005]

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