January 21, 2006

Oregon archbishop says no one has authority to seize parishes

Catholic News Service

PORTLAND, Ore. (CNS) -- Archbishop John G. Vlazny of Portland reiterated Jan. 20 that "no one in the archdiocese had the authority to seize parish property or assets" to satisfy clergy sexual abuse claims.

In his column in the Jan. 20 issue of the Catholic Sentinel, Portland archdiocesan newspaper, the archbishop said the bankruptcy court ruling three weeks earlier, declaring parish and school properties to be part of the archdiocesan assets to be considered in settling sex abuse claims, "felt like a punch in the stomach."

"We want to do what is right for victims and we are committed to the evangelizing mission entrusted to us by Jesus Christ," he wrote. "Parishioners, schoolchildren, the poor and the needy depend on us for services that are not so highly valued by many in today's secular culture. For us these matters are paramount, and so we make every effort to balance the demands of victims with the needs of the church."

Posted by kshaw at January 21, 2006 08:46 AM