Abuse victims ask parishioners to withhold donations
- BY LAURA RIVERA
- December 8, 2008
Members of a new Catholic reform group Sunday urged Long Island parishioners to withhold donations for what they said was the mishandling of clergy sex abuse cases.
About a dozen people supporting Project Send the Bishops a Message demonstrated outside St. Agnes Cathedral in Rockville Centre after morning Mass, asking parishioners to contribute to children’s charities instead of their local parish on Dec. 21.
The group’s national director, Frank Douglas, said the selective boycott would convey to church leaders that they need to do more to protect children from sexual abuse and to make their finances more transparent.
“The real message to Catholics is to try to make them aware that they have the power to change the church through the power of their purse,” said Douglas, based in Tucson, Ariz. Douglas called on U.S. dioceses to disclose income and balance sheet statements and assets, including real estate, cash, and stocks and bonds.