Remember the Pennsylvania grand jury report that detailed the crimes of hundreds of Catholic priests over course of several decades?
More than 78 of those still-living priests are still getting a paycheck from the Church.
That’s because, even though they’re no longer working in any diocese, Pope Francis has to sign the paperwork that officially removes them from the Church staff list (a process called “laicization”). He hasn’t done it yet. It could take years. And until that happens, the abusive priests can still get their paychecks.
Why the delay? Because some of the priests are old. (That’s seriously it.)
Some diocese officials say the Vatican isn’t motivated to remove the abusers from the priesthood if they are old or infirm. In other cases, the bishops decide themselves to keep them from being defrocked and allow abusive priests to receive church-funded retirements.Their final assignment is a life of prayer and penance, a program that cares for priests who raped children and allows them to die with a noble title — a reverend, a father, a retired priest.
Canon law allows any priest removed from ministry, but not laicized, to receive a sustenance payment to meet their basic needs.
Sustenance payments vary by diocese, usually $950 to $1,300 per month. For example, in Scranton, payments are $1,230.50 per month, according to diocese spokesman Bill Genello. Other dioceses said they did not know or chose not to disclose the amounts of the sustenance payments.
To put it another way, the Catholic Church is rewarding priests who raped children by giving them cash so they can retire in comfort. Sure, they could stop the payments… but why bother, right?
It’s just more proof that the Church has no business claiming a monopoly on morality.
(Image via Shutterstock. Thanks to Brian for the link)