Group Withholds Donation to Catholic Church Over Abuse Allegations

In the wake of the latest round of sex abuse allegations against the Catholic Church, a group of Catholic women are stepping up pressure on Pope Francis to take on a leadership role in dealing with the crisis.

The American group Legatus announced Thursday that it would withhold $1 million in donations in the midst of the controversy, saying that they want clarity on how the Church is going to proceed in investigating the abuse allegations.

“I certainly would support a very prudent study, and that’s why we really need the Holy Father’s answers,” Mary Fiorito of the Ethics and Public Policy Center said.

Legatus, a group of Catholic business leaders, has given the Vatican $18 million annually since 1987, and they’re using the donation as a wake-up call to the Church to address the crisis more forcefully.

Fiorito, who was Cardinal George’s executive assistant for 12 years, is one of 37,000 Catholic women who have signed a letter asking for answers after Archbishop Carlo Vigano’s letter stated that Pope Francis was aware of sex abuse allegations surrounding Cardinal Theodore McCarick.

Illinois Supreme Court Justice Anne Burke, a member of the very first lay review board appointed in 2002, is asking the Pope to reinstate that group to investigate what the Catholic Church knew about the situation, and when they knew it.

“It has to be done because there’s no trust in the Church,” she said. “(We seek) to inquire about how Cardinal Theodore McCarrick rose through the ranks to become a bishop.”

Cardinal Blase Cupich, head of the Chicago archdiocese, does not support Burke’s request.

“I am confident the current national lay review board has the competence to carry out any task the president of our conference requests,” he said in a statement.

Cardinal Cupich was on his way to Rome Thursday, sources said. 

Rocco Palmo, a Catholic writer with Whispers in the Loggia, said Cardinal Cupich is speaking Friday at a Vatican conference training newly named bishops.

Contact Us