In Australia, Catholic Church’s Bank Is Full, but Pews Are Empty

12oz-church1-jumboSource: The New York Times

By Damien Cave and Livia Albeck-Ripka

SYDNEY, Australia — Despite a series of sexual abuse scandals stretching back decades, Australia’s Roman Catholic Church displays a veneer of strength.

Across Australia, more Catholic parishes have stayed open than in other countries that have weathered abuse scandals, and Catholic schools are still filled with children — owing largely to the financial and legal savvy of Australia’s most prominent cleric, Cardinal George Pell.

But it’s not the bank accounts that are empty in the Australian church; it’s the pews.

In December, Cardinal Pell was convicted of sexually abusing two choirboys in the 1990s, making him the highest-ranking Catholic clergyman in the world to be found guilty of such a crime. He was sentenced on Wednesday to six years in prison.

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Categories: Australia, Catholic Church

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