Announcements (September 11, 2005)

1. Our second collection is for Build Hope. This annual archdiocesan collection supports Catholic Communications and the Campaign for Human Development.

2. Thank you for your response last weekend for the Katrina Relief Fund. $4443 were donated to assist hurricane victims. If you wish to make an additional donation, you can write a check to Holy Family Parish and put “Katrina” or “hurricane relief” in the memo. Your contribution will be sent to Catholic Charities USA which is already providing assistance to those affected by this terrible disaster.

3. Finally we have a letter from the Archbishop. He has asked that it be read at all Masses throughout the archdiocese:

My dear friends in Christ:

Most of you are aware of the legal decision handed down by bankruptcy Judge Patricia Williams on August 26 in Spokane. The judge’s ruling stated that parish assets could be liquidated to pay victims of clergy sexual abuse in the Diocese of Spokane.

The recent court ruling requires a thorough review by the nation’s bishops and our attorneys, but it is important for the people of the Archdiocese of Seattle to understand that the judge’s decision is case specific to the bankruptcy proceedings in Spokane and does not affect the Archdiocese of Seattle. It also is important for people to remember that each diocese is a separate financial entity and that legal claims against Spokane and other dioceses do not affect the assets of the Seattle Archdiocese.

I want to assure all Catholics in the Archdiocese of Seattle that no funds donated to the Annual Catholic Appeal and no parish funds have been or will be used to fund settlements related to clergy sexual abuse. We will continue to seek fair and reasonable settlements with the cooperation of our insurance carriers as we have over the last 17 years. As a result, we are confident that we will not be forced to seek relief from the bankruptcy court.

Although we have had no new accusations of child sexual abuse by a member of our archdiocesan clergy during the last 18 years, it is unfortunately true that children were abused in the past. I pledge that I will continue our ongoing efforts to reach out pastorally to seek healing for victims of clergy sexual abuse.

If you would like more information on the status of these cases, I suggest you visit the archdiocese’s website and read the letter that accompanies the Archdiocesan Finance Council’s annual report. As always, I encourage anyone who has knowledge of sexual abuse of minors by members of the clergy or any other archdiocesan minister to call the abuse hotline at 1-800-446-7762.

With warmest regards I remain,

Archbishop Alexander Brunett

4. Please take home a bulletin for other important announcements.