[Open quote] BELLEVILLE, Ill. (AP) An advocacy group for victims of clergy abuse wants Roman Catholics across southern Illinois to earmark or cut back their tithings to the church until complaints that the bishop misspent money is sorted out.
Pastoral groups in the 104,000-member Diocese of Belleville want Bishop Edward Braxton to address claims that he bought ceremonial garments with about $8,000 in donations to a Vatican world outreach fund.
And the Belleville News-Democrat reports Braxton also may have bought a wooden chancery table and chairs with $10,000 from a fund for children and adults.
Braxton isn't discussing the complaints publicly. [End q.]
His ilk is usually above all that public discussion. Bishop Ed, formerly pastor of Oak Park's St. Catherine & St. Lucy parish, can afford to ignore this, because he has friends in high places.