Bishop of Belleville purchased vestments with mission money

.- Priests of the Diocese of Belleville are seeking an explanation from their bishop after he reportedly bought liturgical vestments with donations marked for a Vatican world outreach fund, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports.

An employee at House of Hansen, a tailor of clerical vestments in Braxton’s hometown of Chicago, said Bishop Braxton ordered five sets of vestments, a miter, and a tunic last year.  At least some of the vestments were worn by the bishop, two deacons and two priests, all of whom were ordained in May. 

Questions about the funding for the vestments date back to a diocesan financial council meeting in November, when Bishop Edward Braxton was asked how he paid for the new vestments.  The St. Louis Post-Dispatch sources, who requested anonymity because of council members’ oath of secrecy, claimed Bishop Braxton said the $8,000 expenditure came from a fund for international mission work.

The mission fund is supported by collections taken up on World Mission Sunday, the second-to-last Sunday of October.  It is supervised by the Propagation of the Faith offices on diocesan and national levels and has an international office at the Vatican.

Church statutes strictly regulate church finances, ordering that "offerings given by the faithful for a specified purpose may be used only for that purpose."

The topic of the vestment funding was raised again at a Monday meeting in the diocese.

"We attempted to discuss it," said one member of the diocese's Presbyteral Council. "But no progress was made. The bishop did not want to talk about it."

The conflict accompanies another controversy about the continued employment of the diocese’s chief financial officer, William Knapp, whose five-year contract ending in June will not be renewed by Bishop Braxton. 

Knapp is a popular figure among many diocesan priests.  At an East St. Louis Deanery meeting, several priests supported Knapp’s continued employment so that he can complete work on securing financial transparency for the diocese.

“We believe that his departure at this time will only cause more suspicion among the laity and presbyterate concerning the finances of the diocese," the priests reportedly said.

Last month, the Belleville diocesan finance council wrote a letter to Braxton expressing concern about the expenditure.  The letter was copied to the papal nuncio in Washington.

The Diocese of Belleville serves about 104,000 Catholics.

Ads by AdsLiveMedia(What's this?)

* The number of messages that can be online is limited. CNA reserves the right to edit messages for content and tone. Comments and opinions expressed by users do not necessarily reflect the opinions or beliefs of CNA. CNA will not publish comments with abusive language, insults or links to other pages


Ads by Google (What's this?)
Ads by Google (What's this?)

Featured Videos

Pope Francis celebrates the closing Mass and announces site of next World Youth Day
Pope Francis celebrates the closing Mass and announces site of next World Youth Day
Pope Francis visits poor neighborhood and meets with young people from Argentina
Pope Francis celebrates Mass at the National Shrine of Our Lady of Aparecida
Denver rally draws hundreds in support of religious freedom
Pope Francis prays over a sick man in St Peter's Square
Denver women's clinic will offer natural, Catholic care
Interview Clips: Barbara Nicolosi speaks to CNA
US Cardinals press conference at North American College
Pope Benedict to retire to monastery inside Vatican City
Pope cites waning strength as reason for resignation
Hundreds convene in Denver to urge respect for life
New Orange bishop encourages Catholic unity in diversity
Chinese pro-life activist calls for reform, international attention
At Lincoln installation, Bishop Conley says holiness is success
Mother Cabrini shrine reopens in Chicago after a decade
Ordination of 33 deacons fills St. Peter's with joy
Cardinal says "Charity is the mother of all the virtues"
Augustine Institute expands evangelization effort with new campus
Bishops recall 'Way of St. James' as chance to trust in God
Los Angeles cathedral's newest chapel houses Guadalupe relic

Liturgical Calendar

April 19, 2014

Holy Saturday

All readings:
Today »
This year »

Catholic Daily

Gospel of the Day

Mt 28:1-10


Daily Readings

First Reading:: Gen 1:1-2:2
Gospel:: Mt 28:1-10

Saint of the Day

Blessed James Oldo »


Homily of the Day

Mt 28:1-10


Ads by AdsLiveMedia.com

Ads by AdsLiveMedia.com
Text only

Follow us: