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Auditor: San Diego Diocese Parishes Hid Money From Bankruptcy Court

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Aired 4/19/09

A court-appointed auditor found some parishes in the San Diego Roman Catholic Diocese tried to hide money from federal bankruptcy proceedings.

A U.S. Bankruptcy judge ordered a financial review of the diocese finances back in April. The diocese sought financial protection on the eve of a trial brought by 140 people who say they were sexually abused by priests.

The Auditor, R-Todd Neilson, found three instances where parishes tried to conceal about a half a million dollars from the bankruptcy court.

Diocese attorney Michael Webb says those problems were corrected.   Victim's spokesman David Clohessy says it's another black mark for the church.  

Clohessy : We'd like to see this report light a fire under Catholics and prod them to be a little more skeptical about the claims that their bishop makes.

San Diego is the richest of five diocese that have sought bankruptcy protection.

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