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Last Updated: Saturday, 16 April, 2005, 13:03 GMT 14:03 UK
Agreement on clerical abuse fund
Dr Seamus Hegarty, Bishop of Derry
Dr Hegarty aplogised for not informing parishioners of the levy
Catholic priests in the Derry diocese have agreed proposals to consult with parishes on raising money for the controversial Stewardship Trust.

Last February, Bishop Seamus Hegarty revealed 3% of parishioners' money went into the compensation fund for victims of clerical sex abuse.

This was done without parishes' knowledge and it was later agreed that the levy should be dropped.

The proposals will now go to the bishop's office.

Monsignor Joe Donnelly said the details would not be revealed until parishes had given their approval.

"What emerged over the last couple of weeks was that the whole area of consultation on this - as on other matters - needs to be attended to," he said.

"If we were to point to failures in the past it would be that the level of consultation was certainly not what was required.

A letter explaining the decision to scrap the levy was read out at masses in the Derry diocese in February.

The letter told parishioners they had a right to know where their money went.

The fund was set up by the Irish bishops to fund child protection initiatives and provide financial redress to victims of child sexual abuse by priests.

Monsignor Joe Donnelly:
"The details would not be revealed until parishes had given their approval"

Sex abuse levy 'to be abolished'
25 Feb 05 |  Northern Ireland
Monies 'were not paid into fund'
24 Feb 05 |  Northern Ireland
Church regrets row over donations
24 Feb 05 |  Northern Ireland
Bishop speaks out on abuse case
30 Jan 05 |  Northern Ireland

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