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News Digest

Issue of December 20, 2009 – January 2, 2010 The following items are condensed. For the complete articles, please read the print edition of The Catholic New World. To subscribe, call (312) 534-7777.

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Suit filed

A Seattle-based attorney filed a federal lawsuit Dec. 10 against the Archdiocese of Chicago claiming that the archdiocese discriminated against African-American victims in settlements for claims of clerical sexual abuse. The suit also names Cardinal George and retired Auxiliary Bishop Raymond Goedert, the former vicar general.

The suit, filed by Philip Aaron, seeks $98 million in damages for 49 men and women. It also alleges that the archdiocese conspired with Chicago-based law firm Pugh, Jones, Johnson & Quandt, which last month completed an audit of archdiocesan sex-abuse settlements and found that African-American claimants received higher settlements, on average, than those of other racial backgrounds. According to the audit, African-American clerical sex-abuse victims received settlements 28 percent higher than white victims and 19 percent higher than the average of all settlements.

The audit report is available on the archdiocesan Web site,

News Digest

Vatican official promotes prayer during Year for Priests

Without a daily diet of personal prayer, Catholic priests risk falling spiritually ill and endangering the well-being of the communities they serve, a top Vatican official said.

“Truly, without the vital food of prayer the priest becomes sick, the disciple does not find the strength to follow the Master, and thus dies of hunger. As a consequence his flock is scattered, and dies in its own turn,” said Brazilian Cardinal Claudio Hummes, head of the Congregation for Clergy.