Irish diocese asks parishioners to help pay abuse victims

DUBLIN, IRELAND (AP) - A Roman Catholic diocese at the center of Ireland's child-abuse scandals is asking parishioners to cover some of its more than $14 million in bills to victims and lawyers.

Bishop Denis Brennan's diocese in southeast Ireland was the first to face state investigations into decades of cover-ups involving pedophile priests.

Brennan told parishioners that the diocese has already paid more than $11 million to settle lawsuits from 48 abuse victims. But it has yet to settle 13 pending cases, and also has re-mortgaged the bishop's residence to cover its own lawyers' bills for defending the church.

Child-abuse scandals have caused exceptional trauma in Ireland, a once-devoutly Catholic nation that until the 1980s exported priests worldwide.

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