Cardinal George may sell bonds to support archdiocese

Chicago Cardinal Francis George is considering selling bonds to alleviate archdiocesan shortages.

Last week, Moody's Corporation gave the archdiocese a high A1 rating on a proposed offering of $151.5 million in bond sales. George said he is interested in taking advantage of "historically low interest rates and the good credit-worthiness of the archdiocese." But he insisted no decision has yet been made concerning a sale.

Thus far, according to the Chicago archdiocese, it has incurred a cost of $113.1 million because of sexual abuse claims. George has long pledged that parish contributions will not be used to pay any clergy misconduct awards.

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Other dioceses have turned to the bond market to raise funds. In 2005, NCR carried this headline: "Wall Street sees Austin venture as new model for church financing; Dioceses are good fit for bond market, financiers say."

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