MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – A Twin Cities Catholic priest is blaming the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis for a drop in Sunday contributions.

Father Mike Sullivan of St. Joseph the Worker in Maple Grove recently sent a letter to his parishioners telling them the Archdiocese has repeatedly failed to protect children and vulnerable adults.

“We live on donations. Everybody is granted a one-time mistake, but you can’t keep repeating the same mistake over and over again,” said Sullivan.

And he isn’t just saying it; he’s putting pen to paper.

In a letter to church members, he pointed a finger at the Archdiocese over its handling of child abuse cases in the past.

“They have failed to act responsibly,” the letter reads. “I pray that you have done a much better job of protecting your children, because as an organization we have failed.”

Sullivan mailed the letter without consulting the Archdiocese.

“I never asked,” said Father Sullivan.

And here’s why: Sullivan said 85 percent of his church’s day-to-day operations are funded by Sunday donations.

But about 40 percent of his parishioners have pulled back, meaning the church is short each weekend by as much as $2,000.

“Several have asked me if there are just ways we can give to you, the local church, and not give to the diocese with some of our money,” Sullivan said.

Sullivan said only about 5 percent of every dollar actually goes to the diocese.

He said much more goes to help local food shelves and other ministries.

“When you stop giving to a local parish, wherever that might be, those are the ministries that are suffering in a greater way,” said Sullivan.

Sullivan said he received positive feedback from parishioners over his letter.

He said he blames the way the church has handled abuse allegations in the past.

Sullivan believes current church leaders are working hard and doing their best to deal with the problem.

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