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Catholic Church Must Balance Its Books

June 08, 2002

Recently my niece attended a meeting to explore the possibility of being married at the new Roman Catholic Cathedral in Los Angeles. All in attendance were told that the fees for the Mass at the cathedral would be $1,500 with an additional $175 for the organist and $250 for the mandatory wedding coordinator. In addition, she may be required to pay $7 per car to park at the cathedral. Total cathedral charges: $1,925, plus parking. Comparable charges at her parish total $370, with no fee for parking.

My niece understands that the Mass is the most important part of the wedding celebration. What we do not comprehend is why the church is not doing all in its power to encourage marriages at the cathedral--and not merely marriages among the wealthy. The archdiocese has hired a very expensive public relations firm to coordinate the spin on the pedophilia scandal (May 30). One wonders how much of the $1,925-plus paid by each couple will be spent not on ministry but on a PR firm.

Diana Tonsich

Los Angeles

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