Franciscan order’s financial crisis linked to fraud

The main Franciscan religious order in the Roman Catholic Church is in a financial crisis because of alleged wrongdoing from within and outside its ranks, the head of the order said.

The head of the Order of Friars Minor, the Rev. Michael Perry, said “questionable financial activities” by some friars and outsiders have threatened the financial stability of the religious order. The order has notified church and civil authorities and is reviewing its finances going back to 2003.

The Order of Friars Minor “finds itself in grave, and I underscore ‘grave,’ financial difficulty, with a significant burden of debt,” Perry wrote in a statement Wednesday on the group’s website. “The systems of financial oversight and control for the management of the patrimony of the order were either too weak or were compromised.”

“These questionable activities also involve people who are not Franciscan but who appear to have played a central role,” Perry wrote.

He provided no details on how much money was involved.


Clinic ordered to repay man for conversion therapy costs

A Chinese psychological clinic was ordered Friday to pay compensation to a gay man who sued it for administering electric shocks intended to make him heterosexual, in what is believed to be China’s first case involving so-called conversion therapy.

Lawyer Li Duilong said the Haidian District People’s Court in Beijing ordered the clinic to pay the equivalent of $560 to compensate Yang Teng for costs incurred in the therapy.

Li said the court also ruled that there was no need to administer shocks because homosexuality did not require treatment.

Reached by phone, Yang said he was “very satisfied with the results, which I didn’t expect. The court sided with me, and it has supported that homosexuality is not a mental disease that requires treatment.”

Yang said he voluntarily underwent the therapy in February following pressure from his parents to marry and have a child.

– From news service reports