We were this close to getting rid of these guys forever, but alas they have been rescued from the dustbin of history – at least for now.

BOSTON — Voice of the Faithful, the lay Catholic group founded during the church’s clergy sex abuse scandal, has raised enough money to keep operating for now.

The Massachusetts-based group sent a letter to its members last week, saying its financial situation was so dire that it might be forced to close its Needham headquarters unless it raised $60,000. On Tuesday, the group said its plea raised more than $63,000. The money will be used to pay operating costs for July and August.

The group hopes to raise additional money so it can continue to operate long-term.

On another note (or maybe not) If you got into the priesthood in Ireland for the money, you chose poorly.

July 22 (Bloomberg) — Irish Roman Catholic priests in the country’s second-biggest diocese took pay cuts of about 10 percent after church investments in bank stocks dropped as much as 7 million euros ($10 million).

The Killaloe diocese, which covers parts of the midlands and west of Ireland, cut salaries by between 8 and 12 percent, after shares fell and bank dividends were eliminated, Willy Walsh, the Bishop of Killaloe, said in an interview with Ireland’s RTE radio today.

Ireland’s ISEF Index of financial stocks has fallen 93 percent from its Feb. 2007 peak, as the banking system last year came close to collapse after the real estate prices tumbled and credit markets froze. The government has nationalized Anglo Irish Bank Corp., and pumped 7 billion euros into Bank of Ireland Plc and Allied Irish Banks Plc to help save the lenders as bad debts surged.

“All of us thought that bank shares were a safe as possible place to put money,” Walsh said. “Obviously in hindsight, they weren’t.”