Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Keep the Faith, Keep Your Money

There are some days I have fleeting thought of regret for grinding "Voice of the Faithful" into the ground.    Like today, when the Chancery's long-awaited parish-level financial mugging was fodder for the Boston Globe.

With "a severely depleted priest pension fund, declining Mass attendance, and a drop in Catholic school enrollment, one-third of the 291 parishes in Greater Boston ended the 2009 fiscal year in the red", they are doing such a great job at making things better, they don't want to lose the momentum so they will now mandate forwarding 18 cents of every dollar you give to the parish into diocesan coffers.

Instead, church officials say, the primary objective is to establish a fairer and simpler system in which all parishes contribute the same share of their income to help fund the archdiocese’s central ministries.

Get it?

Another Hehir-brained social justice scheme. They figure it's only fairer and simpler for poverty stricken people who are having trouble keeping groceries on the table and parishes who are going bankrupt to pony up the same percentage of their income as the folks in Lincoln, Sudbury, Hingham and Duxbury.

The IRS doesn't even do that.

“What it very well may do is dissuade people from giving to their local parishes, because they feel they’re being forced to give to the archdiocese,’’ he said.

One would think with trust at an all time low, this would be a foregone conclusion. Frankly, I think the mismanagement of money is so far out of control, they are in panic mode.

As a colleague in the diocese wrote me this morning at the conclusion of an email commiserating on the ineptitude and buffoonery of diocesan leadership:

To compliment the story, in today's news was also a story about a priest in Waterbury, Connecticut, caught stealing 1.3 million for male prostitutes over a seven year period

This priest was the diocesan crackerjack and Mr. Fix It and he did it, he said, because he was darn sick and tired of of getting the worst assignments to parishes to fix the problems other priests had created.

It all started when his mother was in the hospital and dying and he was assigned to a parish that was a bit too far for him to drive a few days a week to visit her.  

What's a guy to do but spend a couple of hundred thousand on male prostitutes to mitigate the bitterness.

He was then transferred to St. Cecelia's Church in Waterbury, which closed while he was there. He called the closing a "sham."

Gray told police that he is gay and has a problem with the church's stance on homosexuality, the affidavit states.

Gray said he started taking money once he was transferred to Sacred Heart in 2003 "because he felt the church owed it to him,"
And, you haven't heard anything yet.

He wracked up his credit card, gave two other men credit cards, met some guy in Central Park thirty years his junior named Weirui Zhong, paid his way through Harvard and shacked up with him on his days off.    He told Zhong he was an attorney for Catholic Charities.  When he had to leave to take care of the parish every week, he told him he was absent from the apartment because he was getting colon cancer treatments at Sloane Kettering.  

When Mr. Fix It started giving him lump sums of cash because he was "dying", Zhong asked why the checks were written from Sacred Heart Parish.

Zhong said he asked Gray several times why Gray was paying him with checks from the Sacred Heart Church bank account instead of Gray's personal account. Gray said he placed his life savings, including money he had earned from winning big cases as an attorney, into the church's account.

Anyhoo, Zhong's lucky day in Central Park came crashing down when the police showed up this week.

While police questioned Zhong on June 10, Gray arrived at the apartment. Zhong asked police if he could speak with Gray first. In the presence of the detectives, Zhong asked Gray if he was an attorney, if he had ever attended Georgetown, if he had colon cancer and if he had ever had cancer. To all four questions, Gray answered "No," the affidavit states.

Another fine example of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops Kindergarten Vagina Monologues is a complete farce.

I wonder how many people died without Viaticum. How many people have been lied to about the state of their soul?

It will take some fancy navigating to cut off the Bishops oxygen while still keeping parishes afloat. Frankly, I don't know anybody who is still giving but as they hire professional fundraisers, I know some pamphleteers who are fixing to make good use out of information they're collecting.

Meanwhile, keep the faith, keep your money from them. There are plenty of places to doing spectacular work for Christ - tithe to them.


Anonymous said...

Never regret the fight against VOTF. A necessary and just war, if there ever was one! But why was your email friend laughing about Coming Home Catholics?


KD said...

I'm very tired of hearing it first in the Globe, is anyone making a list for the mttg with Fr Erikson? (ha ha ha) SHOOT, he'll talk to the Globe but not to the Catholic Faithful. I wonder why this new "Finance Model" wasn't mentioned last Sunday when my Pastor was passing out the survey regarding the expansion of the church to make a new meeting hall to better serve the coffee & donuts! Come Lord Jesus COME!

Anonymous said...

I have met David and heard him speak on several occasions, and my experience is that he is both passionate about the Catholic faith and solid theologically. I can't speak for clericalism though. I'd be curious if others have had a different experience with him.

Carol McKinley said...

>>I'm very tired of hearing it first in the Globe, is anyone making a list for the mttg with Fr Erikson? (ha ha ha) SHOOT, he'll talk to the Globe but not to the Catholic Faithful.

KD - your whole post is priceless!

Money for a bigger place to serve donuts. Got to love it.

Anonymous said...

I hope/suspect David Thorp arrived at Holy Family not fully understanding what he was getting into. I give him credit for getting out of that parish in less than a year.


Anonymous said...

Carol, You're probably right (as usual). I don't know about "peace," which is getting harder and harder to find, but I hope you have a good weekend.