The Boston Globe reports that donations to the Annual Appeal of the Boston archdiocese are up. Up from what? From the dregs they had fallen to after The Scandal broke.
The Annual Appeal is how the archdiocese pays for all its centralized functions. Unlike other dioceses it levies no taxes on parishes, but is supposed to live on whatever is given separately. In 1999, the Appeal (then called the Cardinal’s Appeal) reached the high-water mark of $17 million raised. Even then there was a lot of crying poor mouth. Every office had pet projects and grand plans for what it could do with more. (Although in comparison with state and local government in Massachusetts that’s downright frugal.)
In 2001 giving had already dropped to $15.6 million, but that is thought to be because the archdiocese had started its immense capital campaign called Promise for Tomorrow that was supposed to bring in $160 million. As you might expect they fell a little short. In 2002, when the Scandal broke, the Appeal dropped by half, to $8.8 million. Last year, it rebounded to $11 million, just shy of their $12 million goal. Not exactly enough to pay off the Greenberg Traurig law firm or Garabedian or Durso, but enough to forestall closing a lot of chancery offices. Wait, is that a good thing? (Apologies to my friends who work for the Archdiocese; you know I don’t mean you.)
Meanwhile in the parishes ...
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