Transparency in Boston

Transparency in Boston

The Boston Globe offers up its story on the Boston archdiocese’s financial report yesterday, including reactions from the usual suspects.

‘‘The motivation for the transparency is to help people feel a part of the archdiocese,” O’Malley told a packed news conference at St. John’s Seminary in Brighton. ‘‘We’re not trying to keep secrets from people. We’re not trying to deceive them. We’re trying to use the limited resources we have for the mission of the church.”

And those suspects include people from Voice of the Faithful and Council of Parishes. If you really want to know what they said go to the link above. In short, they were happy.

But then I think this was a good thing too. Let’s get everything into the open so we can all deal with it. Better for everyone to have the knowledge than a small coterie of insiders.

Update: The Boston Herald finds some disagreement from the usual suspects, quoting Peter Borre of the Council of Parishes questioning the figures regarding the priests’ pension plan.

[O’Malley] declined to say whether he would cut priests’ benefits, however, to compensate for a $135 million pension shortfall, which David Smith, the archdiocese’s outgoing chancellor, attributed to a weak stock market and increases in health insurance costs.  Health costs and pensions for priests come from the same fund.

The reporter, the infamous Marie Szanislao, who so butchered the story about the Catholic Men’s Conference, also questions why salaries for the archdiocese’s top figures were not disclosed. Cardinal O’Malley is a Capuchin Franciscan. I have a feeling I already know what his salary is.

Some people, including state Sen. Marian Walsh, a Catholic who has turned on the archdiocese and who sponsored the original financial transparency legislation, just won’t be satisfied.

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  • The cardinal does receive pay; however, he promptly turns it over to his order, if I remember what he (the then archbishop) told me correctly.

  • Yes, he does get paid. I recall Archbishop Chaput, also a Franciscan, telling a reporter several years ago that he made $11,000 per year and that it went to his province.

  • Someone I know worked for a Catholic nonprofit that everyone knows the name of. He was stunned to find that the priest who runs it received $150,000 per year in salary. This did not include his expenses, travel, transportation, living and his monthly stipend. The money was turned over to the order.

    Don’t be naive people.

    Needless to say the little old ladies who send in their monthly donations from their social security income are not privy to this kind of information because it is never offered.

    Furthermore, I see no mention of the fact that the priests’ pension fund was “unfunded” for the last few years, or the fact that just last week the Church released a statement about how their Church attendance is supposedly up in Boston? Excellent timing by the way.

    The bottom line (pardon the pun) is that people don’t trust the Archdiocese and until that trust is restored they won’t donate their hard earned money. I can’t blame them.

    When I saw the $46 million deficit all I could think of was how much is the TAT program costing? And I mean money not souls or innocence which of course can’t be calculated.

  • Um, Mary, I posted the comment asking about the pension fund. And I did see the figures for implementing TAT when I was reading the report, although I don’t recall it off the top of my head. All the data is right there on the RCAB web site if anyone cares to read it.

    And it’s one thing to be naive. It’s another thing to be a little too suspicious. If O’Malley was so interested in raking in big bucks from the archdiocese and living the high life, I don’t think he would have sold the cardinal’s residence.

  • Dom,
    I know you mentioned the priests’ fund I was trying to say that the articles either in Reuters or The Herald didn’t mention that the fund had not been receiving the collections that were taken up for it. The archdiocese is trying to imply that the fund is performing poorly b/c of the stock market when we all know the collections to the priests’ fund were ahhh diverted.

    I’m also not saying that you are being naive but to imply that the Cardinal is bringing in $11,000 per year, well I doubt it. I agree with you that I am entirely too suspicious. 

    I don’t think the Cardinal is living the high life though you do know he comes from a fabulously wealthy family in Palm Beach don’t you?

    No, I think he has inherited a mess and I have a glimmer of sympathy for him.

    Are you surprised that the Cardinal is doing nothing about the CMRI bookstore that has opened up? I understand people are flocking to it and the nuns are handing out information on the street corners of the North End.

  • Are you surprised that the Cardinal is doing nothing about the CMRI bookstore that has opened up?

    Surprised? No. They almost never do anything about tstuff like this whether it’s RadTrads or gay-marriage-promoting priests or whatever. They just sit and wait for it to go away. And hope that lots of kind “positive” things will compensate for the negative.