Lending Money: Part 2

Before we resume our discussion about lending money and the Catholic Schools campaign, we have some late-breaking news to report.

Several readers wrote to tell us that Pastoral Center managers are now starting to interview their staff to ask what they think of the blog. This puts the staffers in a very uncomfortable position, and we suggest that the archdiocese discontinue this practice immediately. The officials doing the interviews will not get honest answers anyway due to the culture of corruption and retaliation, so why waste valuable staff time?  Distracting staff from their work was supposedly the reason for blocking the blog in the first place, and if you expect employees are not taking time to read the blog, why go around asking them what they think of the blog they are not reading?  We would be glad to conduct an anonymous SurveyMonkey survey of archdiocesan employees for the archdiocese to get perceptions of the blog and how things are going at 66 Brooks Drive if that would be helpful to the archdiocese—just have someone send the questions over and we will get right on it early next week and compile the results all at no charge.  Of course, if the archdiocese is trying to help us get feedback so as to further improve the blog, we very much appreciate that gesture and effort, but we feel we are all set there for now.  One reader commented privately to us, “One wonders why not just address the issues and not the messengers, but that would be hard work.”   Seriously, we would love to wind-down this blogging.  Just acknowledge and start addressing the issues and the blog will quickly fade away.

If you have not read our post from yesterday about the Catholic Schools Campaign, please read Lending Money: Part 1.  Here is the $20 million problem in a nutshell.  A decision was made to spend $70 or 71 million to create a new state-of-the-art Catholic “academy” in Dorchester.  That money was to come entirely from funds raised in the 3-year campaign. (See September 26, 2008 press release that says, “the Campaign for Catholic Schools (CCS) will raise the necessary funding for the project”).     In that press release they announced that more than $47 million had been raised towards the goal in 9 months,.  The campaign is nearly over and their last press release from May 2010 says that 18 months later, they had raised only $48.5 million of the needed $70 million. (Did fund-raising more or less stall after Sept 2008?).  Most importantly, the archdiocese loaned the Campaign $26 million in 2009.  Will that loan get repaid?

We are pressed for time today so are going to just give you a few pieces of information and questions to ponder and we will fill in the blanks later in this same post.

1) Magnitude of project in this location. The fund-raising and tapping of a limited donor pool for a sum of $70 million was a major undertaking.  Why did the archdiocese decide to spend $70 million on one school, and in an area where it is known that Catholic schools enrollment and the Catholic population in general are declining?  Did it have anything to do with Jack Connors having grown-up in nearby Roslindale, or was that just a coincidence?

2) Sustenance of the school: Given those population shifts, can the Dorchester academy be sustained at this size even 5-10 years the future?

3) Source of the $26 million loan funds.  The 2009 Annual Report says the $26 million came from the Revolving Loan Fund, described as follows:

“a cooperative savings and loan program for our parishes and related organizations. Parishes and related organizations deposit savings into the Revolving Loan Fund and earn an interest rate that is a small amount above comparable market rates during the year. Parishes and related organizations in need of short-term lines of credit and/or longer term debt borrow from this fund. These borrowings are repaid with an interest rate that is established to be competitive with nonprofit prevailing borrowing rates. The Revolving Loan Fund’s cash and cash equivalents decreased by 49% during the last fiscal year, from $77.2 million at June 30, 2008 to $39.2 million at June 30, 2009. This decrease is the result of $25.5 million of net loan advances made during the year and a $12 million allocation to longer-term investments.

Beyond the question of whether the Pope John Paul II Academy in Dorchester is a “related organization” is a deeper question of where the funds ultimately came from.  Our sources report that funds for the loan may have actually originated from another entity within the archdiocese called the Reconfiguration Corporation, which was supposed to be restricted to grants to parishes welcoming parishioners from closed parishes, once the debts of the closed parishes were paid.  Those funds were also used to maintain the “vigil” locations.  Where did the money ultimately come from?  Who did the Chancellor consult?    Who approved this?

3) Status of involvement by John Fish and Suffolk Construction.  We know that John Fish, CEO of Suffolk Construction received great public relations visibility for the project (eg. September 2008 Boston Business Journal article describing his philanthropism and role as a leader of the Archdiocese of Boston’s 2010 Initiative to improve Catholic schools).  He was also featured in Boston Magazine’s “Power 2008” described as follows:

“a man diligently following the playbook of his mentor, Jack Connors, the preternaturally involved Hill, Holliday founder who now serves as chairman of Partners HealthCare and all-around éminence grise. Fish is on the board of 11 nonprofit community groups…And like any smart Boston operator, he uses relationships developed through those efforts to fatten his bottom line

(By the way, we  also know that Fish’s father, the late Edward A. Fish, was a respected philanthropist, was highly involved in the archdiocese’s property dealings, and by coincidence,  gave $3 million to the Connors Center for Women’s Health and Gender Biology at Brigham and Womens Hospital, but that is a story for another time)

We are also told, and see validated by press articles, these were apparently single-source, no-bid deals for the contracts on school reconstruction, new construction, and demolition.  Our sources say this was  expensive in Brockton, and very expensive in Dorchester.

As best as we can determine from multiple sources, the $26M loan was because John Fish insisted that Suffolk get its construction money up-front.  We are unclear if he is still personally involved in the initiative (no PR in 2 years) or if he is no longer personally involved after having secured the construction contract, funds, and good publicity.  Sources working in the schools tell us that from a construction perspective, they cut as many corners as they could in Dorchester, and ran behind in the construction schedule.  Rumor has it that the school custodian and a well-paid employee from the Catholic schools office were still painting the evening before the school opening and dealing with a minor problem of live rodents in the building.

What is a common theme here is the question of why this project in this location, why so costly, what important works of the Church were sacrificed so key donors could be tapped for the $70 million, and what happens now if the remaining $20 million cannot be paid back?

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23 Responses to Lending Money: Part 2

  1. Catholic School Advocate says:

    To Boston Catholic Insider: Thank you so much for getting to this topic. What a relief. I think the 2010 Initiative should be described by a parody of the song, “Promises, Promises.” (OK so not everyone reading this blog remembers Dionne Warwicke.) What was promised was laudable, but the outcome belies the intelligence, wealth and connections of those who made the promises.

    When you finish with what the 2010ers promised, what they actually did, and what the result is, maybe you could move on to “How to Fail at Pensions Without Really Trying.”

    Dedicated teachers, custodians and school secretaries show up every day and deal with a million issues, and somehow find a way to work hard on educating children from varied backgrounds in the midst of all the problems. And they succeed, just ask the Admissions Board at Boston Latin.

    They are thanked, of course, by getting an anonymous letter from the Benefits (Mis?)Trust saying that at the end of 2011 they have no pension plan anymore, and oh by the way, even if you have been around a while and are over 55 years of age, we’re going to give you your lumps (sums, that is), after we ask the actuaries to chop that amount down based on your age and years to retirement, which will be after we take out a sizable chunk to pay the benefit trust salaries and money (mis?)manager fees to people whose kids attend boarding school.

    Please do keep digging, and THANK YOU for taking this on. There were three major events in the Archdiocese this week (Daughters on Sunday, bishops on Tuesday and the dinner last night), and people who attended them, funded them or helped put them on talked about the strength of the new evangelization, the confidence in the goodness of priests, and the hope that the new bishops can somehow shed some light on what needs to be pruned away, and on where we need to work to build up the good that has always been the Church in Boston. The week could be summed up as “feel good” for many reasons!

    This blog should be the roadmap for those hopes. It doesn’t matter whether you like incense and Latin or the family Mass and coffee hour, none of us should put up any longer with cronyism, policy set by those whose faith is based at the Democratic National Committee and Harvard, and those who have insatiable appetites to conquer and acquire Church assets as if this were a Monopoly game.

    We get that this is a religion (from the Latin for “to tether anew,” namely to God), and we get that the temporal side must be run responsibly, i.e., like a business. That does not preclude also running it like a Church that is centered on the sacraments and living the Gospel. And it surely does not mean running it as an asset pool for BC, real estate developers, and the giants of medical industry.

    AND TO THOSE WHO WORK AT THE PASTORAL CENTER: If I were employed at 66 Brooks, and I’m not, to the question, “What do you think of the blog?” I would answer, “I really have no opinion at all.” Employees at 66 Brooks Drive still enjoy First Amendment rights, even the independent contractors known as priests. If they are viewing or posting to the blog on their own time, and if they are not making public any confidential information they have learned solely as a result of their employment, any attempt to chill those First Amendment rights, coming from an employer, is a violation of federal law. If they are asked, they should document the time, place and manner of the inquiry, who posed it, and the employment position the inquiring person occupies. They should reply as above (no opinion at all), and put their documentation in a safe place. Perhaps then they could let Catholic Insider know, anonymously, that they were subject to such an inquiry. If it turns out to be a verifiable pattern of behavior, it might be time for someone to share the information with the US Attorney’s office.

    With four lawyers employed at 66 Brooks full time, you’d think they’d know better. Or maybe not…

    Keep up the good work. You are opening the eyes of those who deserve the truth. Verifiable facts, inescapable conclusions, and an openness to being given more accurate information are the foundation of this blog. Thank you for what must be a huge commitment of time from the few for the good of the many.

  2. David says:

    The notion of the Pastoral Center managers quizing staff about this blog is absurd.

    Heaven forbid these same people were as concerned about the Pastoral Center staff’s view on abortion, homosexual marriage, artificial birth control, or papal infallibility.

  3. Liam says:

    By the way, one classic way to date-stamp a memo to your own file is to send it to yourself via registered mail, and keep it unopened in a safe deposit box….

  4. anon says:

    Frankly, I would like to know how it could be legal to loan Jack Connors millions of dollars for his pet school project to educate non-Catholics (which everyone knows is going to be defaulted upon) before the duty to use the 20 million to fund employee pensions.

    When the Archdiocese comes up with 20 million dollars to give to something, who is making decisions to circumvent the fiduciary duty to fund employee pensions and give the money to a project they know or should have known would default upon the terms of the loan?

    Doesn’t this seem like a violation of the fiduiary duties of the officers?

    Did a Board of Directors vote on the loan to the Connor’s initiative and if so, what are the names of the people who signed that vote?

    I love Catholic School Advocate’s wise suggestion to document name, date and time, place and manner of of any inquiry and position of the person doing the inquiring of anyone seeking information about their knowledge about Boston Catholic Insider — and report that to the bloggers here at BCI to document a verifiable pattern of behavoir.

    Also, anyone with credible and verifiable information about Jack Connors, Mr. McDonough (or anyone acting on behalf of the Cardinal’s administration) pursuits to find out the identity of informants — this information should also be documented and tucked away.

    When speaking to colleagues about the efforts of Catholics to air their concerns in a public forum, I have heard numerous times that ‘these men will stop at nothing’.

    They just may meet “nothing” someday coming up the steps of 66 Brooks Drives with badges and subpeonas – and, trust me, they will ‘stop’.

    We have had enough. It is over.

  5. The Sisters Taught Me Well says:

    Loan is the noun, lend is the verb. By example, I will use them in sentences:

    1. Was it licit (Latin for kosher) for the Archdiocese to *lend* money from one completely separate “company” restricted to a specific purpose, to another “company” with a completely different restricted purpose? And,

    2. Was the *loan* a shady tactic of the person directly entrusted with a fiduciary duty to NOT commingle funds?

    As a favor to the Sisters who taught most of us grammar, please use “loan” and “lend” as we were taught… As for the people who got up to these shenanigans, “Never lend and seldom borrow, save yourselves a lot of sorrow.”
    :)

  6. Anon says:

    STMW,

    Mea culpa. Thank you for the correction!

    I wonder too, if accurate, how money deposited into diosecan coffers from the reconfiguration fund could ever be diverted to fund schools?

    Who is watching how the Chancellor is spending the money?

    Who is supervising the paper trail?

    Is there an independent auditors financial report available for the reconfiguration fund?

    Could the Chancery be intentionally stacked with Connors-McDonough cronies to avoid questions when something shady seems to be going on?

  7. No Name Priest says:

    The folks in charge at the Archdiocese have LONG seen the monies donated by the faithful, invested by parishes or obtained in other means as one big pocket out which any funds may be pulled for any purpose. It’s near unto pointless trying to explain to them anything different. And it didn’t begin under the current regime – I get the impression that it’s always been that way (at least back through Cushing’s time). To give credit where credit’s due, however, Cardinal Law did manage to make it an art form.

  8. A Sad Boston Priest says:

    There is an entity in Canon Law named ‘Pious Will’.
    A question for our canonists;
    Has the RCAB played loose with the notion of ‘Pios Will’?
    If so, elaborate, please….
    Thanks,
    FB

  9. Heterodox Theologue says:

    I have to agree with David – this seems silly on its face.

    I could envision this in a rather innocuous hallway conversation, _maybe_: but it’s ridiculous on its face to envision someone being called into their manager’s office and asked “What do you think of the Catholic Insider Blog?” just like that.

    If someone or some people have told you this – and I won’t doubt you – it’s the sort of thing that would placate your narcissism at the expense of the Archdiocese, and it’s _exactly_ what I spoke about in a previous missive.

    Anyway, on to other points: you might want to look again – I would presume that was 40 million pledged by end of 2008. Pledge rates are lower than payment rates – moreso in a soft economy.

    Loans are frequently forgiven – heck, in times past, loans would be regularly forgiven every jubilee year. But that was before tax advantages came into account. Regardless, it sounds to me like they’ve arranged for 26+46.5 million=72 million for the 70 million dollar Dorchester project – some if which may come back to the Archdiocese, eventually (and perhaps graduates of the school will end up making more money and giving more to the Church because of it! Unlike all those who merely drop their dollar or two in the collection plate! Think long term investment – and maybe they move out of state and give some extra – find by us! Remember: it is the children ‘of the world’ who are wise to the ways of this world – we’re occasionally silly with money by definition, giving it to old support people, black inner-city youth, and other sinners – where’s the return on investment on that?)

    OH – and if I had my druthers, I’d say ‘screw the vigil locations': remove the relics from the holy altars, remove any pretty statuary or altar rails, and burn the places to the ground, is my opinion. It’s ridiculous to pay a vast quantity for ongoing insurance and heating and the like so a few northern rednecks can sit unlimited shiva for their beloved home of cultural Catholicism. Which is to say ‘for nothing’.

    • Thank you for your comments. You raised several points and questions, so allow us to respond to each one.

      You mentioned you had spoken in a previous missive about possible “narcissism at the expense of the archdiocese.” We cannot find another post by “Heterodox Theologue” to reference. The only other comment on this blog mentioning “narcissism” came from someone commenting under the name “Heteronormative Orthodox Theologue,” on August 27.

      http://bostoncatholicinsider.wordpress.com/2010/08/27/welcome-boston-pilot-readers/#comment-345

      The “orthodox theologue” in that comment seemed OK with our lengthy response then. Whether you are or are not that same theologue, our response to your concern is the same. The reason we posted about the situation of department managers asking staff employees about their opinions of the blog was to try and stop it from happening. As you know, we write this anonymously. As such, our egos are not fed by the blog. No one comes up to us after Mass and says, “Hey, I liked your last post on the blog.” We just want to see the Boston Archdiocese get rid of what appear to be unethical practices, conflicts of interest, clandestine operation amidst claims of “transparency,” and a culture of retaliation for people speaking out about problems so the good works of the Church can continue. To paraphrase what another commenter said above, we are “shedding some light on what needs to be pruned away, and on where we need to work to build up the good that has always been the Church in Boston.” As soon as that happens, we have nothing more to write about, and we will be happy to anonymously retire from writing this blog.

      As for the loan, it seems to us that the forgiveness of the parish debts across the archdiocese in 2000 for the Jubilee Year is very different than what we are talking about now. The financial situation for the Boston Archdiocese was very different, it was before the sex abuse crisis and the $127M+ in settlement costs hit us. It was before we had the $100M deficit in the Clergy Retirement Fund. As you no doubt know, times were very different for the Church, so you are really comparing apples vs peas when you talk about the concept of forgiving a $26M loan for one specific school project in 2010.

      We continue to question the merit and justification for the loan and potential conflicts of interest associated with approval of the loan. Given that the loan has already been made, at minimum, we would maintain that the repayment schedule should be adhered to, as described on Page 45 of the 2009 annual report.

      We are largely in agreement with you on the matter of the Church paying large amounts of money for ongoing insurance, heating, etc. to maintain “unlimited shiva” at churches that are officially closed. However, the concept of “burning the places to the ground” feels a bit rash. As you and others no doubt know, when a Catholic Church property is sold, there are guidelines or covenants written into the deed that restrict future usage from things that conflict with Church teachings (ie. abortion, pornography, erotic dancing, etc.). In an ideal world, it would nice if any historic building structures are maintained and/or the property could be redeveloped into something that serves the good of society (ie low-income housing, a performance space or cultural center, another church) but that seems to be the exception rather than the rule.

      We hope we have answered your questions. Thanks for writing and for your continued readership.

      • JRBreton says:

        This has not much publicity, but the debt forgiveness to certain parishes in the jubilee year of 2000 was in fact an embezzlement. The public record shows that Cardinal Law took $3,000,000 from parish bank accounts to erase the debt. This was a violation of his fiduciary responsibilities and in any other venue would be criminally prosecuted for the embezzlement it was. The plan seemed to have been to cover it all over with the capital campaign, but then the priestly sex-scandal broke. The money was later made up by the sale of closed parishes.

        The facts are all there in the reports published in the Pilot, but they are not underlined.

    • McKinley says:

      Evidently, we’re not saying this right.

      The Cardinal and his Administrators put pressure on pastors to hand over reconfiguration money that actually belonged to the people in the parishes.

      Let’s set aside for a moment concerns about Chancery thugs who are pressuring our priests to disobey Canon law and hand over money that belongs to the people.

      The Chancellor has a fiduciary duty and is legally bound to fund employee pensions.

      What did the Chancellor do with 20 million or so dollars to the Chancellor that didn’t belong to him?

      He made the decision to send out notices to employees that their pension is underfunded and he instead, gave the 20 million dollars to Jack Connors so he could fund his pet project: Schools that no longer teach Catholic tenets to attract non-Catholics who would otherwise be offended by the moral principles taught to Catholic children.

      Get it?

      There are a lot of people upset about this and are wondering, “what’s legal ’bout ‘dat?”

      First, you have the people holding letters in their hands saying the Chancellor didn’t have enough money to fund their pensions when clearly he did but he chose to give it to Jack Connors’ project.

      You’ve got priests, seeing the shenanigans, who are holding letters in their hands about their pension fund going broke who have no clear answers where their money went and why money the Chancellor has kicking around doesn’t get deposited into their pension fund.

      You’ve got Catholic parents who are upset that their children are no longer going to be taught Catholic theology in our schools because Bryan Hehir and his thugs have threatened to shut off the money if moral principals are taught to children that offend the non-Catholics they have recruited to pay tuition.

      I’m sure you mean well, but conjecture about the children of parents who kicked up a stink in the press about Catholic teaching being ‘discriminatory’ and a hostile environment for their non-Catholic children will someday grow up to be rich and give lots of money to the Catholic Church is not gelling. Quite frankly, it’s absurd.

      Rather than absurd conjecture about non-Catholic children who will grow up and give money to the Archdiocese, parents are concerned here about how shutting down the faith will affect the salvation of Catholic children. Priests and lay employees have certain questions about the legalities and fiduciary duty of a Chancellor who pressured priests to ignore Canon law and give money that belongs to the people in closed parishes to Jack Connors’ project.

      Is that clear enough or do we need to draw another picture?

      Run back to the diocese and get more talking points. We’ll be waiting here.

  10. David Justen says:

    I believe they can get away with lending the money out of the Reconfiguration Fund under a loose definition of the uses for which the fund was set up. Remember, they closed the churches for several reasons, one of which was to cover the cost of the massive maintenance work required by poor inner-city parishes. Stretching the definition somewhat, I can imagine they justified the loan as going to an inner-city parish’s school, never mind that it eventually lined the pockets of Jack Connor’s buddies and propped up his ego. Meanwhile, who is going to pay to maintain these educational Taj Mahal? These poor parishes?

    Meanwhile, your post here brings to mind an interesting theory I’ve heard recently. Let’s go back 8-plus years to January 2002, when the crisis broke. Connors was one of the most vocal lay critics of Cardinal Law, railing that despite his privileged position within the business community in Boston, that he had no real influence in the Church to oust Law or effect other change. Witness his attempts to change that through involvement in the National Leadership Roundtable, a group of business executives trying to tell the bishops that the Church should be run like a corporation, and the Church in the 21st Century program at Boston College, where he joined with his fellow travelers at Voice of the Faithful to gin up a grassroots demand for change in the governance of the Church. Neither were particularly successful.

    Fast forward to 2010. Connors and his buddies have control of the largest fundraising initiative in the archdiocese with the 2010 Initiative. They have control of the archdiocesan finance council. They have control of the chancellor. They have control of the process to select the new head of institutional advancement. (He’s the chair of the search committee.) As you’ve said above, his favored candidate appears to be Kathleen Driscoll, a former employee at his old ad agency and the head of his 2010 Initiative. She was also recently co-chair of the Priest Appreciation Dinner this week, which benefits the priests’ benefit trust. It is not inconceivable that we will see her hired as head of institutional advancement, where she will control the annual Catholic Appeal, will retain control of the 2010 Initiative, and will be given control of fundraising for the priests’ fund. That would effectively put Jack Connors and his buddies in control of all fundraising for the archdiocese.

    He who controls the purse…

    Have you also heard, as I have from some pastor friends, that there is a move afoot to change the focus of the annual appeal from a broad parish-based campaign to a focus on major gifts, that is, those in the four and five-figure range? Why would you refuse the widow’s mite and put all your eggs in one smaller basket, to mix a metaphor? My hunch is that this would further consolidate the power of the purse in the hands of Connors and his rich buddies.

    Once all this is done, the next time something happens in the archdiocese that Connors or his buddies don’t like, they can really put the screws to the cardinal and bend him to their will.

    I admit this all just a theory with a lot of suppositions, but I think it has plausibility. What do you think?

    • McKinley says:

      “He who controls the purse…

      Have you also heard, as I have from some pastor friends, that there is a move afoot to change the focus of the annual appeal from a broad parish-based campaign to a focus on major gifts, that is, those in the four and five-figure range? Why would you refuse the widow’s mite and put all your eggs in one smaller basket, to mix a metaphor? My hunch is that this would further consolidate the power of the purse in the hands of Connors and his rich buddies.

      Once all this is done, the next time something happens in the archdiocese that Connors or his buddies don’t like, they can really put the screws to the cardinal and bend him to their will.

      I admit this all just a theory with a lot of suppositions, but I think it has plausibility. What do you think?”

      David,

      You’ve done an excellent job of characterizing the full execution of the goals of BC Leadership Roundtable: getting control of doctrine by handing complete control and power of the money to a network of cronies who are well known for wanting to “change the church”.

      This is not conjecture, it is an assessment of what is already taking place. The people with the money have control over the Cardinal. The Cardinal is no longer in control.

      Now that they have completed the coup in Boston, they have set up a television series on BCTV where instructions on how to do this in your own diocese is given by J. Bryan Hehir.

      Google “youtube, Bryan Hehir, Roundtable” and you should come up with a lesson that is somewhat frightening if you are a Catholic who wants to pass down the structure of a Catholic Church were the Pope and the Catechism is at the head”

      You can’t make this stuff up.

      I think many people holding letters in their hands who have a legal right to have their pensions funded would disagree that funneling 20 million dollars to Jack Connors is justifiable.

      Let us not forget that when questions have been raised about the new structure of the archdiocese, the people with the money have threatened to use their wealth to hunt down the whistleblowers who have had to go outside of the structure to report their observations and concerns because the culture inside of the Chancery is retaliatory.The only way to get the control back is to round up these resources, hold meetings with the Shaugnesseys, McNeices, Flatleys, Opus Dei, Legatus and other wealthy donors who care about the structure of a Church headed by the Pope and show them what is going on in Boston.

      This is when those in power will start needing Imodium at the Chancery. They want to play with the money and power, deal me a hand because I am now in the game.

    • Angry Parish Council Member says:

      I agree with the theory you have heard – I am hearing it myself from my local priests and lay leaders. It’s like the PACs, lobbyists and unions who donate to politicans and then hold them hostage to their agendas.

      But this isn’t a case of “once all this is done” – it’s already done. Look at how a good priest and pastor, Fr. Rafferty, was thrown under the bus by Jack Connors, Mary Grassa O’Neill, and Connors Catholic schools people when the Cardinal was away in Portugal this spring. They are already putting the screws to the cardinal and bending him to their will. Imagine how much worse it will get when Connors and crew control the ENTIRE flow of money. Does the Cardinal see this happening and has just rolled over and is letting it continue?

      David I think you might be mistaken that Connors did not use his privileged position in the Boston business community back in 2002 to help oust Cardinal Law. See this article:

      http://www.boston.com/globe/spotlight/abuse/stories3/121502_seven.htm

      This blog and others have reported that Connors used similar influence earlier this year to force out the previous head of institutional advancement and make way for his own person who would focus on his desire to tap the big donors in the appeal instead of everyone in a broad-based parish appeal, including acceptance of the widow’s mite.

      What you described as “theory” is looking to be rather well advanced. Much as I admire the work of these bloggers, I think a lot more than a blog is needed to stop this train.

      • McKinley says:

        “Much as I admire the work of these bloggers, I think a lot more than a blog is needed to stop this train”

        Agreed. But it is a start.

        Here’s what the problem is: Catholics will not hold the Archbishop accountable and counter the insurgence publicly when he has abdicated his duties.

        It was believable to claim it is everyone’s fault but the Cardinals when the regime made one or two mistakes. When it gets to dozens of errors and you have the Cardinal continuously appointing these people to new efforts, you’ve got to rule out that these people are not pleasing the Cardinal. Otherwise, he wouldn’t keep appointing them to head up new efforts.

        We need to go forward to hold those accountable up the food chain inside of the structure of the RCC but we also must be as wise as the serpent.

        There is an easy way to a counterinsurgency: We get the wealthiest philanthropers who want to uphold the structure of the Roman Catholic Church up to date with what is going down and we get them to stop the flow of oxygen to the Cardinal’s coffers.

        There are only three things that the Cardinal and his administration respond to – money, bad publicity which affects their ability to collect money and lawsuits which takes money out of their coffers.

        It is about the money.

        We can very quickly make a difference here if we pull credible and hard working activists together to inform our people who are funding the archdiocese and are ignorant about what is going on.

        If you’re an active Catholic leader with a history of loving the salvific nature of Christ’s Church, be on the lookout for an email.

        Stand up and fight.

  11. JJ says:

    With the new deal of the Archdiocese skimming 18 percent of the collection money, I plan to give more instead to my parish’s annual appeal, as the pastor tells me that this money stays in the parish for repairs, debt repayments, etc.

  12. McKinley says:

    p.s.

    Meanwhile, may I suggest something?

    There is an effort underway for a search to replace the head of the Mass Catholic Conference. The archdiocese is being secretive about the search committee.

    Start asking questions of the Chancery staff.

    Just dropping the questions will let them know serious leaders are onto what is going on and the gig is up.

  13. [...] week brought out much of what is good happening in Boston Archdiocese, as one commenter (“Catholic School Advocate“) observed on our last post. But, unfortunately, our most recent posts and the associated [...]

  14. [...] readers or those not following the past few posts, you may find our recent Lending Money Part 1, Lending Money Part 2, and Archdiocesan Accounting/”Fuzzy Math” posts useful background for our post today. Today we [...]

  15. [...] Schools building a new academy in nearby Dorchester, does it not?   And it would have closed that $20 million fund-raising gap we have talked about in the last few posts and made it a no-brainer to pay back the loan from the [...]

  16. [...] How did the conflict of interest of the Archdiocese lending $20 million to Jack Connors’ Catholic Schools Campaign get reconciled, while the archdiocese was also deciding to not fund employee and retiree pension [...]

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