“Systemic Corruption”

From today’s Boston Globe:

The state’s highest court, firmly embracing a …conclusion that the ___Department is riddled with fraud and “systemic corruption,’’ ordered…officials yesterday to move swiftly to fire the…commissioner, suspend his senior lieutenants, and ask prosecutors to weigh criminal charges.

“Such abuse and corruption are intolerable,’’ members of the Supreme Judicial Court said in a statement.

The independent counsel…concluded that…senior executives oversaw a hiring system that was rigged “on a grand scale,’’ conducting…phony job interviews when the positions had already been promised to politically connected candidates.

“The fraud begins at the top…and it extends through most of the hierarchy..who participate in interviewing candidates for hiring and promotion,” wrote …a prominent private lawyer tapped by the state’s highest court to investigate the Department after a..report…documented its deep culture of politicized patronage hiring and described the…___Department as “an employment agency for the well-connected.’’

Who could the organization be?  Who would engage in such practices?

This article is about the Massachusetts State Probation Department.  But, without this blog mentioning any names, can any readers come up with any other Boston-area organizations whose name might be substituted in the blank?

The Globe article cites strong language by the court, and the criminal penalties could be significant for those involved.

Coincidentally, we have happened to observe the following occurring inside of a certain non-profit religious organization which the state has some oversight for by virtue of it being a tax-exempt organization:

Hiring Politically-Connected Candidates

  • This Catholic non-profit publicly announced a search for a new development chief with names of members of a search committee, when in fact no candidates were interviewed, the position was not advertised in relevant industry publications, and the position went to a person  politically and professionally connected to the search committee chair. The candidate had actually been identified before the search was even announced.
  • This Catholic non-profit hired as head of communications a person who had political and family connections to the PR firm who chaired the search committee.  More qualified candidates not considered.
  • This Catholic non-profit hired as chief financial officer, a person who had connections to a search committee member who happened to have served on the Board with him and profited handsomely from that service at the bank where he was previously CEO.

Overpaying Executive Leaders with General Donor Funds

  • This Catholic non-profit organization hired for a schools administration position, a person whose salary of $325,000/year is higher on a per-student basis than the publicly-disclosed salaries of any other public or parochial school superintendent in the country.  If adjusted on a per-student basis with the closest regional peer, the salary would be $67,000 per year less. The members of the search committee were never publicly disclosed, and sources indicate the person hired for the position may have actually served on the same committee that hired her.

Overlooking Conflicts of Interest

This Catholic non-profit has a “Finance Council” which is supposed to provide objective advice on finances, budgets, hiring/firing of the chief financial officer of the organization, and help with other financial management-related  matters. However…

  • The council’s Conflict of Interest policy is not publicly published.
  • The policy is sufficiently weak or unenforced such that it allowed onto the Council a former board member of the bank where the Catholic non-profit’s chief financial officer had been CEO, as though there was no conflict of interest today.  In the finance council role, that former board member–who personally profited from prior board service with the current chief financial officer–will be asked to objectively assess whether the chief financial officer should have his employment renewed or terminated.

Failing to Abide by Organization’s Own Governance Charter

The “Finance Council” for this Catholic non-profit states in its charter that members must be “Catholics in good standing.” Yet the council of the non-profit apparently violates its own charter by permitting on the council a person who is Chair of a private healthcare company that profits from performing more than 4,000 procedures annually that directly violate a core principle and belief of the Catholic non-profit.  If a “finance council” member of our Catholic non-profit benefits from his leadership of another organization that violates core principles and beliefs of the Catholic Church, how could they be still be “in good standing” with the Catholic organization?  What would it take for a person to not be “in good standing”?

There are many other concerns, but we will stop here for today.  As a commenter noted in our post of yesterday:

people who hold or who held the public’s trust are being dismissed from state government based on their participation in (or acquiescence to), fraudulent search and hiring procedures.

The state’s Supreme Judicial Court said, “Such abuse and corruption are intolerable.”  Prosecutors are being asked to weigh criminal charges.

What if the Catholic non-profit were, hypothetically speaking, the Catholic Archdiocese of Boston?

What is the reaction of the non-profit?

Where is the leader?  What does the leader say about this?

Who will be accountable for these practices?

By coincidence, here is what today’s Gospel says in Luke 19:45-48:

Jesus entered the temple area and proceeded to drive out those who were selling things, saying to them, “It is written, My house shall be a house of prayer, but you have made it a den of thieves.”

Has the house of Jesus been made into a “den of thieves”?

Who will drive out the money-changers?

Stay tuned for more in our next exciting episode.

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29 Responses to “Systemic Corruption”

  1. Angry Parish Council Member says:

    The similiarities between the Boston Probation department and the Archdiocese of Boston are striking. In case you didn’t notice it, our Cardinal Archbishop is in Dublin this week, where he was quoted as saying, “I come to listen to your pain, your anger, but also your hopes and aspirations.”

    Perhaps when he’s back in Beantown, he should take some time to do the same thing. Oh, but after he listens, he needs to actually do something about it. Never mind.

  2. Michael says:

    Maybe we could getting the Attorney General to look into the Archdiocese’s corrupt practices? But then again, maybe not. Isn’t she the one who had a clear conflict of interest in overseeing the sale of Caritas Christi — but ignored it and opined anyway?

  3. PriestsForTransparency.com says:

    Michael –

    Candidly, the suggestion to get the AG involved might be the worst idea ever expressed on this Blog. Why would we want to have someone such militantly pro-abort and anti-Church (to the point where she said faithful Catholics perhaps shouldn’t work in hospitals) inside the management of the Church?

    The way to clean out the corruption in our Church is within. There are enough members of the presbyterate, presbyteral council, cabinet, pastoral center staff, other related agencies that believe the corruption detailed on this Blog exists at the Church. Now they need to step forward with courage and, together, do something about it.

    During the sexual abuse crisis, it was detailed that too few Church leaders spoke up and made sure that the Church took the proper actions to protect children and root out the evil in the priesthood and the chancery.

    Corruption that leads to cronyistic hiring or overpaying “friends of Jack and Jim” isn’t near as serious as the sexual abuse of children. I want to be clear about that. However, there are some similarities in that many “insiders” know that there are wrong (and perhaps evil) things going on and that, for now, not enough are coming together to try to do something about it.

    We are in a time where we need courage. Our Church has many great examples of those who were willing to die for their faith. We need a few white martyrs.

    To those in positions of influence within the church, I’d ask them to make a choice between:
    1. Fighting against the corruption, by speaking up and driving toward change
    2. Enabling the corruption, by not speaking up

    Let’s start with the good folks on the development search committee. You, as much as anyone recently, know how corrupt the church is right now. With the exception of Jack, you all have strong reputations as courageous leaders who will do the right thing. Please do. Please together issue a statement, private or public, to the Cardinal. Show him that the vast majority of people in the church want the “Jack and Jim regime” overturned.

    Let’s then go to the Pastoral Center staff. The Vicar General now wants to hear from Pastoral Center staff and is willing to take tough questions at the staff meeting. So, give him the questions, and then show him that the vast majority of those in the room agree that things need to change. Several pastoral center staff members express their frustration that so few of their colleagues take a public stand even though they know the “Jack and Jim regime” is dismantling Catholic identity and the church. Please do something, or you become a part of the “enabler” camp.

    Let’s then go to our priests. 58 priests gathered together to send a (im)famous letter that was the final straw that led to Cardinal Law’s resignation. That letter represented just about 10 percent of the rcab presbyterate. It’s clear that more than 10 percent of rcab priests know there’s corruption in the “Jack and Jim” regime. All it takes is 1 priest in each vicariate to bring this up at a vicariate meeting and then the guys sign a letter there and have someone hand-deliver it to the Cardinal.

    Let’s then go to the Cabinet. Please look within and judge whether you are an effective body to consult the Cardinal. Or is your ineffectiveness as a group the reason that the Cardinal has established a “kitchen cabinet” of Jack, Jim and friends. Would you be willing to speak up together and discuss these real issues at the next Cabinet meeting?

    The Edmund Burke quote is very appropriate at this moment in time of the Archdiocese of Boston:

    “All it takes for evil to triumph is for good men and women to do nothing”

    • Jack B says:

      The path toward cleaning out the corruption last time was first pointed out by Kristen Lombardi at the Boston Phoenix, followed by the extraordinary Boston Globe team, and not from within the Church. The 58 praiseworthy priests who signed and delivered their letter on December 9, four days before Law resigned, were at the end of the line. http://www.boston.com/globe/spotlight/abuse/stories3/121002_letter.htm
      At that stage, their letter was largely symbolic. Nevertheless, it was an extremely significant symbol because of its source, confirming the deep impact of the long-running corruption that had been revealed.

      Today, with no Kirsten Lombardi at work, you hope for public initiatives from workers whose jobs or futures depend on what they say. Blogging has its effects but mostly on other bloggers. Perhaps this time the priests on the front lines could lead.

    • David Justen says:

      Bravo, Father. I agree that good people must stand up, including our priests, as you say. But then I note that every single priest (or people claiming to be priests, I suppose) writes pseudonymously on this blog. What is it that you all fear? The loss of pastorates? How can we expect anything to change or for the people to rise up and demand change if our spiritual fathers are too timid to do so with courage in their own names?

      I’ve known a lot of priests in my day, most of them fine men of the cloth, but in all candidness too many of them were private complainers and gossipers who were quite willing to name the ills of the Church over a glass of wine and a good meal, but never mustered the gumption to gather their brother-priests together to denounce the ills within the Church in public.

      We are a hierarchical Church, and in Boston especially so, and the laity will not speak without our priests leading us. At best, you will have the withering we have seen over the past four decades as our people melt away from the pews in the absence of spiritual leadership.

      • Hoodwinked Priest says:

        David, my short answer to your question of why many good priests do not stand up is fear.

        We’re not in a normal diocese here. Corruption and deception is present even at the Cardinal’s level, where he knew the “search” for a new development chief was a “sham search” as this blog calls it and allowed priests and everyone in the archdiocese to be deceived. The Vicar General propagated it too. The judicial vicar bends canon law to suit the agenda put upon him instead of upholding canon law and forcing others to change their agenda. The Cardinal allows the Holy Fathers’ words to be twisted to suit Jack Connors’ agenda, and is allowing principles of subsidiarity to be summarily flushed when it suits the needs of the day. Priests’ reputations are trampled, as the rule here is that you’re publicly presumed guilty until proven innocent. I feel I could be pulled out of my assignment at any time due to either a false accusation of abuse or because I might say the wrong thing to the Chancellor. Our Archbishop is more concerned with blogging his travel and social itinerary than he is about meeting with priests and governing. Seems there’s corruption even on the Finance Council.

        I agree something dramatically different needs to happen in Boston. But I don’t see it realistic that priests will write a public letter complaining to the Cardinal about his governance shortcomings.

        It’s very easy for a lay person to write “Hey Father, be bold, stand up and don’t worry about the consequences or threats of retaliation.” I agree priests need to speak up, but the lay people, especially donors, are the ones who actually don’t have retaliation to fear. Have you written to the Cardinal or to your regional bishop about these matters? Did you get any response?

        If donors started to tell the Cardinal they were holding back on their donations until the “Jack and Jim” regime is disbanded, and if pastors also joined together and started holding back on direct-deposit payments to the Central administration until the same happened, maybe we would start to see things change.

        Bad publicity and money are the two things I see moving Cardinal Sean to act on things. If anyone else has evidence to the contrary on how to drive change with the current regime, I will be delighted to eat my words, just as Jack O’Malley was when the BCI campaign succeeded and Bishop Kicanas lost.

      • PriestsForTransparency.com says:

        David – Fair question. I can’t speak for the other priests on this blog, but I’ll explain the 2 reasons I write anonymously (at least for now):

        1. Writing anonymously places the focus on the message, not the messenger. Unfortunately in our political church environment, who says something matters more than what someone says. That’s why Connors’ lousy ideas get implemented because those in power think his ideas must be brilliant, simply because they come from him. Every on-the-record-priest’s comments on this blog will be colored by how those in 66 brooks drive perceive that priest. Better to simply focus on the message.

        2. I believe ONE priest’s perspective will be dismissed, unless that priest is somehow “very connected” and I’m certainly not. But priests banding together will have influence. When many brothers are willing to stand with me, I’ll go on the record. But I think the 10% threshhold (at a minimum) is necessary.

        What “hoodwinked priest” below says about fear is also present to an extent. It doesn’t take much to completely railroad a priest these days but it’s almost impossible to railroad 10% of the presbyterate.

  4. Michael Cole says:

    And who will drive out Lavender Cronyism and the Sodomite agenda?

    http://lasalettejourney.blogspot.com/2010/11/archdiocese-of-boston-saying-yes-to.html

    • PriestsForTransparency.com says:

      To Jim / BCI –

      This comment has nothing to do with this blogpost and is simply meant to promote another blog. I’d recommend that this post from Michael Cole gets deleted.

      Thanks.

  5. Carolyn says:

    Here are a couple of thoughts:

    BCI sticks to a pretty steady diet of the crisis in governance of the Archdiocese of Boston. Good choice as you can feast on that indefinitely, thanks to the commission and omission team running the RCAB.

    Having observed some of these folks over time, there is no lavender agenda — it’s only about the green stuff, namely money and the influence it buys.

    Now if our problem were that the major problem makers were all men dating each other, that would be a lavender agenda. In terms of the profound conflicts of interest, squandering of diocesan patrimony and outright conversion of assets, the agenda is pure green.

    If there is a blog that deals with priests thumbing their noses at their vows, there may well be people who are interested in that (likely everyone should be) and will read and comment there. But this blog is about demi-billionaires and their scurrying minions draining the patrimony of my Archdiocese. So it’s not a bad call to keep comments and posting on topic over here.

    Oops, there goes another asset while we weren’t looking… if tainted governance and total disregard for fiduciary duty are going be ebbed, we can’t afford to let this blog be distracted.

  6. PriestsForTransparency.com says:

    Michael/John/Roger –

    This post by BCI had 4 topics:
    1. Hiring Politically-Connected Candidates
    2. Overpaying Executive Leaders with General Donor Funds
    3. Overlooking Conflicts of Interest
    4. Failing to Abide by Organization’s Own Governance Charter

    La Salette Journey had a post today on homosexuality within the presbyterate that Michael linked to. I think most readers would see that link as a way to drive traffic to La Salette Journey and take this discussion off topic.

    That’s all I’m saying. Stick to the topic of the blog. Your comments should be on LaSaletteJourney’s post which covered this topic. You’re trying hard to see an “agenda” in my comments. My only agenda is to encourage you to stick to the topic at hand and encourage BCI to moderate comments in a way that people stick on topic.

  7. Objective Observer says:

    BCI, you’ve done it again. When I heard the quotes from the Probation Department investigation report on the radio today while driving to the “Recycling Center” (sounds so much higher tax bracket than “dump” doesn’t it?), I about drove off the road. Martha, no less, reading the script about “pay to play” and “undue influence” and “conflict of interest,” clucking her tongue and ready to pounce.

    Martha, Martha, Martha! Shamed into “looking into” a probation department under YOUR jurisdiction that YOU let run amok, no surprise that you STILL turn a blind eye to a pair of public charities (Caritas Christi and RCAB), also under your jurisdiction, being hi-Jacked.

    • Michael says:

      Did you know that Martha Martha Martha actually appoints the members of the ethics commission. Gee I wonder why the ethics commission found no conflict of interest/ethical violation in her participation in the Cartias Christi sale?

  8. Michael Cole says:

    No PFT.com, this blog post is about systemic corruption. And a large part of that systemic corruption is the lavender network. Read BHE’s latest post. I wasn’t attempting to promote La Salette Journey. I was attempting to add something relevant to this topic. But for some strange reason you have an animus against Paul Melanson. Mr. Melanson’s Blog hardly needs me to promote it.

    No, you want to move the discussion away from the taboo sbject of the homosexual network and its role in all of this corruption. This makes me suspect your motives.

    When links to Bryan Hehir Exposed were posted at this Blog, you didn’t complain. Likewise links to other blogs and websites have been posted. And again you didn’t complain. Interesting.

    I’ve seen posts from Mr. Melanson promoting this Blog on Facebook as well as on his own Blog. I guess I should tell him to stop doing so. Perhaps Catholics in and around Boston aren’t really interested in working together. I didn’t realize this was all about self-promotion. I thought it was a team effort. Am I wrong?

    • Lazarus' Table says:

      Remember Richard Nixon once saying, “If the President does it, it is not illegal”?
      You think any of the folks at 66 Brooks have any notion of “corrupt”,”dishonest” or “unethical”? If THEY do something, it cannot be morally questionable. They do it for God and the Church. They’ve got Him in their back pocket.

  9. Happy Feast of Christ the King!

    We were tending to other obligations all day yesterday and are just back online. Thank you to Carolyn and PFT for your comments to try and steer the discussion back on-track in the absence of our moderating or commenting yesterday.

    Allow us to take a moment to share a little on our philosophy with posts and comments. This could be a post in and of itself, but we will keep it in comments for now.

    As most readers know by now and was stated above in comments by others, we try to stick to the governance crisis in the Archdiocese of Boston. That spans the likes of sham searches, corruption, deception, over-inflated salaries, mis-spending of money, conflicts of interest, cronyism, abdication of responsibility, and other ethical lapses the folks at 66 Brooks Drive commit that we could never have envisioned until it happens. That keeps us plenty busy. We independently verify tips we receive and look for some kind of documentation before we post something, even if we cannot always share the source of that documentation to protect sources.

    For the USCCB election, we decided to cover that after prayerful consideration because the situation seemed rather clear-cut, it was objectively troubling (at least to us and a lot of our readers), we thought we could offer unique value-add, and we were able to find extensive written documentation that our readers could reference themselves in order to reach their own conclusion. No one disputed that the lead candidate for president, Bishop Kicanas, had approved ordaining a seminarian even after receiving 3 allegations of sexual improprieties (including one with a minor). No one disputed that after the seminarian was ordained a priest, he went on to abuse as many as 23 boys and was jailed and defrocked. For the Boston Catholic Insider bloggers and anyone concerned about the problem of child sexual abuse, Kicanas’ published comment–“There was a sense that his activity was part of the developmental process…I was more concerned about his drinking”–was very troubling. His last-minute attempt to clarify and distance himself from his published comments 3 years after the fact (only when his ascent to the presidency role was suddenly in jeopardy) left logical loopholes that did not hold water with us. Our readers and contributers expressed interest in the topic when we put it out on a long list of topics on Nov. 8. Once we dug in, we thought we could provide some unique insights and value-add in areas where other media outlets and bloggers were not focusing. Our website traffic from Nov. 11 through the election on Nov. 16 and the results from the “Red Alert” suggest that we made a good call.

    As PFT said, we had 4 topics on this list of governance-related corruption. (There were more governance-related topics we thought of including, but it made the post too long, so those will come shortly). We do ask readers to stick to the topic at hand here–especially when there are other blogs or venues that have taken up another topic that may come up here in our comments. There is a spirit of collaboration across the Catholic blogsphere, so cross-links to other bloggers’ content is a common courtesy, and something that we think is a worthwhile practice. It makes sense to us that if another topic is covered in-depth on another blog, the best venue for discussing that topic with people who want to engage on that specific topic would be that other blog. Maybe readers will discover related areas of interest there which will make them a regular reader of that other blog, and that is a good thing.

    So, if someone wants to comment on homosexuality within the presbyterate as referenced in the Lasalette Journey link, we urge you to make that blog and the associated post your place to visit and comment on that topic. Furthermore, just to warn readers in advance, if you want to comment on the Pope’s latest published comments about the use of condoms to reduce the spread of AIDS, there are now countless other places to do that as well–please do us a favor and use those other venues, and you will be rewarded by having a much more meaningful dialogue.

    We hope this explanation helps clarify some of the philosophy behind the choice of governance-related topics we take up on the blog. We are putting the blog topics and content to prayer on a daily basis, and in the end, we make a call on what we think will be of interest to readers and help clean-up the corruption in the archdiocese so the saving ministry of Jesus Christ and good works of the Catholic Church can continue. We reserve the right to make the final call on where we go–hopefully it is the right one most of the time, but sometimes we make a wrong one. (e.g. that the compensation committee initially seemed like a decent idea). We know you will let us know via email or public comments when you think we have made the wrong call!

    Now back to Sunday obligations.

  10. SAd Boston Priest says:

    PriestsForTransparency:
    I assure you more than one priest has been ‘black-balled’ and slandered for speaking his mind !!!
    I personally have felt the the poison of the clerical elite for threatening their secrets!
    The evil is clearly WITHIN!!!

  11. Salvador Mundi says:

    The probation dept is a government department. Quid pro quo hiring political appointees for money is illegal. This is the Church. There is no law preventing a hiring of a pre-approved candidate with no other search. Maybe it is not the way you like this, but they can hire whomever they want so long as they don’t discriminate against someone under a protected status. In fact, we would all be up in arms if the State tried to prevent the Bishop from appointing whomever he wanted as a matter of principle. The problem is that to treat the Church as a not for profit business is what has started all the problems you complain of. This is the Bride of Christ here, not a business. Let’s start remembering this. Only those who aspire to holiness and pray should be making decisions about who to hire and how to spend the collection plate money.
    Thank you.

  12. Michael Cole says:

    I’m sure that “PriestsForTransparency” will call for this comment to be deleted as he did my previous comment. But it needs to be said. Carolyn, in an earlier comment left at this thread, said that there is no lavender agenda. And “PriestsForTransparency” said any discussion of this issue doesn’t belong at THIS forum.

    Why then did Boston Catholic Insider publish these words a while back:

    “Our post ‘Injustice? Inconsistency?’ (about how priests are treated by the Archdiocese in various situations)…
    [Text was copied by Michael, but if people want to reference a blog post by us in comments, we prefer that hyperlinks be used instead of copying huge blocks of text] http://bostoncatholicinsider.wordpress.com/2010/07/11/injustice-inconsistency/

    …the homosexual network IS part of the systemic corruption. If Boston Catholic Insider doesn’t believe this, why did it publish this earlier post. I am truly confused.

    • Michael,
      We started the blog on June 23, nearly 5 months ago, and as of later today, we will have posted our 80th post. You referenced our 7th post at 18 days in, on July 11. We stand by everything we have posted, but if you have been following this blog since then, you will see we have not returned to that topic. We have nothing new to share on that beyond what we posted back on July 11, when we had not even yet used the word “corruption” on this blog. You and/or others may view it as fitting within the title from Friday of “systemic corruption,” (which came from the complaint about the state probation department on Friday) but we ask that you and others writing comments not try to put words in our mouth.

      We respect the work that others are doing on their blogs and indicated in our last comment that since other blogs have posted on that topic and that is not the topic of this post, those other blogs would be the best place to take up that dialogue. Some of these other blogs moderate comments and decide what they wish to make public–we have not made that our practice. If you would like to continue taking up this topic, please write to us via email.

    • Carolyn says:

      As I read it, the entry Michael cites was about inconsistent treatment of priests — that those (few) who have boyfriends seem to get a hall pass, while those (few) who have had girlfriends are drummed from the corps. So you’re right, there was a reference to incense and lavender there, tangentially, a long time ago.

      The fundamental area of discussion on BCI, in that post and every other, is that the governance of the Archdiocese of Boston has succumbed to a profound set of conflicts of interest, with the blog’s intense focus on a lack of integrity in the control and handling of Archdiocesan assets (hospitals, real estate, money and those who is actually controlling them in lieu of the ordinary). There seems to be no end to the examples of this horror show.

      In order to drill all the way down into what has happened, is happening, and well might happen with what appears to be a dreadful chain of illegal activity and its enabling lack of legal enforcement, BCI stays on point. Lord knows there are plenty of other issues to explore, and thank Heaven there are blogs to explore them. Priests who are not chaste; lay people who store their sacraments with their “holiday” decorations and trot them out for Easter and Christmas; “social justice” agendas that do not believe that a beating heart represents life; and the encroachment of intolerance for religion in our culture, would all make great blogs (and do).

      Getting to the truth about the failure of governance in the RCAB will, to a certain extent, indicate that the barn door needs locking before the last horse is stolen. We’ve witnessed an unprecedented squandering of patrimony, an untenable dark pressure on parishes and their leadership, and an unbelievable abdication of fiduciary duty in the governance of this Archdiocese. My hope is that whoever writes BCI, and whoever those who post here, will stick to their objectives: what’s happened, how to make people aware of it, and how to replace the current system with one that the lay and ordained in this Archdiocese want and deserve — integrity and industry at every level on behalf of the people of God.

      When I see the long hours and diligent research that go into the authorship of BCI, and the excellence of thought and authorship, it compels me to support it by staying within the topic parameters requested by BCI.

  13. BostonMagisterialCatholic says:

    I don’t think anyone is trying to put words into anyone’s mouth. Michael simply quoted one of BCI’s own posts which highlights a lack of integrity and practices which indeed are part of the corruption. Thanks Michael.

  14. John D. says:

    I’m confused by the arithmetic for the following:
    ” person whose salary of $325,000/year is higher on a per-student basis than the publicly-disclosed salaries of any other public or parochial school superintendent in the country.”

    Can you restate the student count you are using? I thought the diocese had about 55,000 students. If so, that works out to $5.91/student. That’s higher than Boston Public but much less than Brockton or Lowell.

    I still think it’s an excessive salary but I want to make sure the assertions of just how excessive are accurate.

    • The archdiocese’s published stats say there are 43,000 students in Catholic schools.If you type Mary Grassa O’Neill’s name in the search box on this blog, you will find several posts that document the math and exactly why we keep saying she is overpaid.

      • John D. says:

        Thanks for the pointer to search on the name. I did that and found the reference to some of the comparisons with other superintendents. As I said above, I agree with you that the salary is excessive. I don’t think it is accurate to say she is paid more per-student than “any other public or parochial school superintendent”.

        I’ve said enough on this but I think it is absolutely critical to avoid overstating the case.

  15. Jack B says:

    `BCI is nearly unique among “Catholic blogs” in sticking to business, literally. Its disciplined focus over 5 months is extraordinary compared to most others, somehow avoiding the customary entanglement in sexual and theological arcana. (The Kircanas excursion can be understood in that everyone was doing it and everyone needs a break now and then. And one sloppy sentence per month is certainly allowed by the fundamental principles of bloggery.)

    BCI should be encouraged in its data-driven focus on a real, serious problem and not criticized for ignoring all the other interesting problems out there, which are available to anyone that wants to take them on.

    • Jack B,
      Thanks so much for the very kind words. We know we have a tough audience here and we can’t please everyone with a blog of this nature, so the positive feedback about our approach and focus is really valuable and gratifying to hear!

      To our readers, it has come to our attention today that several of the comments from Nov. 20 pushing the perspective that homosexuality should be part of “systemic corruption” were very likely made by the same person writing under different screen/display-names. Fool me twice, shame on me. Those comments have been moderated out.

      Writing this blog along with other responsibilities represents a big commitment, and we do not always have the time to watch and moderate comments all day and all evening. We appreciate those readers and comment contributors who have tried to help us maintain some sense of Boston Catholic Insider topical focus in the comments, and we would ask that people who want us to go in another direction please limit themselves to one user identity and just voice your perspective once.

  16. [...] This started out as a short post, but just kept growing. As you know, we started with “Systemic Corruption,” then have moved to the “Top 10 Ways the Finance Council is Conflicted, [...]

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