The news of Friday that Cardinal O’Malley is reappointing chancellor Jim McDonough to another 5-year term still has us dumbstruck. We assume this is at a continued cost of $1.25 million for 5 years, including 6 weeks of paid vacation annually. BCI is still wrapping our hands around all of this, as well as the Code of Conduct policy, so we are going to just give you a few initial reactions to these developments. We do this, in part, so the leadership of the archdiocese–especially Cardinal O’Malley–can be aware of how such decisions affect the Catholic faithful.
For those who like pictures, here are a few that capture our first reaction about the decision and potential impact to the archdiocese:
Once we got past that, then we moved on to feeling this way about the decision:
Amidst our confusion over the message being sent, then we began to question the decision-making skills of our Cardinal. We found it difficult to not conclude this makes a strong statement about the judgment of Cardinal O’Malley. For whatever reason, apparently he is NOT learning from experience and previous bad judgments:
Then there is the reaction of Chancellor Jim McDonough to the BCI campaign, captured here by an alert Pastoral Center worker on Thursday afternoon:
We have it on good word that the Chancellor was so miffed at the campaign asking the Cardinal to not renew his term that he pushed his cabinet colleagues to rush and put out the announcement on Friday, especially to get back at BCI and those who felt objectively he should not continue in his position.
That reaction, of course, formed the basis for the Vicar General’s opening comments in the announcement:
“We are very grateful to Jim for his inspirational service to Christ and His Church…We are blessed by Jim’s steady, professional and committed leadership.”
Aside from those reactions, we thought it was all great news!! (Just kidding)
Seriously, this decision further confirms the governance crisis and leadership vacuum in the Archdiocese of Boston. It also confirms concerns many people have had about Cardinal O’Malley’s judgment and the quality of his decision-making.
It is actually good that people now know the situation in Boston for exactly what it is. It is difficult for anyone to believe any longer that the current situation is just a matter of bad hiring decisions made a few years ago. We can no longer expect that if the Cardinal has learned from those decisions and now puts good people into these key roles, the future will be well-assured. That is not the case.
Through this decision and the email communication, is the Cardinal saying he likes what he has? Apparently so. What about when people complain and try to speak the truth about what is wrong? Based on the “in your face” nature of the announcement, apparently he does not care about hearing the truth or dealing with it either.
The Cardinal has read the blog and your emails and faxes, he is aware of the dishonesty, deception, conflicts of interest, cronyism, ethical breaches, under-funding of pensions, reneging on promises, and excessive 6-figure salaries that squander the assets and temporal goods of the Church. Since there has been no corrective action and the Chancellor’s term has been renewed, apparently the Cardinal is comfortable with all this continuing. How these behaviors and practices reconcile with the newly released Code of Conduct is a mystery to us.
So, we feel the BCI initiative has succeeded–at least in so far as it now lays out clearly the landscape and what we have to deal with.
In this seemingly hopeless situation, how do we seek and find the face of Christ? How should each faithful Catholic respond to this?
Situations like this are opportunities to turn even moreso to Christ in prayer. We take comfort in turning to the Blessed Virgin Mary, who shall crush Satan’s head (Gen: 3:15), and to St. Michael the Archangel. How are the BCI bloggers and BCI readers all called to learn and grow? Is this preparation for yet a greater battle ahead? What does God call us to do in response to grow in holiness and continue building the Kingdom of God?
More coming later.