Daughters’ Lawsuit Against Cardinal Settled, But…

The Archdiocese of Boston and the Daughters of St. Paul issued what was called a “joint statement” yesterday announcing that they have settled the nuns’ lawsuit against Cardinal Sean P. O’Malley and other trustees of its lay pension plan.   The Boston Globe and AP reported on the news of the settlement, and though the average reader might assume everything is now all well and good, that is far from the truth. What was not reported is the collateral damage the Daughters have suffered internally from how Cardinal O’Malley and the archdiocese reacted to the bad publicity over the lawsuit. Your prayers are needed for all parties involved.

First we will cover what has been said publicly about the settlement, and then the collateral damage.  From the Boston Globe we hear the following:

The Daughters, an international order of nuns whose North American headquarters is in Jamaica Plain, sued late last year to force the archdiocese to hand over the investments the Daughters had made in the archdiocese’s pension plan on behalf of the order’s lay employees.

The archdiocese did not disclose the amount of the settlement, but its statement said the agreement “included a transfer of the Archdiocese Pension Plan assets allocable to the Daughters of St. Paul to a new pension plan administered by the Daughters” and that it would “allow the Daughters to independently provide retirement benefits to their current and former employees.”

The Daughters claim they have been trying to extricate their lay employees’ assets from the church-run fund for years so that they could control the investments themselves. They had maintained they were owed nearly $1.4 million, based on their estimates of the value of their assets in 2007. In the lawsuit, they also claimed the archdiocese failed to maintain proper records of their assets.

Here is the “Joint Statement” issued by the Archdiocese:

May 25, 2011- Joint Statement from the Daughters of St. Paul and the Archdiocese of Boston

The Trustees of the Archdiocese of Boston Pension Plan and the Daughters of St. Paul are pleased to announce that as a result of the diligent efforts of all involved, a mutually satisfactory resolution to their differences has been reached.  As a result, on May 10, 2011, the parties jointly requested the court to dismiss the complaint filed by the Daughters in December 2010.  Click here for a copy of that joint filing.

The settlement, which included a transfer of the Archdiocese Pension Plan assets allocable to the Daughters of St. Paul to a new pension plan administered by the Daughters, will allow the Daughters to independently provide retirement benefits to their current and former employees.

The relationship between the Archdiocese of Boston and the Daughters of St. Paul, which began in the 1950s, when Cardinal Cushing welcomed the Daughters into the Archdiocese by giving them a bookstore in South Boston and a retreat house in Billerica, continues to be a strong and positive one.  Many Sisters in the community generously contribute to media initiatives around the Archdiocese, appearing on the new Catholic Radio station, WQOM 1060 AM, participating in Catholic media symposia and workshops, providing a source for Catholic media through their Pauline Book & Media center in Dedham and sharing their stories of faith on the Archdiocesan website’s Delegate for Religious home page. The Sisters also actively support the Archdiocese Pro-Life Office in countless ways.

The Archdiocese looks forward to continuing the tradition of having priests of the Archdiocese of Boston celebrate daily Mass for the Daughters at their chapel in Jamaica Plain as we work together to deepen and strengthen our common Faith.

(Interesting that no one from the Daughters of St. Paul is quoted in the “joint statement,” but we digress…)

The above represents just half the story. Though the two sides came to a mutually agreeable settlement, all but one of the provincial leadership team at the Daughters were removed from their leadership roles, apparently as a consequence of the archdiocese’s reaction to the lawsuit and media coverage of it.

In the interest of full disclosure, BCI has never requested permission or approval from the Daughters to report on this situation, and the Daughters declined to comment for this story. So here is some additional background as BCI understands it from other sources:

  • Claims by Cardinal O’Malley  to not have known about pending lawsuit are in dispute. Cardinal O’Malley has acknowledged he knew there was a problem–he received correspondence from the Daughters about the pension issue several years ago, he has said he quickly responded that the archdiocese would help them, and asked his staff to meet with the Daughters, which they did on multiple occasions.Though he has claimed to Pastoral Center employees and priests that the Daughters never let him or the Vicar General know they were dissatisfied with the progress of negotiations until they filed the lawsuit, his claim that he was unaware of the Daughters’ level of dissatisfaction is in dispute. This March 21 article in the Globe quoted the Daughters’ lawyer as saying the lawsuit was pursued only as a last resort, and “The Daughters of St. Paul are just as unhappy as they can be about having to do this.”  Several sources tell BCI that the claim by the Cardinal suggesting he was oblivious to the prospect of a lawsuit does not hold water. A reasonable person might ask any of the following questions: Did the Cardinal intentionally disengage and delegate or abdicate responsibility?  Did he not insist his staff keep him informed?  Did his staff keep this from him?  Did he know the Daughters felt they had exhausted everything but he did not accept that they were serious about the prospect of a lawsuit?  Or did he indeed know exactly what was coming from first-hand conversations, but he is just not acknowledging it?
  • Cardinal escalated situation to Daughters’ Superior General: After the lawsuit was filed and the Globe and other publications reported on it, the Cardinal was displeased with the negative media exposure and contacted the Superior General of the Daughters in Italy, Sr. Maria Antonieta Bruscato, to complain about the action. He had met her previously, as described in this 2008 entry on his blog. (“Then, I met with the superior general of the Daughters of St. Paul, Sister Maria Antonieta Bruscato. She is from southern Brazil, so we spoke Portuguese at the luncheon.”).  When a religious sister gets a call from a Cardinal, the hierarchical “red hat” is usually taken very seriously. That is what happened in this situation.
  • First mediation session ended without resolution. As BCI reported in “Pension Contention,” the first mediation session held March 29 ended without meaningful progress.  But substantial progress towards settlement was made in subsequent discussions through early May.
  • Superior General came to the U.S. earlier this month. Most of the U.S. provincial leadership team was removed.  Among the things BCI understands the Superior General did either before coming to Boston or after arriving was to consult with some of the other sisters here about the provincial leadership team. The provincial leadership team serves a three-year term, and the term of the 5-member team was to be ending in July. The Superior General appoints the team, and has the prerogative to renew terms if she wishes. This is objective, factual information (as evidenced here: “term is three years, with the possibility of being appointed to a second consecutive term”). Independent of the pension situation, BCI was aware of great things the provincial leadership team had accomplished during their term keeping the retail bookstores going during a down economy, releasing iPhone apps, and continuing the publishing, recording and evangelization initiatives. Despite these accomplishments, despite previous indications that the terms would be renewed and despite the level of confidence in the provincial leadership team we understand the Superior General found from the other sisters, BCI understands that the Superior General ignored this input and removed all but one of the team from their leadership roles effective immediately. This included the U.S. provincial superior, whose biography published upon her being named provincial for the U.S. and Toronto can be found here. (Masters in non-profit management from Notre Dame, bachelors degree from Emerson, previously was superior in Hawaii,  entered the convent at 17-years-old, spent 16 of her 30 years with the community in central governing positions, 13 as the provincial treasurer and three as a member of the provincial governing council).
  • Morale at the motherhouse in Jamaica Plain and in the U.S. province is not good right now.  Your prayers for the Daughters are much needed.

We have assembled this information over the course of several weeks and believe it to be accurate, but if anyone from the Daughters or the archdiocese has facts that dispute anything above, please let us know and we will be glad to make a correction.

It is difficult to look at what has transpired right now and feel this is a good outcome. The Daughters tried to resolve the dispute with the archdiocese over pensions for their lay employees for 5 years, as a last resort they filed a lawsuit, BCI wrote about it since we discovered it was public information on an archdiocesan website, the Globe and other papers picked-up the story, the Cardinal and his team got upset by the bad PR, he used the hierarchical “red hat” to push the Superior General to intervene, and the settlement that was nearly done before the Superior General arrived in the U.S. validated all of the merits of the Daughters’ original claim.  And by all indications, the end result of the Cardinal’s call to the Superior General complaining about the legal action was the removal of a dedicated, talented U.S. provincial leadership team 2 months before their three-year term was to have ended.  The Cardinal and his spokespeople will no doubt deny that his outreach to the Superior General was intended to take out the U.S. provincial leadership. However, whether an intended consequence or not, it is tough to not see the outcome for those provincial leaders as some form of retaliation by the archdiocese, the Cardinal, and his advisors.

BCI wonders if and when the Cardinal will ever publicly take responsibility for his actions and those of the archdiocese. The fact is that the Daughters of St. Paul tried for 5 years to resolve this matter with the Archdiocese of Boston and filed a lawsuit against the trustees of the pension fund as a last resort. Yet, the Cardinal’s comments about this situation and others typically have a tone of casting blame on others.  We do not ever hear him say something such as, “I realize that I screwed up”  or “My team did not address this issue in an expedient manner” or  “My team did not escalate this appropriately to me” or  “We mistakenly did not take seriously enough the indications the Daughters were frustrated and about to file a lawsuit.”  Instead, the tone and actions come across as casting the responsibility on others–they did not tell me, the media is to blame, etc.

BCI and thousands to tens of thousands of faithful Catholics clearly see an episcopal leadership void in the Archdiocese of Boston. For whatever reason, responsibilities for day-to-day leadership and management of the archdiocese appear to be almost entirely relegated, delegated, or abdicated to the likes of Chancellor Jim McDonough and his minions, Fr. Bryan Hehir, and Jack Connors.  What faithful Catholics see of the Archbishop of Boston is mostly travel and blogging about the travel. The organizational casualties to the Daughters are but one consequence of this situation. There are many others of even graver magnitude.

When will something change in Boston?  Will Cardinal O’Malley do something to repair the damage inflicted on the Daughters of St. Paul by this ordeal so they can most effectively continue their ministry? More importantly, will he acknowledge the governance problems under his watch and ask the Holy See to quickly help fill the void?

We urge our readers to continue to support the Daughers of St. Paul and pray for the Daughters, the Cardinal, and the Archdiocese of Boston. We suggest the beautiful words of the Memorare as a good starting point.

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33 Responses to Daughters’ Lawsuit Against Cardinal Settled, But…

  1. DBP says:

    Two words: collateral damage.

    The reputations of the members of the leadership team, along with the morale of the Daughters as a whole, had to suffer so that the image of the Archdiocese of Boston would not.

    No one should be surprised. It’s the same tactic employed for years: parents of victims of sexual abuse were tarred as “hysterical” and “mentally ill;” those who questioned the orthodoxy or fidelity of those in charge were branded “intolerant” or “mentally ill;” and all were flattened by the machine that exists only to exist, a bureaucracy beholden not even to Christ.

    Someone needs to hold up the picture of a bruised, beaten, bloody Christ (the image in “The Passion of the Christ” comes to mind) in front of His Eminence, and ask him if he recognizes his flock.

  2. Pension Pete says:

    I hope the Daughters got their fair share and that they do a far better job of protecting those who work in their ministry than the Cardinal Archbishop of Boston does for his staff. I expect, like all other things in this transparent Archdiocese, the terms of the settlement will never be released. It’s a fair bet that, to help the Cardinal, the trustees released the Daughters from their overall responsibility to fund the Plan for all employees not just theirs.
    Its just another hidden result of the Trustees conflicts of interest. At least it benefits a truly Catholic organization.

  3. Lost Soul says:

    If His Emminence was unaware of the problem or any problems with the Daughters of St. Paul, he should be looking to have heads roll because his senior staff messed up. They evidently did not think that it was important to keep him apprised of the situation. If it were a person in the trenches or under the gun, God help that person. And speaking of pension problems, when did the Lay Pension Plan get healthy enough that it can farm out the clerical and dispersal work to one of the more expensive custodial firms around? Does this move save money for the Plan?

    • Another former employee says:

      I am assuming that when you mention when did the pension plan get healthy enough to farm out the clerical and administrative work to one of the most expensive custodial firms around you are referring to the letter that retirees received this week telling them that State Street Bank will be issuing the monthly checks. There is no way this move saves them money!

  4. Jackie says:

    This just stinks.
    I will pray for the Daughters who have been disheartened by this.
    When, oh when, will Cardinal Sean take responsibility for all that’s happening on his watch, under his shepherdship?

  5. Son of Roscommon says:

    The Chancellor of the Archdiocese of Boston has “pushed a button” on the Daughters of St. Paul. The Daughters of St. Paul are a grace-filled group of nuns living in the heart of the city that is our home. We know them to be spirit-filled sowers of the word of God. We know the leadership of the Daughters of St. Paul to have given the full measure of commitment to their task. Now, after five years of patient remonstration with the financial managers of the Archdiocese — including the Chancellor — over the proper management of the pension funds for their lay employees, they were forced to bring suit against the Archdiocese. They did not do this seeking any gain for themselves or their employees. They sought only a fair share of the pie to which the contributions of their employees entitled them. They did not seek any publicity for this, for their suit remained out of the public media for many months after it was filed. Now we learn, through the efforts of the Archdiocese, and its specific retribution for the suit brought by the daughters, their leadership has been dismissed. How can this be? How can it be that the leadership of the Archdiocese of Boston seeks to punish other righteous Catholics who seek nothing more than to protect those within their charge? How can it be that these things are done in the name of the Cardinal Archbishop of Boston? How can we tolerate these things? How can we stop these things?

    • Objective Observer says:

      The most sickening phrase of all in the news release language referred to the fact that the Daughters will continue to enjoy having their sacramental life provided by Boston diocesan priests.

      Why in God’s name would you mention that unless you had threatened to withhold their sacraments? You wouldn’t. Was it interdict or your usual passive-aggressive indifference that would have led to the Daughters being without their sacraments? Had you tried to deprive them, Sean, the queue of Boston priests lining up in defiance of their ordinary to celebrate Mass, hear confessions and anoint the sick for the Daughters would have stretched out the door and all the way down Saint Paul Avenue.

      Sean, desist. Beg the forgiveness of the Daughters. Then beg the forgiveness of their employees. Then pack your bags, go to Rome and beg for a new assignment. Or are Capuchins above begging?

  6. anna says:

    “How can it be that these things are done in the name of the Cardinal Archbishop of Boston?”

    The removal of the leadership of the Daughters was not done ‘in the name of the Cardinal Archbishop’, the Cardinal Archbishop was the architect of that result.

    He is the party of the first part.

  7. [...] Daughters of Saint Paul & Archdiocese Settle Lawsuit, But. . . – Boston Cthlc Insider [...]

    • Carolyn says:

      What a coincidence!

      The cardinal archbishop of Boston calls the Mother General of the FSPs in from Rome, and instantly the Daughters drop the suit, settle and are stripped of their leadership; a leadership who were elected by their sisters in this province.

      And Sean had nothing to do with it? Imagine…

      Three pieces of advice:

      To the Daughters, who could not be more devout, intelligent, or gifted women: There are other orders where you could be happy. If the head of your order can do such violence to your community out of fear of a red hat’s tantrum, and cannot comprehend a civil matter you are duty bound to pursue on behalf of your employees, maybe it’s time for a new order. Or a new MG.

      To the People of God of this particular Church: Don’t write to the nuncio or to the Congregation for Bishops to complain about Sean Patrick Cardinal O’Malley. Write to them to describe what we need in our next archbishop. Tell them what you like about other bishops in the U.S. who are capable of doing the job without the passive aggressive hijinks Sean gets put up to by McDonough and his real bosses. Think about Dolan’s ability to speak the truth without flinching. Think about Olmsted’s energy and willingness to deal with the messy edges of the intersection of the civil and the ecclesial. Those could be some great letters.

      To Sean Cardinal O’Malley, and your inglorious inner circle: You can’t spin it any more. You can’t even fix it by forcing yourself to be cordial at Confirmations and other gatherings. For every person who asks to have their photo taken with you, there are ten Mass-going, genuflecting Catholics who would cross the street to avoid you. Eight years of wishing, hoping, excusing, ignoring, forgiving and tolerating you is about five years too many. Go. Just give us time to figure out what we need in an archbishop, and send that fervent desire in a letter to Marc Cardinal Ouellet… who, by the way, led Quebec brilliantly while being pilloried by the secular relativists. Maybe all we would need to write in the letter describing our need, is “Someone just like you, Cardinal Ouellet.”

  8. Catholic Gal says:

    So the facts are these:

    1. When the Daughters tried to get the Cardinal’s help to resolve an issue of justice, he simply referred them to staff. It was too much for him to bother with.

    2. When the Daughters were forced to take legal action, and as a result the Cardinal got some bad publicity, he went to the Superior General to get the leadership team taken out.

    Draw your own conclusions. Mine is that he cares more about his ego than he does about doing justice.
    Shame on him. We need a real shepherd here, not someone who acts like this.

    This is the same modus operandi at work during the sexual abuse scandal. Silence and shame those who speak up for truth and justice.
    When will the Church ever learn?

  9. QC Guy says:

    good thing ‘himself’ speaks Portugese along with the other ‘Catholic’ languages . makes it easier to speak directly !

  10. anonymous says:

    “Thou shall not bear false witness against thy neighbor”

    Terry (Pinocchio) Donilon doesn’t abide by this commandment. No one at 66 Brooks Drive does.

    It’s good that O’Malley knows more than one language. He can undoubtedly lie in them all.

  11. James B. Poynton says:

    Having had the extremely positive experience of working with the wonderful, faith filled Sisters of the Daughters of St. Paul and being a person who believes in and my Catholic faith, I am appalled at this who episode.
    Rome should be totally involved in providing remedial action to this! The whole of it goes to the basic tenants of the teachings of Jesus – “Love Thy Neighbor” and “Forgive Thy Neighbor.”
    This strikes me as something that existed back in England when the Bishops “controlled much”- including the brothels on the other side of the Thames.
    I do not perceive “priestly” actions occurring here.
    My-our- Church is under a good deal of stress theses days because of the unacceptable actions of some and the cover-up actions of others in positions of trust and management. The story here is just a different issue the is engendering the same negative views. It has to be fixed for the good of all if we are to continue to be viable as a spiritual entity.

    God Bless those that are involved in putting forth the truth. These are the people who are member of my Catholic family.

    An outsider looking in with concern.

  12. Gerald Brent says:

    This seems to be the Cardinal’s MO. If you substitute St Mary’s in Lawrence for the Daughters of St Paul, there are amazing similarities. He will not talk with the school, the pastore gets transferred etc. Amazing!

  13. Former Employee says:

    Saw three more jobs posted for the Development office, including one for Development Operations Manager (70k +) based on the experience they want) to manage the Raiser’s Edge system….I they used BSR Advance…..dumping one system for another (with associated conversion costs etc) is expensive, I wonder where they got the money when they are crying poor mouth.

  14. Randy says:

    Escalation of these issues is normal. You don’t sue somebody and then complain when that somebody’s boss takes up the issue with your boss. You expect them to do that. You make sure your boss will back you up before you take legal action. If they didn’t do that they should be removed as leaders.

    The whole idea of nuns suing the bishop is smelly. You expect it to end badly and it did.

    • James B. Poynton says:

      First of all Randy, I did not pick up on any notion that the good Sisters were complaining.
      Secondly, as my good Father would say’ “right is right and honor to those who have the gumption to take it upon themselves to make it right.”
      A great deal of kudos and prays should be should offered to the Sisters for standing up for their rights. Don’t give me that “subserventcy” (sic)malarkey for Nuns have rights too and it is wonderful to see them go after them. They should be congratulated and not chastised! It is my hope that they will set an example for our Priest’s to follow in leading their flocks. There are many good one’s out there who have the potential for growing our church by doing “right” also.

    • Catholic Gal says:

      Randy, as BCI explains in the next post, the nuns were not suing the bishop.
      Second, they were taking the legal actions they did on behalf of their employees–not for themselves.
      Third, they tried for 5 years to get the Archdiocese to attend to their concerns. Do you expect them to wait forever?
      Fourth, what stinks here is not what the sisters did, but what the Archdiocese did.
      There are plenty of examples in Church history of bishops acting unjustly toward sisters. This is just another one to add to the list.

    • Jerry says:

      Randy, you make a good point: You make sure your boss will back you up before you take legal action. If they didn’t do that they should be removed as leaders. Even more so with religious who have vowed to live under obedience, and in Boston, live at the indulgence of the cardinal. Granted, O’Malley is in the wrong about the money, and the sisters don’t have to be silent about that. But going outside the Church to the SJC without consulting the superior general is over the top.

      The Daughters goofed and put themselves in the doghouse. Their desire to recover the money is now second to maintaining their business in the archdiocese. Cdl Sean wouldn’t have the guts to kick them out. Nonetheless, the Daughters are now reduced to toeing the line.

      • Angry Parish Council Member says:

        Jerry,
        You assert your personal belief as though it’s objectively fact. As Catholic Gal explained already in pointing you to BCI’s latest post, the Daughters did NOT bring legal action against Cardinal O’Malley as the archbishop–they brought the action against the board of trustees of the pension plan. It may be your opinion that it’s “over the top,” but they tried for 5 years and got noplace. Where can you point me to someplace it’s written that religious sisters must consult the superior general before taking legal action within their province to recover funds that are rightfully theirs?

        These sisters did the right thing and courageously stood up for their employees. There is ample evidence inside 66 Brooks Drive that the Cardinal as a member of the Board of Trustees was aware that the Daughters’ next move after 5 years of frustration was legal action. That he refuses to take responsibility for his own failings and those of his administrative team and instead blamed the Daughters is deplorable. It seems to me that the Superior General kow-towed to the Cardinal’s red hat and didn’t exercise her authority and independence of the Cardinal and tell him she backed the U.S. provincial.

        Cardinal O’Malley did not know how to reprimand or criticize Ted Kennedy for his advocacy of abortion and gay marriage. He does nothing about heresy at Boston College or the Paulist Center or within his own ranks. He allows Jack Connors to host fundraisers for the most pro-abortion president in the history of the country and does nothing. But when he is embarrassed by a lawsuit and bad PR, all hell breaks loose and he goes after the religious sisters.

        Jerry and Randy, the Daughters did not voice any public complaints about the change in provincial leadership they suffered. The Globe and BCI have been stoking the flames on that.

        As James Poynton said, the Daughters should be congratulated and not chastised! If you really believe they are to blame as you wrote, perhaps you might want to check out the job listings at the pastoral center as the Cardinal and Chancellor may be looking for more people who can help them blame the outsiders who stand up for the truth and don’t let the hierarchy trample them.

      • Jerry says:

        Oh Angry – you put words in my mouth legal action against Cardinal O’Malley and the Daughters did not voice any public complaints.

        The Daughters made a mistake, namely, bringing the secular powers into a Church matter (a non-criminal matter, too) before consulting with their superior. Bad faith and abuse of authority on the part of the cardinal is not an excuse for not making one simple phone call. As Randy noted, the outcome was predictable. The Daughters have hurt their cause.

        If the Daughters did have the approval of their superior general, that would change the picture completely. Then you’d have your story of the bad cardinal beating up saintly sisters.

      • Catholic Gal says:

        Jerry, you’re making an assumption that the Daughters didn’t consult with their superior general before taking action. They actually did do that. Why the superior general acted as she did is anyone’s guess. Perhaps there was a miscommunication. But don’t blame the US provincial leadership for things they did not do.

      • Catholic Gal says:

        PS As a friend of the Daughters, I know from inside sources that Sr Margaret Timothy actually made a trip to Rome early this year to consult with the superior general. While I’m not privy to what transpired, I highly doubt she did not mention this huge matter!

      • Jerry says:

        Catholic Gal, if it’s true that “They actually did do that” (get approval) as you say, then we have even a bigger story. Besides the cardinal beating up mother superior, we have the superior general disciplining her daughters for doing what she approved. This is where obedience ends, and those wrongly punished sisters should speak out even if they need to leave the order.

        Catholic Gal, are you really sure that’s what happened?

      • Jerry et al,

        Everyone should by now realize that there is more to the story than has been published publicly, and the rest of the details including who was informed by whom in what timeframe are not likely to be shared publicly.

        In this post and our subsequent one, “Retaliation,” BCI has published what we believe are the facts that help fill in some of the gaps. We do our best at BCI to avoid making judgments based on what we suspect to have haappened (rather than what we have been able to ascertain unequivocally has happened), and we would advise our readers to be similarly cautious about reaching conclusions in the absence of all of the relevant information.

      • Catholic Gal says:

        Jerry, I don’t know what went on between the US provincial and the superior general. My guess is–and I think it’s a reasonable guess–is that the superior general caved in to pressure from the cardinal.
        In any case, proof is available online that Sr Margaret Timothy was in Rome during February: from her own Facebook page that anyone can check out. Scroll to the Feb. posts. Here is an excerpt from one:

        “Thanks to all FB friends for your kind well-wishes. Praying for each of you and your loved ones here in Rome. Never expected to spend a birthday in Rome. Mai dice mai.”
        (her birthday is in February)

        https://www.facebook.com/people/Margaret-Timothy-Sato/535623912

  15. Jerry says:

    @bostoncatholicinsider
    You say: we would advise our readers to be similarly cautious about reaching conclusions in the absence of all of the relevant information.

    Except, of course, if you wish to conclude “Retalition” and place the onus on Cardinal O’Malley, then that’s cool.

    Look, I’m not fond of C. Sean. I wouldn’t entrust a child of mine to him for anything. But if the DSP goofed, defending the goof won’t help fix the big problem, which is C. Sean.

    • Jerry,
      We are glad we agree about who represents the “big problem.”. BCI believes the Daughters did the right thing to take care of their employees. That the legal complaint was resolved with the archdiocese finally giving them the pension funds sends a clear signal that their case had merit. It is undisputed that they spent 5 years trying to get this outcome.

      BCI does not know how many sources familiar with this situation you personally checked with before writing your comment. We checked with a lot of them before writing our posts on this topic starting several months ago and we have continued to check. It seems to BCI that you continue writing your statements criticizing the Daughters without any knowledge of what internal discussions might have occurred between the U.S. province and the Superior General in Italy. Do you have factual information at your disposal not otherwise made public, or are you commenting based on pure speculation? If you are commenting based on speculation, we would ask you to either stop doing so, or to say, “this is simply my personal opinion but I actually have no information upon which to base my opinion.”

      The Daughters’ legal complaint was quietly filed on December 20, 2010. See this post:
      http://bostoncatholicinsider.wordpress.com/2011/03/09/boston-archdiocese-sued-over-pension-plan/
      and this SJC information:
      http://www.ma-appellatecourts.org/display_docket.php?dno=SJ-2010-0565

      As we wrote in our March 9 post, citing publicly available information on the archdiocesan benefits website, “During December 2010, a Complaint for Equitable Relief and an Accounting was brought against the Plan’s Trustees by the Daughters of St. Paul, a participating entity in the Plan. The entity is seeking a transfer of the assets and liabilities allocable to it relative to its current and former employees who have been participants in the Plan.”

      Nearly 3 months had passed since the complaint was filed when BCI wrote our March 9 post. The general public beyond BCI readers did not even know about the complaint until March 21, when the Boston Globe published their article about the legal action–3 months after the action was filed. If the Cardinal was really troubled by the lawsuit, he could and should have worked double-time to settle it in the days and weeks right after it was filed. We know unequivocally from statements made by the Cardinal that he was particularly disturbed by BCI’s March blog post about the legal action and the subsequent mainstream media coverage by the Globe and other publications which he felt were embarrassing and hurt the Church. Yet, he has never expressed openly to the Pastoral Center staff or clergy to the best of our knowledge that he was disturbed by the 5 years of foot-dragging by his staff at the archdiocese or by the lack of progress by his team in the weeks after the legal action was filed. This whole thing is reminiscent of how the archdiocese initially treated complaints of sexual abuse years ago–it was the parents and victims legitimately complaining who were the problem, not those in the hierarchy who ignored the complaints for years.

      BCI does not know exactly when the Cardinal called the SG in Italy to complain about the situation. We believe it was somewhere around the time of the Globe article in late March but we do not know.

      As we wrote in “Retaliation”, there is no question that the Superior General’s decision to remove the provincial two months before the end of the 3-year term was unusual. Based on everything BCI has learned, there is little question there was some cause-and-effect between the complaint from Cardinal O’Malley and exercising of the “red hat” to the Superior General and the action against the provincial leadership. We have good reason to say we believe there was a connection between the two, but there are things we simply cannot publish.

      Had the Cardinal and his staff acted on 5 years of complaints (which started before the the provincial leadership just removed was installed in July 2008) including advance word to him and the Trustees that legal action was imminent, there would have been no legal action and no removal of the provincial leadership. Had he acted to settle the legal complaint in December, January, or February before the Globe article appeared, the move against the provincial leadership would also have likely not happened. Had the Cardinal taken responsibility for his own actions and those of the archdiocese and precluded the negative media coverage by settling the case, and had he not called the Superior General to complain after the proverbial “doo-doo” hit the fan, would the Superior General have removed the provincial? Probably not.

      At this point, BCI has neither the time nor desire to keep debating this aspect of the situation with you. BCI hopes that based on this response and comments from the other readers, you can let this one go.

  16. Catholic Gal says:

    Paging further down Sr M. Timothy’s Facebook page shows she also went to Rome on Dec. 31 for about a week. It’s out there in public. While we don’t know what was said in meetings she had with her superiors, the fact she made two trips to Rome in a short time is evidence that she was in close communication with them. It looks like the Feb. trip was a special meeting for the whole congregation.

    BCI is right that we can’t make assumptions about what people did and didn’t know. That is why the accusation that the Daughters goofed is unfounded. I wanted to point out the trips to show the evidence that Sr M. T. was in fact communicating with the “higher-ups” in Rome.

  17. sheila says:

    Once again, this demonstrates the lack of leadership on the part of the Cardinal and his senior staff. They bumbled and fumbled their way through this whole affair. I suggest Sean and his senior people, pick up a glove and get in the game. It’s called leadership and some one has to step up and make it happen. I realize there are 2000 years of history that promote non communication and double talk, but it’s time to break away from that culture and get real.

    Don’t know how? Start by watching Netanyahu’s speech to Congress.

    That’s leadership!!!!

  18. [...] of St. Paul situation, as BCI posted in “Diocesan Deception with Daughters” and “Daughters Lawsuit Settled, But…” , the claim by the Cardinal suggesting he was unaware of the prospect of a lawsuit and deflecting [...]

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