Boston Archdiocese Reports Deficit, $137M Debt

With almost no fanfare, the Boston Archdiocese released the 2012 Annual Report on Friday. This stands in contrast to last year, when the archdiocese released the 2011 results saying they had a “balanced budget,” when that really was not true.  Central Operations for the archdiocese ran at a loss of about $6.8M, and the archdiocese also faces their own “fiscal cliff” of sorts as they have $137M of debt and no obvious way of paying it right now.

For all who care about the future of the Boston Archdiocese and her ability to carry out the saving mission of Jesus Christ for generations to come, there is reason for serious concern.

The report, available here, presents a lot of data, and it is easy to be overwhelmed with the data and miss the meaning of the data, as the Boston Globe did in their article on Friday. Once you look at the big picture, the message should raise alarm bells at 66 Brooks Drive and at the Vatican that we can no longer have “business as usual.”  A few finance experts looked over the report and helped shed insight for us into the data. Here are just some of the key things you should know:

  • Despite a “balanced budget” announced for the 2011 fiscal year, the recently released financial statements show (page 24, and page 73–Column 2) that the Central Operations of the archdiocese had an operating loss of $6.8 million in 2012 and $6.3M in 2011 (page 24). BCI pointed out the deception last year, and at least this year, they did not say they had a balanced budget–they just said they had a goal of having one.
  • They also reveal that Parish Reconfiguration funds have been tapped out.  $12.3M dollars over the past 5-6 years went for “Distributions to agencies and departments that provided program assistance and support to parishes.” Since almost all Pastoral Center departments support parishes, this really means: “Pastoral Center departments who are normally funded by the Central Fund were subsidized by $12.3M from a source no longer available.
  • About $11.1 million from Reconfiguration Funds was used to cover expenses from maintaining the properties of closed churches over the past 6+ years.
  • During the past six years, insurance reserves that were $15M in 2006 have been depleted to zero or near zero (see this 2010 BCI blog post and p. 16 of the 2012 Annual Report)
  • “A number” of the 78 parishes that were in Phases I and II of the Improved Financial Relationship Model program as of June 30, 2012 saw improved operating performance when compared to fiscal 2011. We are not told exactly what number “a number” means.  If it were more than half, the archdiocese would probably tell us. That suggests the majority saw worse results.
  • The archdiocese has “major liabilities” of $93.9 million for unfunded clergy pension and post retirement obligations and $43.5 million in debt owed to St. John’s Seminary. As of now, we are not told how they intend to fund these.  Nothing is said about the roughly $50M or so that is owed to employees and former employees when they changed the lay pension plan and cut pensions back in 2011.
  • Virtually nothing has been done to address the problem of excessive six-figure salaries. The long-awaited report by the Compensation Committee found that of 16 lay executives paid $150K+, 6 are way over-paid–making above the 75th percentile for that they found were comparable roles, 6 are somewhat overpaid–making between the 50th and the 75th
    percentiles for comparable roles, and 5 have positions somehow “unique to our Archdiocese and are paid comparably to peers in the Archdiocese with similar levels of responsibility.”  That last part in quotes sounds like those 5 people are overpaid in a manner comparable to how their peers are overpaid.  In other words, just about everyone is overpaid. The only cost-saving action being taken is to not give a cost of living increase to the 6 who are way over-paid.

The messages from Cardinal O’Malley and Chancellor Straub in the annual report really give no sense for the dire reality facing us, and there is much more detail in each of the above that we will begin to cover in our future posts.

With the Archdiocese containing to hemorrhage operationally and covering the losses by depleting other funds, it is time to ask several questions:
  1. What funds are going to get tapped or looted in the coming years to pay the bills?
  2. How will the Clergy Funds debt and St. Johns Seminary debts of nearly $140M be paid? (And will the $50M+ in unpaid lay pension obligations currently not on the balance sheet ever be dealt with?)
  3. Is the new Pastoral Plan, “Disciples in Mission” expected to somehow miraculously solve all of the financial problems and concerns above during the next 5 years? What else will the leadership and management team of the Boston Archdiocese really do differently in running Central Operations?

There is a tremendous amount of good and potential in the Boston Archdiocese–great priests, hard-working pastoral staffs in parishes (and some still in the  Pastoral Center) who care about advancing the saving mission of Jesus Christ and the mission of the Catholic Church, a new commitment to evangelization and faith formation, and more.  But, the issues above are gravely serious ones, and it feels like, except for “Disciples in Mission,” it is still largely “business as usual” inside the operations and management at 66 Brooks Drive.

Halfway through their terms in office, Massachusetts Gov. Patrick and President Obama have had major changes in their executive leadership teams.  Here we sit half-way through Cardinal Sean’s term in office as Archbishop of Boston. At least as one step towards change, is it not time for him to try something different–like for starters, lowering lay executive salaries and/or moving out most, if not all of the expensive lay execs who arrived between 2004-2006, and bringing in some less expensive talent committed to the saving ministry of Jesus Christ and not just a big paycheck? Get rid of Rasky Baerlein and his $180K+ PR guy and bring in a PR team committed to the saving mission of Jesus Christ? Move along a certain senior aide with responsibility over pro-life activities who would rather camp out in his warm office at Harvard than brave the cold and attend the March for Life?

That is what BCI thinks. What do you think?

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52 Responses to Boston Archdiocese Reports Deficit, $137M Debt

  1. jbq2 says:

    I would like to see the numbers broken down further in regard to the 93.9 and 45.3. This is for pensions and the seminary. This would appear to not include balancing the budget at various parishes. Obviously since many parishes are in deep economic trouble, there would indicate an even deeper financial liability. There is also not even a mention of sexual abuse payments and laibilities on contract with the Catholic teachers union. As stated, the sixteen salaries about 150K are not entered. What other salaries are not documented? This would appear to be “creative bookkeeping” at its greatest.

    • Jbq2, The salaries of the top-paid lay employees are documented in the annual report.

      Getting parishes financially solvent is a whole different topic, as is the means of paying sexual abuse claims going forward.

      One really needs to spend a great deal of time digesting the annual report and comparing vs past reports to fully understand what is going on. Some of your questions are indeed answered in the report, and some are not.

  2. Chris says:

    I’d like to see Cardinal O’Malley convene a blue-ribbon panel, perhaps chaired by the wonderful Mary Ann Glendon, to investigate the workings of the chancery and examine its business model. Perhaps they could hire an outside consultant like the Bridgespan group (non-profit arm of Bain) to come in and organize them.

    • Michael says:

      That would be great, Maryanne Glendon, Mitt Romney (Bain) and Cardinal ‘Malley, back together again. The three amigos. First it was the cover up of the institution of same-sex marriage. Now it is the economic collapse of the Church in Boston. Yes, Maryanne, is quite wonderful.

  3. Ferde Rombola says:

    Forget any in-house activity. I hope BCI forwarded this article to the dicastry for bishops in the Vatican and to the Pope. Enough is quite enough. We need a bishop in this archdiocese and right now!

  4. BettyDraper says:

    BCI–It would be kind and considerate for you to mention your
    sorrow for Cardinal Sean’s very recent loss of his step mother.

    We will pray for you, Cardinal Sean.

    With regards to the current financial challenge, if one took the
    137 million and divided it by the number of adult catholics in the
    RCAB (including college students and parents) what would the total count be?

    Get that number and ask each one to contribune that amount if possible. Or even divide the number in half. Would a straight forward request for a one time donation to pull out of this probelm
    be doable?

    • 5580 says:

      It appears you are trying to embarrass BCI in your opening statement?

      • BettyDraper says:

        I was not trying too embarass BCI. Is it important
        to put things in perspective? Cardinal Sean deserves this respect.

        Do you think it would be helpful for the RCAB to simply
        ask for a one-time donation to solve this problem?
        What would be wrong with adding up all of the adults,
        college students,and parents of the students throughout the
        archdiocese?

        In the parish bulletins, can one page be dedicated to this
        debt problem? Explain how this number was derived, it is
        “Everyone’s Fair Share.”

        Is it possible to have the parishoners holding the bulletin during the mass, and, be directed to the page by the Pastor or Deacon?
        Perhaps, engaging the parishoner with the bulletin will yield more attention to this debt problem.

        Good Luck

      • Taimin Ban says:

        Betty,

        I pray your suggestion that we apply Democratic party (non) financial acumen to the RCAB debt hemorrhage is a joke. The RCAB cannot solve this problem by “taxing the rich” i.e the put upon practicing Catholics who are already being hosed by RCAB mismanagement.

    • Disco says:

      Well when you consider that only 300,000 (I’ve heard) attend mass weekly (and that’s really all you can count on to help at all, thats $457 apiece. I go to mass every week and if you think I’m sending $457 to Braintree to help them keep ARISE, The Way, and all manner of other nonsense going after they shuttered Holy Trinity, then you, ma’am, are outside of your mind.

      • Michael says:

        But would you send $457 to help fund Mary Grass O’Niell’s $325,000/yr salary? SHe could use a little assistance, you know … with the economy and all.

    • Carolyn says:

      Betty,
      Is your wit so dry that the above is purely facetious? Or do you mean this literally?

      At ~$1000 per ADULT Mass goer on average, and with many (half?) of Catholic Mass goers below or close to the poverty line, how does that work? Could you come up with ~$2000 to knock down the debt?

      Reducing recurring annual costs is essential:

      The cardinal’s travel budget based on his blog entries (Papua New Guinea, the Virgin Islands, South America, Rome monthly, etc.) and the costs associated with keeping numerous priests at the Cathedral rectory could save $1 million or so.
      Dropping all RCAB salaries+benefits below $150,000 would save another $2 million.
      Letting current pastors suggest where to cut central costs would likely find another $1 million.
      Catholic Media specializes in red ink. Why does their board allow that to continue? Take $500,000 from there (one salary over $250,000 would help) and use the rest to fund only black ink operations.

      • The Cardinal (or any bishop for that matter) should not be taking island resort vacations. The Council of Trent states that bishops must not leave the diocese they’re assigned to unless they have permission of the Holy See. Unless he is being summoned to Rome (the only stamp that should be on his passport) for a good reason, or in the case when his aunt passed away recently, the Cardinal should stay in his diocese!

        (P.S. Going to USCCB meetings are not good reasons!)

      • BettyDraper says:

        Carolyn,

        What about combining both strategies?

        If $1,000 is too much what about $100.00? Just be specific. When I observe what struggling people (including college students) pay for video games($50-60.00), automobiles,brand name sneakers, sports, artificial nails $45.00), partying , (hair stylists, I believe a one time request of $100-$200 per person is possible for most, and, $1,000 is possible for many.

        Good Luck

      • j says:

        Don’t know about the travel budget, but the “cost” of housing Priests in the Cathedral rectory is exactly the cost of housing Priests anywhere else in the Archdiocese. Including the Cardinal ,that is 4 Archdiocesan Priests; are you proposing to NOT house clothe or feed them? Have no idea where your “saving” even a penny comes, let alone a million.

      • JUST WONDERING says:

        Carolyn: perhaps the “numerous priests at the Cathedral” is simply a PLOY to PROTECT His Eminence so that NOBODY CAN GET TO HIM ALONE. I’m JUST WONDERING!!!!!

      • j says:

        Uh. NO. The number of Priests assigned to the Cardinal is Two. Not numerous at the Cathedral, though he is surrounded at the Pastoral Center. The fourth Priest who lives at the Cathedral, but is not a Cathedral Parish Priest is Bp Deeley.

        There are major problems with how the Archdiocese, mostly at the Pastoral Center, spends money. Please do not diminish this discussion by alleging “ploys” and “millions” where there are none.

    • Boston Catholic Insider says:

      BettyDraper,
      BCI was not aware of the loss of the Cardinal’s stepmother as of the time of our post today. Our prayers and condolences are with the Cardinal and his family.

      Regarding your proposal to divide the $137M debt across adult Catholics in the RCAB, as long as the archdiocese is continuing to pay millions of dollars a year in acknowledged excessive six-figure salaries to lay executives, BCI cannot in good faith suggest faithful Catholics dig yet deeper into their pockets to subsidize Pastoral Center excesses.

      If they are unwilling to take action to reduce the growing administrative expenses and excessive salaries, perhaps instead the multi-millionaire members of the Finance Council who have approved the expanding administrative costs and excessive six-figure salaries could each chip in $20-30M themselves to pay off the debt.

      • Sonny's Mom says:

        Can someone please explain to this naive writer what the Grand Annual Collection is for, then?

  5. NOTMYFORTEBUT says:

    1) Things get rather muddled when this is presented as an annual report but the data really is of 2004 to present. Hard to separate out what the past year really tells us.

    2) I have heard lots of criticism about the 11.1 million expenditure for maintenance and utilities for closed churches. No one sees even a hint of evidence to support that.

    3) Why was 16.9 milllion needed to “restore equity” for parish debts already forgiven by the Jubilee Year Debt Forgiveness Plan? Were debts really not forgiven?

    4) Did you notice how much money is actually “unrestricted”? I think when people are donating for a particular purpose they expect that to be the case. Am I misreading or misunderstanding something here?? (Could be since this is not my expertize.).

    5) Is this what RCAB means by “improved costs of medical costs?”

    “Although a reduction in the discount rate assumption used to determine the Clergy Trus Funds pension liability drove an increase in pension costs of $6.1m, the unfunded liabilitydeclined $1.9 million due to improved management of medical costs.” At p. 12

    Note, our senior priests are not covered for vaccine for Shingles. If they want that, they need to pay it out of pocket.

    • Fact Checker says:

      It cost about $1.5 million per year to heat, plow, repair and maintain the “vigil” churches, even though most of them were actually unoccupied after 2005. Those buildings went from being maintained as church buildings with periodic heat requirements to buildings being heated (by the vigilantes) at 72 degrees around the clock. Plowing went from providing only emergency access for fire and police vehicles to clearing acres of parking lots. Add in roof repairs, boiler repairs, etc., and the number creeps up quickly.

      The $11.1 also includes caring for buildings that were under appeal without vigilantes (e.g. Holy Trinity Shawmut Avenue), and buildings that simply had not sold. It also includes property taxes the diocese paid to municipalities for the closed properties. This is ironic and depressing, when you consider that one of the largest tax bills was brought on by a complaint from the vigilantes in Scituate. They had it both ways, claiming they were running the church and holding regular religious services, but they pleaded with the city to tax the Archdiocese until a regular Mass was held there.

      In my estimation, $11.1 is low.

      • NOTMYFORTEBUT says:

        Really, others differ. I am not yet convinced either way. Sounds very high given that most unoccupied and occupied closed churches are in shambles. I heard that Holy Trinity receiving parish had to take out a loan of 250K to pay back taxes and maintenance debt. Not sure that is true but person seemed to have inside info. Receiving parish was Cathedral, correct?? St. Theresa’s in Everett is just about falling in. Pails strategically placed to catch rainwater. Archdiocese let it go so far that Brazilian group, though offered it as a sacred place, refused it. I think same is true for Mt. Carmel in East Boston. Perhaps those in Scituate were better treated for some “ungodly” reason. No heat in most closed churches as far as I can see.

      • Carolyn says:

        Heating: East Boston, Framingham and Everett through 2009. Wellesley, Scituate, et. al. into 2012. Lowell churches alone, unheated, cost a fortune to plow, alarm, etc. Not all costs are associated with vigils or appeals, many are bills that piled up for properties that were slow to sell. The alarm companies did well.

      • Anonymous says:

        There is a facilities / real estate department right? What have they done so far? For the amount of real estate RCAB owns they don’t seem to know how to manage it. If any (for profit) organization ran things the same way they would have been bankrupt decades ago……..

    • BettyDraper says:

      “Note, our senior priests are not covered for the Shingles
      Vaccine.”

      OUCH!! This should be the first priority. If unfamiliar, read up on Shingles and its sequelae.

      • NOTMYFORTEBUT says:

        Elderly priest just came down with Shingles. Got the info first hand as to why no vaccine. I gather they don’t have medicare part D or the version they have does not cover. Regular medicare does not cover it. You need an appropriate prescription plan. Archdiocese position is you can get it, you just have to pay it out of pocket. Very sad for our elderly priests.

      • DBP says:

        Oh, did we miss what the Archdiocese did – quietly – a few years back? After years of tacit promises that priests would always be cared for by “self-insurance,” and specific instructions to priests that they need not pay into the Social Security system (years after the Archdiocese declared priests to be “independent contractors” for the purposes of paying FICA, so that the Archdiocese wouldn’t have to contribute), the good ol’ boys in the Chancery (prior to Brooks Drive) decided that all priests must now contribute to Social Security, and 25% of salary would be withheld to make such contributions….because the Archdiocese would no longer take care of the medical expenses of senior priests, giving them over to the tender care of Medicare once they hit retirement age. Even though they adamantly deny that this change in policy had anything to do with the pederasty settlements, it occurred just after the huge money was paid out to Garabedian et. al.
        So the bottom line is this: after essentially telling priests not to worry for years, the boyos on Brooks now gleefully push them out the door as soon as they’re able to foist them off on the Medicare folks.
        No morale problem here…

  6. Fact Checker says:

    The Catholic Appeal has fallen shorter than the stated numbers indicate. The Appeal counts toward its total a significant amount of funds earmarked and restricted for the seminary and other entities. Sometimes it keeps those dollars, rather than merely claiming them for their own.

    This raises two questions:
    Why does the Appeal believe it can take for its own operations the money donors gave with a restriction that the funds go to the seminary?
    What did the Appeal net in real dollars, intended for the central administration? Income less all expenses, without skimming funds restricted for the seminaries? What’s that number?

    The numbers it has reported would, by most standards, indicate an organization about to file for bankruptcy. Creative bookkeeping gets highly embarrassing during bankruptcy.

    Heaven help donors with pledges to any entity of the Archdiocese. The bankruptcy court tends to lean heavily on those legally binding arrangements.

    This financial sleight of hand goes back to at least 2006. You will look in vain for any “good guys” who were unaware.

  7. Time for a change says:

    You make several good points yet you leave out the ongoing costs of abuse settlements now being passed on to the parishes in higher insurance premiums.

    Any reasonable analysis would make clear that, if we are indeed half way through the Cardinal’s time in Boston, bankurpcy is not too many years away. We have already found moral bankruptcy in the looting of insurance and reconfiguration funds. Sooner or later allegedly independant boards of controlled entities or the attorney general will have to act to cover themselves. Then where will we be.

    IT’S TIME FOR A CHANGE! Until we get one, those controlled entities with money had better hide their wallets.

  8. Kay Goodnow says:

    And NO mention whatsoever re claims paid or settlement agreements on the thousands of abused kids that this diocese enabled… That’s just plain sad! Bankruptcy is too good for them, let the thieves rot in jail. They have made the lives of their victims hell.

  9. Stephen says:

    I will begin to worry about the finances of the RCAB when the candles on the alter of the Latin Mass are the only light because the electricity has been shut off.

    From the Cardinal:

    “We have to bring a prayerful dimension to everything we do, realizing that it’s not about crushing the enemy, but reaching out to people and inviting them to become a part of our family.”

    Read more: http://www.ncregister.com/site/article/cardinal-omalley-reflects-on-life-efforts/#ixzz2Ipt75yrx

    I can not help to think of a statue of my childhood, with BVM’s bare feet crushing the head of Satan the serpent. Grab the dam rudder of the ship Sean! For the Sake of Souls!

  10. Carol says:

    I have had shingles once and would like to avoid it in the future, but refuse to have the unethical shingles vaccine. The shingles vaccine is made with aborted fetal cell lines, and is unethical http://www.cogforlife.org/vaccineListOrigFormat.pdf .
    To leave retired priests to the mercy of govt healthcare and meanwhile working to bring about an unethical govt healthcare (yes, even beyond the HHS mandate, this “death panel” “universal healthcare” that the USCCB touts is unethical healthcare) is beyond belief.

    • NOTMYFORTEBUT says:

      But also, please read:

      http://www.chop.edu/service/vaccine-education-center/hot-topics/fetal-tissues.html

      To put things in a better perspective: No child was killed so that a vaccine could be developed. The two strains of embryonic cells came from two elective abortions dating back to the early ’60′s.

      • BCI appreciates the concern for our priests being vaccinated against diseases, and the effort to comment about the nature and source of the vaccine. There are no doubt other Internet forums focused on disease treatment and prevention where the origins of the vaccine can be discussed in great detail, and readers interested in that specific topic are urged to discuss that topic in an epidemiology-oriented forum. In the interest of keeping to the main topic of the blog post, BCI would ask readers to focus on the finances of the Boston Archdiocese in their comments going forward.

  11. Rich says:

    Speaking of spending (i.e. Cardinal’s travel budget), I’ve always been curious how much it costs to ordain a new bishop. Everything from matching stoles, to printing the programs, travel and housing expenses for all the bishops who attend, and the cost of lavish meals surrounding the celebration. I would love to see BCI post details on how much Bishop Deeley’s ordination cost the archdiocese.

    • Disco says:

      That’s really not a fair criticism. The consecration of a bishop is fundamentally an act of worship of almighty god in the blessed trinity. We can talk about wasting money on bloated salaries for lay executives who serve little or no purpose in fulfilling the mission of the Church in Boston, but please do not impugn liturgical worship for being opulent. We should spare no expense in this area, regardless of our other struggles.

      That said, the vestments worn by a priest or bishop when he is ordained are traditionally gifts given to him by his family and/or friends. In the case of a bishop, former parishioners where he was pastor might chip in for these things.

      • Rich says:

        Liturgical worship does not need to be opulent to be sacred and beautiful, even in the case of a bishop’s ordination.

      • 5580 says:

        With rare exception, the auxilliary bishops of the Archdiocese of Boston serve little or no purpose in fulfilling the mission of the Church in Boston. They”re auxilliary bishops, nor ordinaries of dioceses – and mostly useless. One in particular, is a consummate politician who will not make waves, maintaining his hope that he will get his own diocese.

    • NOTMYFORTEBUT says:

      Ditto, and with all due respect to fidelity to the liturgy and matching stoles. Elaborate dinner night before at Seaport Hotel and elaborate dinner/lunch day of at Seaport Hotel; travel, printing, housing etc.

      What I would have enjoyed is a Bishop willing to forego all the expense in view of the debt of this Archdiocese, or, a Bishop who would rather see that $$ donated to a good cause.

      Did anyone here attend?? Do tell.

    • Jack O'Malley says:

      As a former blogger once commented: If you want the purple, you gotta show the green.

      It don’t come cheap. So, pew puppies, pay up. It’s an “act of worship of Almighty God”. Sure it is.

      BCI, how much did it cost the pew puppies to get Patrick O’Malley cardinalled? And archbishoped before that? I’d guess a minimum of $1,000,000. Not counting the hundred grand to “vest” him in watered silk. You know, the elegant vesture that Christ and Peter were crucified in. Not. They were crucified naked. With a tent peg up their arses. That was the Roman method. It wasn’t pretty. It was painful. It was humiliating. That was the reality of crucifixion.

      And how much have the homosexual and paedophiliac perversions cost the offertory basket tossers? (I swear I make no double entendre.)

      Let me directly address “his eminence” (for I know he reads this blog): so, Seáno, are you going to fire those temple money-changers? Those Obama pygoleichontes. Sure you are. Save your wrath for the Traditional Catholics ousted from Holy Trinity to the exurbs of Newton. Why don’t you at least come up with the dough to rebuild the campanile at Mary Immaculate of Lourdes? I’ll bet that if the rain were rusting the bells at the creole masses in the old town cathedral, you’d find the dough to roof them over PDQ.

      Take a break from your holy essential and wholly inessential expensive peregrinations and pray at home for a bit. What’s the matter? The South End’s not as conducive to mystical contemplation as the old idyllic Lake Street shrine? Ste Thérèse prayed quite effectively while scouring the lavatory commodes. But thou art a “prince” of the Church, not a lowly nun. And not an exalted saint.

      By his words and deeds, Pat O’Malley is the quintessence of the whited sepulchre. Let him be recalled to the Roman “curia” as befits a “prince” of the Church. Give him Bernie Law’s basilica. Let the Atellan farce run its course.

      And as to that former blogger, I have no knowledge whether his name was Jack O’Malley. But he may have once commented:

      Don’t trust them with your money. Don’t trust them with your children. Don’t trust them with your soul.

    • j says:

      Re: expense of Ordaining a Bishop.

      With regard to the actual Sacrament, not very expensive. Seminarians volunteer to usher, as do lectors, Acolytes, Sacristans and most singers. Even with paid musicians (brass are the most expensive) and the programs (the vestments are owned or borrowed), probably no more than $2-3000.

      It costs several times more than that to televise, with sound, video and editing personnel, but in the range of $8-12000 (hard to get real cost; one Catholic entity charging another Catholic entity)

      Flying perhaps a dozen Bishops/clergy, assuming the Archdiocese underwrote the cost (let’s say they did, since if they didn’t, they probably underwrite the expense of Boston Bishops going to outside Ordinations) wouldn’t cost more than $4000, and they were put up in Rectories.

      The Celebratory dinner, though is probably the biggest expense by far: it was at an expensive hotel, and had many guests. A wedding dinner that size would run a minimum of $20,000.

  12. David S. says:

    I have read everyone’s comments and would like to respectfully offer an alternative perspective.

    I think the root problem in the RCAB is not the budget deficit but the lack of orthodoxy. Even if the RCAB capped all salaries at 100K and had a balance surplus, the fact remains that our Cardinal and Bishops:

    1. Refuse to sanction pro-abortion and pro-homosexual marriage “Catholic” politicians through excommunication or even by enforcing Canon 915.

    2. Refuse to clearly and unambiguously teach that missing Mass on Sunday and Holy Days is a mortal sin.

    3. Refuse to clearly and unambiguously teach that artificial birth control is a mortal sin.

    4. Refuse to vigorously address the rampant liturgical abuses, including the way “Communion in the Hand” is implemented in many parishes.

    5. Refuse to vigorously address the outright heresy taught at our “Catholic” colleges including Boston College and Holy Cross.

    6. Refuse to address the poor catechesis of our children and replace the Protestant-friendly textbooks currently in use with the Baltimore Catechism or other orthodox sources.

    7. Refuse to speak out against the Massachusetts Knights of Columbus who purport to be pro-life yet allow pro-abortion and pro-homosexual marriage “Catholic” politicians to be members in good standing of their organization.

    I could go on but I am trust you get my point.

    Clearly the RCAB, like any large organization, could do better in terms management and salaries. However, let’s not take our eye off the ball. Souls are at risk of eternal damnation not because Dr. Mary Grasso makes an absurd salary but rather because we are drifting away from the faith of the Holy Roman Catholic Church.

  13. Stephen says:

    We drifted away quite awhile ago, currently we are lost at sea.
    # 4 would be a good start and would cost zero dollars. Zero.

  14. bitsnbytes says:

    Papua New Guinea is a poor mission country in the care of Cdl. O’Malley’s Capuchin province, so he probably didn’t stay in any resort there.

    • Francois Tee says:

      Did the Capuchin Province pay for his air fare? His meals? His housing? Did they compensate RCAB for his time away from the Archdiocese? Did the Capuchin Province pick up the tab for staff members that accompanied him? -or- as a poor mission country, did RCAB pay to support this trip in support of the Capuchin Province?

  15. Francois Tee says:

    The article says “Here we sit half-way through Cardinal Sean’s term in office as Archbishop of Boston. At least as one step towards change, is it not time for him to try something different” – how do we know we are half-way through his term in office? How do you know the end-date of his term in office?

    • Boston Catholic Insider says:

      Francois Tee,
      Cardinal Sean O’Malley is currently 68-years-old. He has been Archbishop of Boston since July of 2003, or about 8.5 years. Unless he is transferred to another assignment or has a major health problem that causes him to resign prematurely, he will be here as the Archbishop of Boston for almost another 7 years, until he is 75-years-old in 2019. That means his total term is expected to be 16 years (2003-2019). To be completely accurate, we’re actually more than halfway through Cardinal Sean’s term (getting close to 60%), and BCI used the expression “half-way” moreso as a figure of speech to make a point.

      The point is that other leaders often have a changing of the guard to bring in fresh blood half-way through their terms. Here we have the same excessively-paid execs around for a while who are not necessarily all even competent, let alone committed to the saving mission of Jesus Christ–and some are hanging on not for the mission, but because it’s a big paycheck. Surely, given the challenges that lie ahead, a good place to start in driving change would be to get some of the wrong people off the boat and instead get the right people on the boat.

      • Liam says:

        And Rome has typically (but not always) allowed cardinals to remain in their sees until they are close to 80, when they become non-voting members of the Sacred College. I don’t have any sense that Rome views Cdl Sean with such disfavor that it would be unlikely for this pattern to obtain here.

  16. [...] made a mistake in our post last week on the 2012  financial results for the Boston Archdiocese that we need to [...]

  17. OldRomanCollar says:

    The Archdiocese needs a private central bank to monetize debts and to crank up the printing presses. I suggest for the $100 RCAB note a portrait of Cardinal O’Connell on the front and on the back a picture of his eminence aboard a cruise ship with a Caribbean boy. On the $50 note a place of prominence should be given to Cardinal Cushing holding his favorite bottle of whiskey. On the reverse could be a mural of Fr. Fred McManus at his desk, writing notes on how to screw up the Mass. So much Boston history!

    • JUST WONDERING says:

      “OldRomanCollar” you sound like a cranky old…but I love it….keep it up but I’m JUST WONDERING when we get all of the truth and nothing but the truth????!!!!!

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