Dead Branches

A number of readers have pointed out this ChurchMilitant.tv video, as it highlights what is happening in Boston.

Michael Voris says:

“Take a look at the educational establishment .. universities and local religious ed departments. Closely examine the sprawling infrastructures and bureaucracies that
permeate every diocese and archdiocese. Take a good long look at them all .. and then prepare to say goodbye. There is simply no way in 20 years .. most likely less that this sprawling behemoth is still going to be around. It has simply abandoned its mission of saving souls and making saints and as such .. the need for it no longer exists.
Take a look at the Archdiocese of Boston for example.”

BCI agrees that the Boston Archdiocese seems to have all but abandoned the mission of saving souls and making saints. The coronation-style funeral of the late Ted Kennedy was a scandal. Parish-run catechesis is often run by dissidents, and some of the parish leaders who allow such dissident-run catechesis are now delivering catechesis for the archdiocesan-sponsored program. We have a few additional comments.

The new pastoral plan maintains the canonical structure of a “parish,” so Boston will still technically have 290 parishes, but organized into 125 smaller groupings or “collaboratives” with a one pastor for each collaborative of parishes.  Still, it is interesting to consider if there is a point where Boston should no longer be an “ARCHdiocese” and instead should be a “diocese.”

Where are there “dead branches” in Boston that should be pruned?  Here are a few starting points for Cardinal O’Malley:

  • PR firm Rasky Baerlein, whose principals are primarily former staff or fundraisers for Joe Biden and/or contributors to the campaigns of Joe Biden and President Obama
  • Jack Connors, who has raised millions for pro-abortion political candidates who oppose the Catholic Church on fundamental moral principles as well as our religious freedom
  • Fr. Bryan Hehir, who really does not have meaningful job, except managing Terry Donilon and the increasingly ineffective Mass Catholic Conference, but manages to get in the way of the good people who remain

And most of the $150K+ people on this list:

RCAB salaries 2012

More on the excessive six-figure salaries in our next post.

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31 Responses to Dead Branches

  1. Disco says:

    I think what needs to happen is very similar to what Robert Finn did when he took over as Bishop of Kansas City – St. Joseph. There will be no collaboration with heretics.

  2. The only one worth it on that list is Scot Landry. The others need a word from Donald Trump: “You’re ALL fired!!!”

    • Lynne says:

      I listen to Mr Landry every day on the way home from work. He has a radio show on WQOM (1060 AM) called “The Good Catholic Life” which he hosts with other folks. In terms of orthodoxy, it’s about a A-/B+. He also has other duties but *no one* should be making that kind of money, working for the Church.

      • Michael says:

        Worth it … are you kidding. Scott Landry ought to be ashamed of himself. But shame requires humility and humility is hard to find in that bunch.

      • David S. says:

        Agreed. What ever happened to the notion that virtue is its’ own reward.

        Paying someone $250K to work for the Catholic Church is outrageous.

    • Stephen says:

      Mr. Landry was hired as a unknowing stooge to kill the Boston Catholic Men’s conference. It was a brilliant strategic move. Pay him handsomely for a job you don’t want done, surround him with ineptitude, frustrate him with minutia, stroke his ego and ultimately create another good guy to go along to get along.

      The man is now just another eraser clapper for the RCAB.
      High on the food chain, looks like a 30K expense account,
      I wonder; can he get Voris to speak in Boston?

      • I don’t think Cardinal Sean will allow Michael Voris or his Church Millitant TV colleagues to speak in a parish center near you anytime soon. So if you want to see him speak in Boston, the talk will most likely be held in a rented hotel room or in someone’s living room. Don’t forget that many bishops have banned Voris from speaking in their dioceses for his orthodoxy; the people who run the show here are far from orthodox.

      • Stephen says:

        Pardon, my bad.
        The expense account comment was based on the ‘comp not on W2′ noted above. I assume now that is retirement or pension -

  3. I don’t think that Boston will lose it’s archdiocesan status because archdioceses are usually permanent. However, if you take the Mass Pike down to Worcester, that diocese is shrinking at a more rapid pace; they tried clustering, it didn’t work, so now they are down to 101 from 124 in 2008, before the massive closures.

    At least Bishop McManus banned Mrs. Ted Kennedy from speaking at a college graduation and refused to sell a former retreat/priest rehab house to a “married” gay couple (they sued him for discrimination), but there are still major problems. He has also banned the Traditional Latin Mass within the city limits of Worcester, assigning a newly-ordained priest (whom I’m friends with the family) who says the TLM to the boondox. (This is obviously against the Holy Father’s wishes in Summorum Pontificum.) Most of their lay chancery employees are not orthodox just like Boston’s, but they making what they’re worth: peanuts.

    At least Boston is still viable in some ways, but Worcester Catholicism is shrinking at a more rapid pace, so I suggested in one of my first letters to the Vatican and the Nuncio that the Diocese of Worcester be surpressed and merge with Boston.

    • Tommy says:

      Don’t forget that Bishop McManus has also closed down the Diaconate program. This is a critical ministry for the Catholic Church, and our Bishop has decided he doesn’t need any more.

      • Tommy, the permanent diaconate is a big joke. It’s only a grandfather’s club for men who have been married for several years and want to serve on the altar in an official capacity. Most permanent diaconate formation programs (which are 4-5 years) do not teach nearly enough theology that is needed for a seminarian to learn to be ordained a transitional deacon (after 6 years of study; priestly ordination after 7th year).

        Also, the fact that older married-for-several-years men are admitted to the program, yet they are allowed to continue marital relations with their wives. St. Francis of Assisi was a celibate permanent deacon by choice, and so as St. Stephen the Protomartyr in the first century of the Church. (Traditionally, any man ordained to the subdiaconate took a vow of celibacy.)

        Many dioceses have eliminated the permanent diaconate because it was a bust, and having a deacon running a parish (which unfortunately happens) isn’t going to give you Mass.

        No Priest=No Mass
        No Priest=No Extreme Unction

  4. Brooks Derrhive says:

    DONILON GETS A 13.4% RAISE

    Did anyone else notice how some of the bloated salaries are increasing and others are staying flat? Of the “senior lay executives” (as the no impact “compensation committee” calls them), some have salaries that have stayed flat and others seem to be increasing – quickly. The committee writes about it’s “philosophy” in the annual report, but a key point isn’t keeping extremely high salaries FLAT? Are you kidding me?

    Honorable mentions for ridiculous raises:
    * Does/should Mary O’Neill be taking cost of living increases from her $325,000 original salary (now up to $343,705)?
    * How about Beirne Lovely from his original $300,000 (now up to $311,219)?
    * Carol Gustavson is reported at $169.2 and wasn’t on the list last year. If she made less than $150.0 that means her raise was at least 12.8%

    More information needed:
    * What will John Straub’s salary when his chancellor pay is revealed next year? His salary of $229.6 is as the assistant chancellor. If he goes to Kathleen Driscoll’s level $294.7 that would be a raise of 28.4%.

    First Prize:
    * Terrence Donilon. Someone must think he’s doing a GREAT job (meeting his performance goal of fewer typos in official press releases?) because his salary jumped 13.4% from 2010 to 2011 ($162.5 to $184.4)

  5. [...] Boston Archdiocese Has Abandoned Its Mission of Saving Souls – Boston Catholic Insider [...]

  6. Lazarus' Table says:

    Sadly, Boston has become the diocese for those who love religion but find Jesus terribly annoying. Here one can use the institutional church for the benefits it may offer (position, status, power) without having to succumb to the awful burden of Christ’s cross and Gospel values. Lay or ordained, if you are an ‘insider’ your very wish is Christ’s command and woe to those who question or disagree. All the resources of the diocese are yours, and if you allow any scraps to fall from your table they may be left for the little ones you don’t kick away. If only they had served God as well as they have served the Church…

  7. Fact Checker says:

    Scot Landry invented the Men’s Conference in 2004, and later the Women’s Conference. Those gatherings were going to fix everything — build Mass attendance, improve fealty to the teachings of the Church, and make it OK to be Catholic again. Then they ran into red ink, fell in attendance and died a quiet death. Did they fix everything?

    Not so much.

    Scot Landry was hired in 2006 to head whatever one wishes to call fundraising for RCAB (it’s had a lot of names), and really turn things around. He preferred Chancellor, but settled for fundraising at the same salary. He dazzled them with technology, chafed under the training hand of Jack Connors, delighted then depressed pastors, and fundraising wobbled. He invented IFRM, which is about as popular as sand in your bathing suit. He raided non-corp Sole entities through the Appeal. Did he turn RCAB finances around?

    Not so much.

    When faced with leaving, and going back to the private sector, Scot Landry invented Boston Catholic Media, which would pay for itself and finally coalesce the dysfunction of RCAB’s radio, tv, web and the Pilot. He even bought a belly up print company and installed its equipment (this a year after RCAB trashed its own printing equipment), and strong armed parishes, et al, to use Pilot Printing. Catholic Media would make money on printing and on broadcast residuals of its content, etc., and all would be well — evangelization and positive cash flow, all in one package. Did Catholic Media solve problems, make evangelization easy and run in the black?

    Not so much.

    Scot gets full marks for leaving the light on — many lay people welcomed his common sense recommendation, with +Hennessey, to increase opportunities for everyone to go to confession during Lent and Advent. Did that last?

    Not so much, though in fairness to Scot, the program should still be around, even if Scot shouldn’t. And Kathleen Driscoll’s tepid showing given her department’s payroll doesn’t make Scot look any worse. (She deserves her own fact checker.)

    Scot has cost the RCAB about $2 million dollars in compensation, and about that again in losses (Appeal shortfalls, Catholic Media red ink, etc.). That’s a lot of money in six+ years. The kind that private industry can afford, in return for stellar performance, but that the Church can never justify.

    • Mens Conference Fact Checker says:

      Though I can’t comment on many of the other revelations, I can say the first Boston Catholic Men’s Conference in March 2005 was an outgrowth of a group of businessmen who were meeting in a morning prayer group at St. Pauls in Cambridge for while. The group included Scot Landry, Jan-Hein Cremers (who has since moved out of the Boston area), Andreas Widmer, Karl Wirth, Jo Tango, Phil Lohnes, Maybe there were others in the group, but these are the guys who formed the core of the team. As the story goes, some of them had attended other Catholic Mens conferences in Worcester and other parts of the country, were inspired, and thought they could do similar or better for Boston. At least one of those men had as spiritual director, Fr. Philip Merdinger from the Brotherhood of Hope, and he was supportive of the effort spiritually, as was the Brotherhood of Hope at the time, when they were still doing mens ministry along with campus ministry. Merdinger was chaplain of the National Fellowship of Catholic Men and saw this as part of a growing wave of Catholic men’s conferences happening across the country. Landry had known then-archbishop Sean O’Malley for years from Fall River (both Scot and his brother Roger were seminarians at the same time, but Scot decided a vocation to the priesthood was not his calling), Scot and his buddies pitched the idea to Sean, and Sean said OK. Remember, this was late 2004 when they pitched the idea–Sean was here only a little more than a year, the sexual abuse scandal was still hanging over us, and it was a time to do something positive for the archdiocese. Someone had a connection to Jim Caviezel, who was a big draw after having done “The Passion of the Christ” at the time, and managed to convince him to sign-on.

      Scot emerged as the coordinator/leader/spokesperson for that first conference. I think he was still working for a private company that did trading software for investment banks and hedge funds. After the success of the first one, they turned around and did a second one with largely the same core team plus others. That’s where my knowledge cuts off.

      • Warren Memlib says:

        As reported on Jihad Watch, the Worcester Diocesan Catholic Mrn’s Conference has compromised its integrity by capitulating to pressure from Islamic supremacists:

        Catholic diocese capitulates to Islamic supremacists and Leftist media, cancels Robert Spencer conference appearance

        http://www.jihadwatch.org/2013/01/catholic-diocese-capitulates-to-islamic-supremacists-and-leftist-media-cancels-robert-spencer-confer.html

        [The report's documentation includes a letter from an Islamic supremacist leader in Worcester to "friends" in the Archdiocese of Boston to ask Cardinal Sean to use his influence to cancel Robert Spencer's appearance at the Worcester conference]

        From: A C DR ASMAL [mailto:acasmal@msn.com]
        Sent: Wednesday, January 30, 2013 2:31 PM
        To: david michael; riaz khan; nabeel khudairi; sulieman mohammed; naim assil; naseemakhan@yahoo.com
        Cc: Vito nicastro; ray helmick; Jerome maryon; Yusufi vali; Wangsness, Lisa J; diane kessler
        Subject: A MATTER OF GRAVE CONCERN
        Importance: High

        Father David Michael, 1/30/2013
        Archdiocese of Boston.
        Dear David,
        Please see the note from Yusufi Vali who is the current Executive Director of the ISBCC
        He has received a note from the Globe that arch-Islamophobe Robert Spencer who masquerades as a Catholic has been invited to talk on Islam at the invitation of the Worcester Archdiocese.
        Mr Spencer has a very deep rooted Islamophobia and argues by selective quoting of sacred passages taken totally out of context , and exploits any and every opportunity he gets to link the lunatic act of a Muslim in any part of the world as a direct consequence of Islam.
        He is not an academician, nor does he have a modicum of understanding of Islam.
        We in the Boston community who have enjoyed such a warm tradition of mutual respect with all our Christian friends both in the Acrhdiocese of Boston and at the Massachusetts Council of Churches are appalled that a person with such reprehensible credentials should be invited to speak to the Catholics in Worcester.
        This is an appeal to you through his Eminence Cardinal O’Malley to exercise whatever influence you can to expose Mr Spencer for the hatemonger he is and get his invitation rescinded.
        Thank you for your efforts
        Abdul Cader Asmal MD
        Co-chair of Communications
        Islamic Council of New England.
        ps I am copying Dr Vito Nicastro, Fr Ray Helmick, and Jerome Maryon Esq all comitted Catholic friends of the Muslim community,as well as Rev Laura Everett at MCC and Rev Dianne Kessler former EX Director of MCC
        and Ms Lisa Wangsness at the Boston Globe

  8. Stephen says:

    Mr. Fact Checker,
    Mr. Landry did not invent the Men’s conference. He played one key role in the first one at BC high. When the diocese decided to ‘professionalize’ the conference it was the first nail in the coffin. Mr. Landry the volunteer became the conference ‘king’. The woman’s conference was totally off mission from the get-go.

    To revisit your statement; “…fix everything — build Mass attendance, improve fealty (fidelity?) to the teachings of the Church, and make it OK to be Catholic again.”

    Indeed this was the mission of the Men’s conference. Is there really any doubt the forces in power in the RCAB took great efforts and pleasure in killing it?

    And…”Then they ran into red ink, fell in attendance and died a quiet death.”

    NO way. The conference was intentionally killed. The enemies within the diocese and other church professionals around town CONSPIRED to end it. Way too orthodox, way to conservative. way too manly, way too heterosexual.

    • Michael says:

      way too (Good) Fr. Corapi … who told O’Malley the truth … that he is responsible for the souls lost here at ground zero in the spiritual battle.

  9. Vorite says:

    I’m converting to the Vorite Catholic Church. The omniscience of Michael Voris dazzles. If I become a premium subscriber am I automatically a parishioner of the omnipresent Diocese of St. Michael’s Media or does Michael perform a sacrament of initiation?

    • Vorite,
      Please focus on the content and topic of this post.BCI believes the messages in the Michael Voris “Dead Branches” video and our post are pretty well on-target for Boston. If you are familiar with the situation in Boston and have reason to agree or disagree with anything in this post, you can feel free to comment on that specifically.

  10. Readers,
    By now you should know that we ask everyone commenting to stick to the topic of the post and to avoid personal attacks. A personal attack is exemplified by you saying, “Person X is a ___.” BCI leaves our computer for a couple of hours and the comments seem to have turned into a bit of a free for all.

    The post is about “dead branches” in Boston and the need for them to be be pruned, not about the Boston Catholic Mens Conference, which is no longer even active at this time. Please keep to the main topic of the post.

  11. Stephen says:

    BCI,
    The Boston Catholic Men’s Conference was a watershed event. It was a last ditch effort to salvage the RCAB. 5,200 men attended in 2006, it was cancelled 4 years later because those in power did not want it. It is important that people know this. Let the clustering begin!

  12. Stephen,
    BCI agrees that the Boston Catholic Men’s Conference was a watershed event. But, BCI does not have any evidence indicating it was “cancelled” or supporting your claim that “those in power did not want it.” Attendance was waning after they hit that peak of 5,200 men. The last year, the event at the Cathedral had around 1,400 attendees–about 25% of the peak year–with speakers from the EWTN Crossing the Goal team: Danny Abramowicz, Peter Herbeck, Curtis Martin and Brian Patrick. What BCI heard at the time–and this was not long before we assembled to start BCI–was that core team met after the conference and THEMSELVES decided to take a break. It was unclear how much of a break they would take, but it was clear at the time that they could not do a conference every year. The novelty of the Boston Catholic Men’s Conference was no longer there as a draw, attendance was heading downward, there was not a stable financial model for running the conferences at break-even or a small profit, some team members were tired or discouraged, and on top of that, the leader for several years, Scot Landry, had been pushed out of his development job by Jack Connors and Chancellor Jim McDonough. (In fact, Jim McDonough threatened to the Cardinal that he would resign if Landry was not moved out from the Development job, but we digress). Multiple people have verified this version of what happened. If it is merely your opinion that it was intentionally killed because it was too orthodox and “those in power did not want it”, then please state it as your opinion. If you have objective facts to back the claim which are not available to even people on the core planning team who voted to suspend the conference for the aforementioned reasons, please let us know where those facts come from and how we might verify them.

  13. BettyD says:

    Roman Catholic Diocese launches $3.5 million public campaign

    http://www.democratandchronicle.com/article/2013013/NEWS01/301310032/Roman-Cat Rochester, NY

    What do you think about creating 4 teams to compete with
    fundraising for the 137 million to restore the pension funds?
    Do you think any college graduates would be interested after graduation?

  14. Stephen says:

    BCI, Thanks for you insight. Fair questions. I was at the ‘captain’s meeting’ for the last conference. The conversation at Braintree HQ never got beyond what was for lunch and where will all the people park? And I don’t recall a single roman collar in attendance. The cookies were quite nice. The music at the Cathedral the day of the event appeared to be demonic (perhaps a bit harsh). The elaborate high tech video monitor system set up in the Cathedral was a bizarre display of; missing the point.

    With all due respect to the brain trust church professionals, it was jamokes like me who peddled the tickets, drove the vans and assisted the elder statesmen of the faith to the potty. I was there from the beginning, it was all done in Charity and with a movement of the Holy Spirit. Your ‘novelty’ comment I find offensive. When the now far fallen Fr. John Corapi stated unequivocally at the conference “Boston is ground zero in the Culture of Death” some of us knew exactly what he meant.

    Here is a fact for ya, if the Cardinal wanted the conference, we sir, would have a Catholic Men’s Conference.

    If you really want to know what it going on, ask the guy in the back row. We suffer the fools only out of obligation. Cluster on Boston.

    I do hope you admonish Vorite for his ridicule of Michael Voris.

    • Stephen,
      Thank you for your follow-up comment and the objective information you presented, including about that Pastoral Center meeting. BCI is aware of the situation with music and video monitors at the Cathedral event. We also agree that from the beginning, it was all done in charity and with a movement of the Holy Spirit. And we agree with the highly publicized comment by now far fallen Fr. John Corapi “Boston is ground zero in the Culture of Death.”

      Further, we accept your argument that the Cardinal and other senior officials were not pushing for a continuation of the conferences. But their neglect to push and support the conference feels different than an intentional conspiracy to kill the conference. And it also fails to touch on the sentiments of the key members of the team.

      • Stephen says:

        But their neglect to push and support _____ feels different than an intentional conspiracy to kill _______.

        It a strategy people. Of course it ‘feels’ different. Go ahead, fill in the blank. DOM, 40 days for life, Orthodoxy, financial accountability, local parishes etc.

        I’m not a big of touching on sentiments.

        Denial of the diabolical allows it to thrive.

  15. Mary Ann says:

    My children and I have been wondering WHAT is going on in Mass. for years. All that education seems to have done in the populace. Too much reason and not enough faith. Let the collapse begin, so that Christ, the TRUE LIGHT and VINE, can begin rebuilding.

    Someone said earlier- no cooperation with heretics within the Church. This must be followed.

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