In our first installment of “Archdiocesan Anonymity,” we talked about how a letter signed by the anonymous trustees of the employee benefit trust was sent to all archdiocean employees letting them know how their pension benefits are being reduced. While we continue the investigation and search for clues to try and solve that mystery, we have learned the mystery is deeper than we thought. On top of that, it appears to perhaps carry over to the many mysteries over how the critically important Clergy Retirement Fund is being managed.
Several sources now tell us that Ms. Carol G, the proudly non-Catholic Executive Director of HR who has been hiring lots of people for the Catholic archdiocese, is becoming head (or has already become head) of a separate corporate entity called the “benefits trust.” Unfortunately, we have been so busy here at the blog we must have missed the press release about the worldwide search to fill the position with someone skilled in benefits. The whole situation feels cloaked in anonymity and obscurity. Here are a few questions that readers might want to ask the Chancellor, Carol G, or bring up at the next Archdiocesan Presbyteral or Pastoral Council meeting to better understand what is really happening in this area:
- Who is the leadership of the trust besides Ms. Carol G? Why are the names of those people currently kept anonymous? What are their backgrounds? How were they chosen? When exactly will the names be disclosed?
- Does the trust benefit both lay and ordained?
- How is Ms. G discharging her fiduciary duty exclusively for the good of the beneficiaries of the trust?
- Who else’s salary besides Ms. G’s is paid in whole or in part? What is she paid? What is the total cost of the salaries paid by the trust?
- Is she paid by both the trust and RCAB? What is her total compensation?
- Who are the vendors of the trust, namely investment and program managers? How are they chosen? How are they compensated?
- When do the vendors of the trust meet with the trust leadership?
- What goals is the trust given? Who sets those goals, tracks progress, and maintains accountability for achieving those goals?
- Is Ms. Carol G. forbidden from receiving any benefit from the vendors of the trust? Is she foresworn from later being employed by one of them or a related entity?
- Is there any impediment to making all agreements entered into by or on behalf of the Trust public?
- Is there any impediment to making the periodic earnings reports submitted to the Trust public? If there is an impediment, what is it? If there is not, why not publish them?
- Where is the much-touted transparency?
Given the serious fiduciary responsibility associated with managing these funds, it seems logical that those involved should be held to the highest standards, does it not? However, the much-touted transparency looks to us more like obscurity. We are aware that there are a number of mysteries surrounding the Clergy Retirement Fund specifically, including its management, compensation of managers, proper allocation of contributions to the fund, the names of the “anonymous” trustees of the fund, and more. Tune in soon for an upcoming episode when we will focus on the Clergy Retirement Fund, but in the meantime, feel free to send us your questions or comments about the funds.
Lastly, if you are still following the Caritas Christi storyline, here is a colorful post from one of the cross-town Catholic blogs about the dismantling of Caritas’ Catholic identity. We thought the pictures alone made it a worthwhile read.
We are taking off from blogging for the holiday weekend. Have a very happy and safe holiday. See you next week!
ps. Silence Meter Update:
- 11 days passed since archdiocese said they are seeking a conversation with bloggers; no response to Open Letter.
- 41 days passed since July 23 email to archdiocese asking for explanation of conflicts of interest that led to hiring Communications Secretary and Chancellor; no response.