Before we continue our series on “Sham Searches” with a doozey we have a couple of notes:
First is a correction to our post from yesterday. We mentioned the search for the new head of the Mass Catholic Conference was a “sham search, ” but we did not realize that Bishop Coleman of Fall River is in fact heading that search. We corrected that yesterday, and will withhold further comment while we eagerly await word this week of who else is on the search committee.
Secondly, for those who missed last week’s Pastoral Center staff meeting and have not yet been briefed on the meeting, here are a few highlights.
- Health care costs will be increasing next year for employees
- Fr. Erikson and the Cardinal appreciate the help of Pastoral Center staff who worked on the bishop’s ordination and Priest Appreciation Dinner.
- Regarding the Catholic blogs, Fr. Richard Erikson is sickened by personal attacks on great priests, he is distressed by disloyalty of staff reporting to bloggers, and he will no longer read the blogs. Instead he will have Father Parrish read them and report to him.
We have not made personal attacks on any great priests so we assume that does not refer to us, and we are glad he did not say anything about “unfounded claims” on our blog. Fr. Parrish, since you are apparently the blog liaison, if you are reading this post, could you do us a favor and let the Vicar General know that his comments suggest he may still not get it? Next time, could he consider saying something like the following?
“I am distressed by the reports of cronyism, conflicts of interest, ethical lapses, and corruption here at the Pastoral Center which we have pursued further and found to be legitimate. They are contrary to Gospel values expected from people who work for the Catholic Church, and they also contradict the ‘rhythm of prayer that marks each day’ at the Pastoral Center I just wrote about in The Pilot. We are taking serious steps to address the underlying issues the blogs are reporting on. We expect everyone here to join with us in operating more like the non-profit Catholic Church spreading the gospel of Jesus Christ for the salvation of souls, rather than an ethically-challenged for-profit business. Anyone who is here mostly for personal gain and who does want to carry out the saving mission of Jesus Christ should start looking for a new job elsewhere.”
Thirdly, we have harped on the need for the Archdiocese to publish the names of anonymous people serving on important committees. A number of people have been appointed to the Boston Archdiocesan Finance Council in the past 12 months (since the 2010 Boston Catholic Directory went to press) whose names are still…anonymous. Who are they? What agendas might they bring? Are any of them past associates of the Chancellor–meaning the council that approves or disproves of his performance might be getting stacked with people who are not objective and impartial? How did they come to get nominated to the council? In case the archdiocese is struggling to figure out how to present this information, here is how the Manchester Diocese posts the members of their Finance Council. Why is Boston unable to do something similar? Why is the current Boston Finance Council membership a secret? Is the archdiocese afraid we will find and expose more corruption there, and that will turn donors away? We hope the Archdiocesan Pastoral Council brings this up on Wednesday evening.
Now back to Sham Search #2: We give the new Sham Search #2 to the position of Vice Chancellor that the archdiocese has been trying to fill. Apparently, Jim McDonough, the current Chancellor, believes he needs a #2 person to help with the all of the day-to-day administrivia of his $250,000/job so he can free up time to become CEO of the Archdiocese of Boston, kind like he was President and CEO of the Abington Savings Bank for about 14 years. Never mind the fact that functions of such a role, if it were even to exist, should actually be carried out by the Cardinal Archbishop or Vicar General. (By the way, did we ever mention that this Chancellor apparently has a signed letter that authorizes him reporting directly to Cardinal O’Malley and not to the Vicar General?)
Anyway, so the “nationwide search” has been underway to fill the position, supposedly using a search firm who will collect a nice commission when the position is filled. This one is different from the Secretary of Institutional Advancement search and most of the other “worldwide searches” in that instead of announcing the search and then choosing whomever they knew and wanted while pretending there was an open search, this one has been done in “stealth mode.” No job posting. No way to officially submit an application. Is this the same archdiocese that touts transparency, or did we confuse them with another diocese? The pay is expected to be in the range of $150-175K/year. We hear that the new position will be paid for from “savings” by having Carol Gustavson’s salary now paid “off the books” by the Benefits Trust, and also no longer having the expensive recent college grad “operations associate” (Jed H) on staff.
Despite all this, we hear that a couple of good people have actually learned about the position, applied and been interviewed. At least one solid candidate had a great resume, with no connections to Jim McDonough, and was recently turned down. Maybe they were too Catholic and wanted to really serve the Church, which, along with no prior relationship to Jim or Jack Connors, would probably make them ineligible. See our Job Seeker video if you would like an idea of what it is like applying for a position.
We have more to say about this position and how it relates to the feifdom of the Chancellor but will save that for another time. Those who have additional insights on the above can feel free to post them as comments. Tune in for more on this and other sham searches in one of our next exciting episodes.