Diocesan Deception from Donilon?

We were going to report on the results of our poll from the last two days, but feel the news of today is even more pressing.  You read the objective description of what happened and decide for yourself whether Terry Donilon is someone you consider credible.

Objective information: Boston Catholic Insider blog correctly called the search for the new Secretary of Development a “sham search” months ago.  It seems that some of the most senior people in the archdiocese have deceived everyone in the archdiocese about this being an open search ever since mid-June.

Today Terry Donilon responded to an inquiry by a Catholic news reporter about this situation by saying that he will not respond to “unfounded claims” posted on this blog.

Terry, we have been waiting since August 23 for you to tell us what you feel are “unfounded claims” on this blog and we have gotten nothing from you. It seems to us and an increasing number of people in the archdiocese that YOU are actually among those making unfounded claims.

Perhaps you have not yet noticed that when our readers were asked, “To what extent do you trust the information you get from the leaders of the Archdiocese of Boston lately?” 77% of people said, “I trust the Boston Catholic Insider blog to tell me the truth a lot more than I trust the archdiocesan leaders.”   Anyone wonder why that is?

(click graphic to enlarge or see here)

A reputable reporter for a national Catholic newsaper wrote to Terry Donilon with the following message yesterday:

From: [reporter name redacted]
Sent: Thursday, November 04, 2010 2:07 PM
To: Donilon, Terrence
Subject: questions concerning new finance board

Mr. Donilon,
I am currently writing a report for [publication name] on information obtained from BostonCatholicInsider, and I would like:
1: your response on the general accuracy of the web site, and,
2: specific responses to the questions BCI makes here:
3) How does a newly established 501(c) (3) organization for fund-raising ensure donors of “independence” and “accountability”? From the Vicar General’s email and press announcement we learned the following:

Kathleen will be responsible for leading, directing and managing a new independent development organization, Boston Catholic Development Services (BCDS)…The newly established 501(c) (3) organization will ensure donors of independence and accountability.”

Who approved this?  What exactly was the problem with accountability to the Archdiocese of Boston before which this now solves?  Who will this be accountable to going forward?  Jack Connors?  Whom else?  What is it independent of?  The Catholic Church?

Here is who they say they will be accountable to:
A newly established Board of Trustees will provide oversight and some of its members will include member(s) of, the Archdiocese, the Campaign for Catholic Schools and Catholic Charities (if they choose to join). BCDS will also be accountable to the respective boards representing the entities they serve such as the Archdiocese, the Clergy Fund and Campaign for Catholic Schools.

For any Catholic who supports the mission of the Church and for any donor, this sounds downright scary.  There are a host of canonical and governance  issues we are not prepared to go into today.  But here is who they might draw from if they tap the Catholic Charities board: James Brett, (buddy of Jack Connors and Fr. Bryan Hehir on the search committee for the new MCC head, and part of the Hanover crowd of cronies), Kevin Driscoll (familiar last name), Fr. Bryan Hehir, Jeff Kaneb (whose wealthy daddy helped him get on the CC board and whose daddy is also Vice Chair of the finance council and board of Partners), Vicar General Fr Richard Erikson,  and Michael Sheehan (CEO of Hill Holliday and another buddy of Jack Connors).

I would appreciate a response as soon as possible.
Thank you,
[reporter name]
news editor

Here is Terry Donilon’s response:

From: Donilon, Terrence
To: [reporter name]
Sent: Friday, November 05, 2010 9:29 AM
Subject: RE: questions concerning new finance board

Mr.     –
Thank you for your email inquiry. I have no intention of responding to anonymous and unfounded claims and attacks posted in Boston Catholic Insider.  Following please find our press release about Kathleen Driscoll’s appointment and the formation of Boston Catholic Development Services.  We are delighted to have a woman with Kathleen’s depth of experience, passion and faith leading this effort to assist in continuing and enhancing the saving ministry of Jesus Christ for the wonderful people of the Archdiocese of Boston.
Thank you,

Terry, we have news for you.  Donations from people reading this blog pay your salary. In case you were not aware, the blog has had 100,000 hits since we started in June, from more than 60,000 unique visitors, of whom about 22,000 are repeat visitors.  See stats below.

Nearly 80% of these visitors are from Massachusetts.

Do the math.  A LOT of priests, pastoral center workers, laity, and donors who pay your salary are reading your unfounded claims about “unfounded claims.”  Terry, just as fraternal correction, we feel compelled to let you know that some people might feel as long as you are unable to back your unfounded claim about “unfounded claims” on this blog, then you are not in a position to be considered trustworthy.  If that is not how you wish to be seen, you may wish to take some corrective action.

In the meantime, if any readers are interested in answers to the same questions as this reporter posed to Terry, here is a short email you can send to Terry and the Vicar General. Just copy and paste, and send it on off.

To: Vicar_General@rcab.org, Terrence_donilon@rcab.org

As a faithful Catholic in the Archdiocese of Boston whose donations to my local church partially fund your salaries, I would like to know the answers to several questions regarding the changes  just announced in the area of archdiocesan fund-raising.

–How does the newly established 501(c) (3) organization for fund-raising ensure donors of “independence” and “accountability”?
–What exactly was the problem with accountability to the Archdiocese of Boston before which this now solves?
–Who–by name of individual and canonically recognized body–will this be accountable to going forward?
–What is the new entity independent of?
–Who is on the “newly established Board of Trustees”?
–What is the “respective board” representing the Archdiocese” referred to in the press release?   Who is on it?  What is the canonical basis for that board’s existence?

I would appreciate a response as soon as possible.


[Your name]

If you do not get a response from Terry, feel free to try calling him on either of these numbers:

Work:  617-746-5775
Cell:  401-480-0171

Have at it folks.  Let us know how you make out.

One Response to Diocesan Deception from Donilon?

  1. […] on November 5 in our post “Diocesan Deception from Donilon?” we reported on the latest regarding the “sham search” for the new head of development.  […]

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