Boston Catholic Insider Blog Topics

Readers, in view of the flood of messages we have gotten over recent weeks–and especially over the past several days–we wanted to take a moment to let everyone know that we have not lost sight of the topics you would like to see us cover.  Our all-volunteer editorial, research, and writing team is not exactly as large as the paid staffs of the Boston Globe or New York Times, so please bear with us (and maybe even chip in to help) as we get to your topics of interest. Just to give you an idea of what everyone has asked about–and also give you a chance to share your knowledge and insights about these various areas to assist the Boston Catholic Insider team–below is an alphabetical listing of some of the topics you have been asking about:

  • Benefits: questions raised by most recent letter sent out describing cutbacks in plans for employees and retirees ; issues associated with taking an as-yet-undetermined lump-sum payment, aggregation of 403B under one vendor.
  • Blog FAQ: answers to your frequently asked questions about the Boston Catholic Insider blog
  • Boston Catholic Development Services (BCDS): How will this new entity work? What is it independent of? Who is it accountable to? Who is staffing it?
  • Boston College’s efforts to remake Catholic education: as exemplified by the BC/St. Columbkille school project
  • Boston University Catholic Student Center: Is Chancellor McDonough really trying to sell the building off and disrupt the already underfunded campus ministry done by the Brotherhood of Hope?
  • Budget: Pastoral Center spending, where the money comes in from and where it goes out to
  • Campaign for Catholic Schools: what happens if they don’t raise the rest of the money to pay back the $20 million loan to the archdiocese?  Where will the dough come from?
  • Caritas Christi sale: final chapter
  • Cathedral development project: what just happened with a major project that turned Chancellor McDonough and Fr. Kickham from endorsing it to now wanting to sell off the property proposed for the project?
  • Catholics Come Home: plan, costs, goals
  • Chancellor’s Contract Renewal: status, perspectives on whether he should get another 5 years, what would sway Cardinal O’Malley to open a search for a new Chancellor or keep Jim McDonough on for 5 more years.
  • Chancellor’s Staff: who are they, what have some of them done or been doing that you might find to be of interest
  • Connors, Jack: history with the archdiocese; should he be removed from archdiocesan decision-making? If so, how and why? If not, why not?
  • Diocesan Deception, Driscoll for Development Chief–more details on how priests and laity of the archdiocese were deceived and how the deception continues today
  • Diocesan Deception, Non-Discrimination Policy for Catholic Schools: how clergy, archdiocesan employees and laity are being deceived today as the policy rapidly makes its way through final internal approvals. This policy is intended to deal with situations such as the admission of children of homosexual parents.
  • Finance Council: who are the newest members to join
  • Grassa O’Neill, Mary: lack of responsiveness from her office, questions from across the diocese about what she does to earn her $325,000/year salary
  • Gustavson, Carol: background, loyalty to Jim at the expense of Pastoral Center employees, habit of telling people in meetings she will get back to them with answers to their questions but never responding, comments from Pastoral Center employees about trail of relationship destruction
  • Legal Eagles: how much the archdiocese spends, who is involved in the archdiocese’s legal efforts
  • O’Malley, Cardinal Sean P: governance style, getting action on issues, getting information to him that you need him to see.  How does one get information in his hands?  How do you know he’s seen and signed important documents?
  • Pastoral Planning: how many “parishes” (that combine multiple “church” buildings) are likely to emerge in the new plan, and when will the plan emerge?
  • Progress: areas where the archdiocese seems to be paying at least some attention to governance or communication issues raised on the blogs and where we would want to positively recognize progress and the response
  • Property Mis-Management: ineffectiveness and inefficiency in how the archdiocese manages and operates all of the various parish and school properties
  • Real Estate Management: do we have leader for this effort who knows real estate and an independent team of real estate experts who make sure we get the best price for every property sold?
  • Self-Insurance: what is happening to the profits and assets today, what was the “float” for each of the past five years, how long it is retained to cover contingencies, can premiums be capped if the float is sufficient?
  • Seminary Squeezola: latest status, how will Archdiocese pay back the seminary the $4 million note due in January 2011?
  • USCCB President Election: upcoming vote November 15-18 in Baltiimore for the new president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.  Will Cardinal O’Malley, and Bishops Hennessey, Kennedy, Uglietto, Dooher, Edyvean, and Allué vote to elect as national leader a bishop known to have enabled a priest convicted of child sexual abuse who is now defrocked and jailed?
  • Vigil Vigilance: cost of continuing to keep vigil parishes open, why the archdiocese is failing to use their own proven approach to shut these down
  • Violations of Canonical and/or Civil Law by the Archdiocese of Boston: have these really happened in recent years?
  • Whistleblower Policy: coming to a theater near you in 2011 after nearly 4 years sitting at the brink of the Chancellor’s circular file

We may not necessarily cover all of these topics, but this is a summary of what you have most frequently asked us to write about. We reserve the right to add new topics as the bloggers feel appropriate, and there are a few in our queue we feel would be of interest that are not on the list above. If you do not know about a particular area but know someone who is familiar with it, just drop them an email or give them a call and ask them to fill you in.  Feel free to sound off via comments or confidential email with your thoughts or insights to us on any of these topics <bostoncatholicinsider(at)>.

5 Responses to Boston Catholic Insider Blog Topics

  1. Hoodwinked Priest says:

    I am struck by the enormous range of areas the blog has covered already and been asked to cover in the future, and if there are yet more than these with problems or corruption to be exposed publicly, it makes me wonder what exactly everyone under the tutelage of the Chancellor, Vicar General, and Jack Connors at the Pastoral Center ARE DOING IN AN ETHICAL MANNER?

    My votes on topics are:
    –Diocesan Deception, Driscoll for Development Chief
    –Non-Discrimination Policy for Catholic Schools: I have reviewed the policy and the deception jumped out at me in the first 30 seconds of reading
    –USCCB President Election: out of the main Boston focus, but still would like to hear what the blog can add to this discussion. I hope and pray Cardinal Sean and our bishops, coming from what is often called the “Ground Zero” of the sexual abuse crisis, have the sensibility to not elect the person named in that article.

  2. Objective Observer says:

    The Kicanis question is fascinating. In Boston you have three auxiliary bishops who have given much of their careers to priest formation: Edyvean, Kennedy and Uglietto. No one of these men would identify with anything Kicanis said as rector about the sexual transgressions with boys that the now-defrocked priest had perpetrated as a seminarian. All three of these bishops would have launched the guy into orbit, none would knowingly recommend him for ordination. And the garnish: “I was more worried about his drinking.”

    So I cannot imagine that Kicanis would get the vote of any one of the three. The other consideration is that no one of the three has a political bone in his body. So the motivation of enhancing his own career in order to do the bidding of a particular cell of influence within the USCCB doesn’t exist.

    But if any bishop would be inclined to vote for Kicanis, there are two motivations that would chill their enthusiasm. Bishop Olmsted in Phoenix, one of the most effective leaders in the Church in the western United States, would not, in my view, vote for him. That should speak volumes, since Kicanis is right down the road in Tucson. Who would know more about the candidate than his neighbor?

    The second reason I think other bishops cannot vote for him, no matter how political they are, is that his election would erode all credibility of the whole USCCB. The p.r. disaster that would follow would be stunning for the damage it would do. It’s all the USCCB would get done for the foreseeable future… constantly let a story that got ahead of them beat them down.

    Now some of the bishops are arrogant, and some are VERY political, while others aren’t that bright and a few are downright bad apples. But the majority are OK or even terrific. So my bet is on the majority to figure this out and send Kicanis to the back benches.

    I’ll definitely back that up with some serious prayer, though.

  3. Andy says:

    Objective Observer, your comments give me great comfort! Do you think they all know about this background? If the Archbishop of Boston is largely oblivious to this blog, could it be that he and other bishops are unaware of Bishop Kicanis’ background?

  4. […] reader, “Objective Observer”  recently commenting on a previous post here observed: “…his election would erode all credibility of the whole USCCB. The PR […]

  5. […] an editorial calendar of topics in place and use that to drive content.  (We did this on Nov. 8, and you will see we have slowly been picking through them).  Instead of just having the blog […]

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