Latest Archdiocesean News

After reading and praying over the scripture readings for today, we really wanted to make our post for today 100% positive about some recent good things in the news.  But then we saw the Globe article about the freezing of the lay pension plan, and our hopes for a completely non-critical post were dashed.

From the first Reading

Is 35:1-6a, 10: “The desert and the parched land will exult the steppe will rejoice and bloom. They will bloom with abundant flowers, and rejoice with joyful song….Here is your God, he comes with vindication; with divine recompense he comes to save you. Then will the eyes of the blind be opened, the ears of the deaf be cleared; then will the lame leap like a stag, then the tongue of the mute will sing.  Those whom the LORD has ransomed will return and enter Zion singing, crowned with everlasting joy; they will meet with joy and gladness, sorrow and mourning will flee.

Against the metaphoric backdrop of the desert and parched land eventually rejoicing, there were some good news about the Catholic Church in Boston during this past week:

  • The second annual Advent “God of This City” tour reached about 2,000 young people across the 5-night  tour in 5 locations throughout the archdiocese.  The aim of the tour is to reach young people through different ways of prayer, silence, dynamic music, Eucharistic adoration, the Sacrament of Confession, and in the preached word of God.
  • The Light is on For You, the weekly Sacrament of Reconciliation initiative begun in Lent, returns for Advent.  Every parish and chapel in the archdiocese will have confessions available for the next two Wednesday evenings, December 15 and 22, from 6:30pm-8pm. In the Pilot article, Cardinal O’Malley wrote, “Some parishes experienced high numbers of penitents throughout the Lenten season, others reported that participation increased each week and that many people came on the final nights.”  Even parishes that had a lower turnout reported great spiritual value of hearing the confession of just one person who had been away from the Sacrament and the Church for a long time.
  • The Globe reported on the confession initiative with an article whose title is self-explanatory. Need to find a Catholic church on the go? The Archdiocese has an app for you. In other words, there is a new iPhone app out from the archdiocese to help people find a Catholic church any time and any where.  This would be especially useful if you are looking for confession in a location other than your local parish.

Looking ahead to next weekend, Women Affirming Life is holding their Advent Mass and Breakfast Forum with Cardinal O’Malley (who is now back from Paraguay) next Saturday, December 18, from 8am-11:30am at the Four Points by Sheraton Norwood hotel. Tickets are only available in advance, not at the door. For more information, click here.

Alas, but then there was the Globe article of today, Archdiocese to end lay pension plan We could spend an entire post on the freezing of the lay pension fund, and probably will.  But we could not end the day today without calling Chancellor McDonough out for the rather flagrant mis-statement about employees not having gotten raises in 4 years.  The Chancellor was quoted as follows:

“McDonough said it could take many years for the pension fund to become fully funded again, but when it is, the church hopes to redirect the money it had been paying toward stabilizing the fund toward other employee benefits. He said employees have not had a raise in four years.”

Apparently either the blog is not doing a very good job of communicating information, or people just have so much going on during this busy holiday season that they do not have time to remember the facts.  Our post of December 2, Finance Council Top Ethical Concerns: #4: Compensation–Six Figure Salaries, listed two employees whose raises between 2006 to 2009 were published in the archdiocese’s annual report.

Terry Donilon was paid $160,000 in the fiscal year that ended June 2006, and he was paid $166,000 in the fiscal year that ended June 2009.

James Walsh was paid $137,523 in the fiscal year that ended June 2006, and he was paid $185,270 in the fiscal year that ended June 2009.

Math may have not been our strongest subject in school, but we do not think it takes a Ph.D. in quantitative analysis or economics or even background in banking to understand that these two people did in fact get raises during the past 4 years.

We understand there were a lot more raises given out than these two, but these two are publicly cited in the annual reports, so it seems to us like the Chancellor should have not have made such a mistake. Coincidentally, we just now happened to think once again about Luke16:10:

The person who is trustworthy in very small matters is also trustworthy in great ones; and the person who is dishonest in very small matters is also dishonest in great ones.

We have sent a note to the Globe reporter, Lisa Wangsness, concerning this error and will also send one to the Chancellor.

16 Responses to Latest Archdiocesean News

  1. David Justen says:

    I know for a fact from people I know who work there that while some higher paid executives may have received raises, the average worker has not seen a pay increase even to match inflation in years. Even as they lost benefits and holidays and had the work week lengthened.

    And in all the latest rounds of layoffs, has one person who makes over $100,000 lost his job? How many people making modest salaries with years, and even decades, of experience lost theirs?

    • Carolyn says:

      David we agree completely that RCAB inexplicably has “cut costs” by reductions in force of low and moderately paid, highly experienced people, then created many new positions for people being paid $100,000 and more, who seem not to be clear on the particulars of the faith.

      James McDonough assumed the role of chancellor in May, 2006. On July 1 2006, those who did not lose their jobs did receive modest annual percentage (3%?) increases. Ditto 2007 and 2008. The top paid employees “gave back” 10% in FY 2009, but were restored in FY 2010 to prior levels. (So MGO went down to just over $300,000 for a year, then back up to $340,000.) Meanwhile, those making lower salaries, e.g., $40,000 received no increase in either FY09 or FY10.

      If this is not accurate, please set the record straight, but I’m fairly certain it’s on the money. (Forgive the pun.)

      • David Justen says:

        Carolyn,

        I’ve checked with those who I know work there and there was not an increase in 2008 at least and, they can’t be sure but don’t remember getting one in 2007. (We share the same memory gaps of our advanced years, alas.)

        And yes, it’s well known that the top 10% of employees in salary level took a temporary 10% reduction for at least the last fiscal year. I didn’t know about whether those salaries rebounded or not.

    • Former Employee says:

      It was the same when I was there, big lay-offs the June after O’Malley arrived, no big money folks at all. Many more left when the Capital Campaign wound down.

      It’s like there is a class system, fat cats and lapsed/ex-Catholics get the best treatment.

      As for the Pension plan, I’m not really suprised, I am just VERY CONCERNED that O’Malley will go after the Priests’ retirement plan next, from what I hear they are already doing some strong arming about benefits.

      • Disgusted Boston Priest says:

        Dear “Former Employee” – sorry to say, your worry about the folks at 66 Brooks going after the priests’ retirement plan has already come to pass.

        Where once we were told we didn’t have to get into the Social Security program, now we’re being told that if we’re not already in it we have to get into it (even though years ago they changed our status from ’employee’ to ‘independent contractor’ to get themselves out of having to pay the Social Security premium!)

        Retired priests who weren’t part of the Social Security program are now having 25% of their monthly stipend diverted to get them the appropriate number of “quarters” so they can get Social Security benefits.

        Medical coverage – which was always a part of what we were told we could expect from the Archdiocese – is now being shifted over to Medicare for retired priests, and dental and vision benefits for active priests are “managed” by an outside entity (anyone familiar with HMO’s understands what “managed” really means).

        I get a kick out of the official line that the lay pension fund was “fully funded” just a couple years ago, and that the great recession is the cause of the current problems. It’s almost as laughable as the line they’ve fed us about how accountants told them that the priests’ pension fund was “fully funded” and didn’t need the contributions the faithful gave for that express purpose at every Christmas and Easter Mass for sixteen years (some $70 million or more), although amazingly that fund is now underfunded by some $104 million.

        I wonder what compound interest on $74 million would have been over a 16 year period?

        Bottom line: they’ve long since decided that they’re sticking it to the priests who, as a friend of mine once put it, possess only one right – that of a Christian burial.

      • Former Employee says:

        Right to a Christian Burial? They are trying to dig up Cardinal O’Connell….the poorest pauper or biggest wretch in the world would not have his grave taken from him!!!

  2. SAd Boston Priest says:

    THE SAND FOUNDATION WILL NOT STAND UP TO THE WINDS OF EXAMINATION AND PUBLIC DISCLOSURES !

    • Jack O'Malley says:

      Disgusted Boston Priest,

      What you describe is an outrage.

      Meanwhile the porcine lay commissars of the archdiocesan Central Committee are fattening on the contributions of pusillanimous pew puppies as good priests are being thrown to the wolves. Écrasez l’infâme! This is not Christ’s Church! It is a den of thieves ruled by a Satanic Sanhedrin led by a figurehead absentee High Priest.

      Wake up, you sheep. Why are you willingly being fleeced? Why do you voluntarily submit to the cutthroats? In your schools is no Catholic doctrine; in your churches is no Catholic liturgy; in your seminaries is no Catholic formation.

      The light is on for you? LOL! What a sappy slogan. The Light has long since been snuffed out. Lumen de lumine. Deum verum de Deo vero. Don’t recite that bit anymore, do you, you novus ordo liturgical illiterates?

      Thank you, Cardinal Paddy O’Malley. Job well done. You paid the victims, you paid the fraudsters, you paid the lawyers. None of it on your own coin. Time to move on, eh? Next rung of the careerist ladder? Santa Maria Maggiore is soon to need an archpriest. Go for it. The desecration of the temples of God continues. The stench of Satan suffuses the sanctuaries. You’ll fit right in.

      Don’t trust them with your money; don’t trust them with your children; don’t trust them with your soul.

      • Boston Catholic Insider says:

        Jack,
        The blog often agrees with your comments and finds your linguistic structures entertaining, but this writer must take issue with a few points in your comment.

        In our seminaries, there is indeed solid Catholic formation. (Not as much Latin as you may have wanted if memory serves me correctly from our October exchange on this topic, but still solid formation).

        I am sure you did not intend it this way, but your comment about the “novus ordo liturgical illiterates” not reciting lumen de lumine. Deum verum de Deo vero is frankly kind of insulting. There are 1.2 billion Catholics in the world. If we assume conservatively that just 1/2 of them grew up knowing only the novus ordo Mass through no fault of their own, you’re calling 600 million Catholics “illiterate.” Voicing your disdain for various liturgical abuses that followed Vatican II is one thing. But please do not voice your disdain or criticism for the people who happen to attend the novus ordo Mass as though we are all a bunch of Philistines.

  3. Jack O'Malley says:

    Oops – comment should have appeared under Disgusted Boston Priest not Sad Boston Priest. Sorry!

  4. David Justen says:

    Jack,

    Outrage is one thing, but vitriolic contempt for your co-religionists verges on the sin of calumny and against charity. If there’s one thing that this web site can be an occasion of it’s the sin of despair. Christ reigns and the gates of hell will not prevail. I trust in the Holy Spirit. Enough said.

    Incidentally, where pension plans are concerned, I would suggest the blog authors and other interested parties read the following article on church pensions in general. http://www.christiancentury.org/article/2010-12/market-bumps-raise-concerns-about-church-pensions

    The fact of the matter is that the style of pension plan that had been offered is the same kind of plan that has been bankrupting state and local governments. It’s an unsustainable model that everyone except church and state have realized just won’t work. While it behooves them to make sure those who have depended on this pension plan are taken care of, from this point on they should shift directions.

    I think it goes without saying that I speak only of the lay pension fund. The clergy pension funds is a whole other matter.

    • Jack O'Malley says:

      BCI,

      Thanks for the response. I am gratified to be thought entertaining. 😉 I hope that the more serious points were not obscured by the comedy. The ominous tragedy has yet to play itself out.

      Illiteracy is not the fault of the illiterate. It is the consequence of a failed education. In the case of the post-conciliar Church, this is attributable to a mistaken hermeneutic of the “spirit” of V2 and the utter abomination of the Bugnini botch of the Mass. A series of docile, apathetic or incompetent popes cannot escape censure in this regard.

      I am not breaking new ground here; many others have long voiced the same concerns. My children have been the dupes of this protestantised service. They don’t know what the Immaculate Conception means. Transubstantiation? Substance and accidents? Forget it. One is the product of a Jebby university. Verbum sat sapientibus. There is widespread illiteracy, by design, among the novus ordo ignoranti. The mission of the Church is to teach them. The mission has failed. Souls are lost but for the mercy of Christ.

      The point of the Lumen de lumine was that the Last Gospel is no longer read. Ἐν ἀρχῇ ἦν ὁ λόγος. (In the beginning was the Logos.) A sublime bit of philosophy and theology wrenched from the lex orandi. Destroy the Liturgy, destroy the Faith. Destroy the Faith, destroy the World.

      And I am not convinced that the homosexual bias in the seminaries has been rooted out. In a long emasculated church it will take a generation to rectify the situation. (If you will pardon the infelicitous trope.)

      I admit I was harsh in my comment. Intentionally so. The corruption in this archdiocese does not thrive in isolation. It thrives because the Prince of the World has prevailed in the short term. We have the surety of the Prince of Peace that the Maleficent One will not prevail in the end.

      • Jack O'Malley says:

        I don’t think I have the theory of how to reply to individual comments down just right. What can I say? I’m a slow learner.

      • Frank Lee Catholic says:

        Jack, your own children don’t know what the Immaculate Conception is, and that’s the Church’s fault? Nice try.

  5. Jack O'Malley says:

    David Justen,

    I have no doubt that the gates of Hell will not prevail. We have a Divine guarantee for that. But the Church that survives will be much smaller than even Benedict imagines, I fear. But as do you, I also trust in the Holy Ghost.

    I accept your charitable remonstrance in a spirit of fraternal Christian agape, though I must confess I scarcely feel the need to hie myself posthaste to a novus ordo reconciliation room to be bound or loosed in my alleged calumnious wickedness.

    The Church has failed in the schools, in the seminaries, in the churches. If you characterize an exhortation to vigilance as vitriol, then may the acid of the True Faith scald the acedia of deceived indifferentist souls and lead them back to the salubrious balm of Tradition.

  6. […] we reported in “Latest Archdiocesan News,” on Sunday, Chancellor Jim McDonough was quoted in a Boston Sunday Globe article, […]

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