As part of helping the Boston Archdiocese maintain their stated goals of transparency and accountability for the common good of the Catholic Church in Boston, BCI will periodically issue updates on a few commitments made and how the archdiocese is doing against those promises.
Everyone gets busy in life and work with conflicting priorities, interruptions, distractions, tempations, and the like. So having an accountability partner can often be helpful towards supporting someone in their genuine desire to keep a commitment made.
Below are a few examples of previous practices or commitments made that we assume the archdiocese wishes to uphold:
- Publishing results of annual Catholic Appeal. 71 days have passed since the 2010 Annual Appeal closed, and Catholic faithful, donors and clergy are still waiting for the results to be released publicly. Here are the annual results dating back to 2002, and here is an article citing the 2001 figure. Results have normally been released within about a week after the appeal closed.
- Publishing results of annual Campaign for Catholic Schools 2010 Initiative. 102 days have passed since the end of the CCS 2010 Initiative that was to raise $70 million by 2010, and donors are still awaiting the results.
- Repayment of $5M debt to St. Johns Seminary. 101 days have passed since the January 1, 2011 due date for repayment of about $5 million owed to St. Johns Seminary as the first part of repaying approximately $40 million due for the 2007 sale of seminary property.
- Finance Council Compensation Committee formation and results. 5 months and a week have passed since the Finance Council modified their charter on November 4, 2010 to form a Compensation Committee that would review compensation of lay executive employees. The names of the members are still not posted to the Finance Council web page, giving the appearance, perhaps incorrect, that no committee has even been formed yet.
- Repayment of Employee Pension Obligations from Closed Parishes. 7 years and 2 months have passed since Catholics were promised on February 13, 2004 that the archdiocese would repay employee pension obligations due from closed parishes using reconfiguration funds. $5 million remains due, but has not been repaid, while $2.5 million from reconfiguration funds was directed to another purpose.
Just as a reminder, here are the statements made by the archdiocese about transparency and accountability.
- October 21, 2005 – Financial Transparency Letter From Archbishop O’Malley: “This commitment [to financial transparency] was motivated out of respect for people of the Archdiocese as donors and members of our Church and to demonstrate to the general public that the Archdiocese is fulfilling its fiduciary responsibilities.”
- April 19, 2006 – Archdiocese of Boston Launches Financial Transparency Initiative: “Our commitment to financial transparency and accountability is an important step in the process of healing the Church of Boston and rebuilding the trust of the people of this Archdiocese” said Cardinal Sean “In releasing this financial information, we hope to achieve a shared understanding of both the challenges and the opportunities we share as a faith community. Together, we can work together to solve our problems and strengthen the Archdiocese’s ability to continue the good works it performs each and every day of the year.”
- November 1, 2010 – Cardinal O’Malley Appoints Kathleen Driscoll Secretary for Institutional Advancement: “In order to strengthen and enhance the resources needed to fulfill the mission we received from Jesus Christ and His Church the Archdiocese is establishing a more effective, coordinated and strategic development approach. The new entity…will ensure donors of independence and accountability.”
Since financial transparency and accountability are important to rebuild and maintain trust in the Church, and since BCI shares the goals of the archdiocese to maintain trust and to strengthen and enhance the resources needed to fulfill our mission from Jesus Christ and His Church, we hope this additional attention on transparency and accountability by BCI is helpful. As the archdiocese satisfies the above commitments, BCI will keep you posted and check these items off the list. If anyone believes that some of these have been accomplished already, or there is something BCI missed, please let us know.