In our last post, “Inside the Defeat of Question 2”, we talked about defeating Question 2 (physician assisted suicide) from the perspective of the public campaign waged by diocesan PR firm, Rasky Baerlein. Today we shift perspectives to tell you who from the Boston Archdiocese contributed financially to the campaign and who did not. Public records show that nearly all of the Boston Archdiocese lay executives who are paid $150K+ a year from the archdiocese did not contribute financially towards the diocese-supported issue advocacy campaign to defeat physician assisted suicide. For those high-paid lay diocesan execs who neither contributed financially to the campaign nor worked to defeat the ballot measure in other ways, this raises a number of questions.
This report from the Massachusetts Office of Campaign and Political Finance (OCPF) gives a listing of everyone who contributed to the main opposition initiative, the Boston archdiocesan-backed Committee Against Physician Assisted Suicide, whose strategy and campaign was run by Rasky Baerlein. The total contributions were $4.3M. When you look at who gave and did not give, the inevitable conclusions are astonishing.
Here is who gave personal contributions from their own bank account:
- Vicar General, Bishop-elect Robert Deeley (who makes about $41K/year) gave $200.
- Secretary for Faith Formation Janet Benestad (who makes $140K/year) gave $500.
- Secretary for Social Services and Healthcare Fr. Bryan Hehir (a Harvard Kennedy School professor paid $0 by the RCAB and paid only by Harvard, where the average professor salary is $198K) gave $200.
- Pro-life Office Director, Marianne Luthin (who makes considerably less than $100K) gave $1,000.
Catholic Schools Campaign Vice President of Development, Mary Myers (Flynn) gave $100.
That is as far as we can tell quickly, but perhaps we missed someone. While we see a St. Johns seminarian, who earns no income and is planning to give his life to God, gave $200, only one of the 17-odd people making six-figure salaries above $150K gave a buck or more to this important initiative. (See “Up in Alms over Salaries” and “Bloated Payroll: Inaction).
Here are the highest-paid lay executives people who earn about $150K or more and who made no financial contribution to the campaign:
- Mary Grassa O’Neill, Secretary for Education/schools superintendent: $325K
- Beirne Lovely, General Counsel: $300K
- Scot Landry, Secretary for Catholic Media: $250K
- Kathleen Driscoll, Secretary for Institutional Advancement: $230-250K est.
- John Straub, Chancellor: $200K-$225K est.
- Mark Dunderdale: Director of Office of Professional Standards: $200K
- James Walsh, Assistant Schools Superintendent: $185K
- Francis O’Connor: Assistant Gen. Counsel: $180K
- Terry Donilon: Communications Secretary: $162k
- Jim McEnness: Director of Risk: $154K
The other people who make $150K+ a year have not had their salaries publicly published yet, but they include:
- Joseph D’Arrigo, Executive Director, Clergy Benefits
- Mary Doorley, Vice President of Development
- Carol Gustavson, Executive Director, Lay Benefits and Building Services
- Steven McDevitt, Director of IT
Add them all up, and, as we said in “Bloated Payroll” earlier this year, you get about $3.5M in salaries, not counting benefits. A year ago September, their boss, Cardinal O’Malley called on Catholics to oppose physician-assisted suicide, saying, “We are called upon to defend the gospel of life with courage and resolve.” Yet except for one lay exec, none of them could even muster $50 to give to a campaign to stop an initiative that Cardinal O’Malley recently called a “terrible assault on human life.”
A lot of people should be asking why these high-paid lay executives did not give anything to the campaign. (Nor, curiously, did anyone who works for Rasky Baerlein, the folks who ran the campaign give to their own campaign). One can only guess it must have been one of the following reasons:
- They knew about the campaign and its importance, but did not necessarily agree with the Rasky Baerlein strategy or how Rasky was spending money, and instead contributed their time and energies to other ways of helping defeat Question 2.
- They were somehow oblivious to the campaign, its importance and need for donations
- They felt they were working toward the defeat of Q2 in their day-job already and thus did not need to give any personal contribution
- They wanted to contribute but did not have the personal funds to give anything, despite earning $150K/year in salary, so they prayed instead
- They knew about the campaign, its importance and need for donations, but felt enough other people and organizations were giving, so their contribution was unnecessary
- They view their employment with the archdiocese as a job, not a vocation or part of contributing to the mission of the Catholic Church. They do their job and collect their substantial paycheck, and that is it.
- They did not support the defeat of Question 2, and were in favor of physician-assisted suicide
- Some other reason not listed above
Note, there were two other campaigns opposing physician-assisted suicide–those run by Second Thoughts or the MCFL-backed Massachusetts Against Doctor Prescribed Suicide- No on 2. We checked both of those lists, and did not find donations by these lay execs there either. If someone gave but did not make it to one of these reports, please let us know and we will issue a correction.
If the reason above for folks not contributing was #1, that makes good sense, and we take back any implied criticism for those in that category. Furthermore, BCI cannot judge what is in the hearts and minds of these lay executives who work for the Boston Archdiocese. But, for the vast majority of these people, their day jobs had them doing nothing whatsoever to help defeat Question 2. So, unless these execs were out there in the trenches trying to sway people in their local region (which our sources say most were not), it is tough to understand why they did not at least do something for the cause by contributing. For someone paid extremely well by the Boston Archdiocese who embraces the saving mission of the Catholic Church, why would they not be able to dig into their pocket to donate even $50 to this crucial initiative that the Cardinal Archbishop was obviously very committed to and their own moral compass should have told them to oppose. What does that say?
The problem of high paid lay archdiocesan execs is allowed to continue, in part, by folks who BCI will call “the enablers.” These are the big donors and supporters of the Catholic Appeal who keep giving and keep encouraging other Catholics to give money, when no action has been taken still to address the problem of excessive six-figure salaries (or many other problems) that have gone on for many years. They never tell Cardinal O’Malley, “I am stopping my donations to the appeal until you take dramatic, visible action to cut the excessive six-figure salaries that are wasting my contributions.”Nor do they tell the Cardinal, “I am stopping my donations to the appeal until you remove people from your team and advisory circle whose efforts work against the Catholic Church in the public square.” Instead, they attend or sponsor gatherings of big donors and get their photos taken with the Cardinal. An example is seen in a recent blog post by the Cardinal and Pilot pickup. John and Kristine DeMatteo recently hosted a Cardinal’s Leadership Circle event in their Wellesley home. As best as BCI can tell from here, they are known to be solid Catholics with a strong commitment to their family and pro-life and pro-family causes. John contributed $5,000 to the Committee Against Assisted Suicide. They give a lot to the Catholic Appeal and their names appear on lists of donors to other pro-life and pro-family causes. They will, no doubt, be upset to see their names published here at BCI.
Do the DeMatteo’s and others like them not believe their donations to the Catholic Appeal are being squandered on excessive six-figure salaries? If so, what do they do to change that? We also wonder how they will feel knowing they gave a generous contribution to defeat the ballot measure, but at the same time, none but one of the archdiocesan execs whose $150K+ salaries are, in part, paid by the DeMatteo’s generous support of the Catholic Appeal, gave a penny to that campaign. If anyone knows the DeMatteos, drop them an email or drop a dime and ask them to bring this matter up with Cardinal O’Malley directly.
To be clear, our issue in this post is not about priests, who make low pay and work tirelessly in their parishes or other ministries, or with lay people who worked against physician-assisted suicide in ways other than financially contributing to the campaign. But when it comes to high-paid archdiocesan execs, BCI thinks Catholics should be rip-roaring mad that most of them neither gave a penny to support a highly visible, extremely important campaign opposing a “terrible assault on human life” nor gave their time and energies to opposing the measure in other ways. If their job function did not give them a role to work against the measure, and their financial means permitted it, the least we should expect is that their moral conscience and commitment to the saving mission of Jesus Christ and the Catholic Church would have compelled them to do something or contribute financially. We think this is a big part of the problem in the Boston Archdiocese today. What do you think?