Catholic Media Secretary Scot Landry Leaving His Post

Today, the Boston Archdiocese announced that Scot Landry is moving on. Here are excerpts from the article in the Boston Pilot:

Landry to lead Catholic Voices USA

By Pilot Staff

BRAINTREE — The Archdiocese of Boston announced Aug. 29 that Scot Landry, Secretary for Catholic Media and President and CEO of iCatholic Media, will leave his current duties to become Executive Director of Catholic Voices USA, a national apostolate that seeks to prepare lay Catholics to articulate, share and defend the Catholic faith.

Landry, who has been with the archdiocese’s Central Ministries since 2006, will transition to his new position in September. He will continue to assist Cardinal Seán P. O’Malley as a Consultant, write columns for The Pilot, and serve as one of the hosts of The Good Catholic Life radio program.

“Scot Landry has assisted me on many important initiatives over the past seven years,” said Cardinal O’Malley. “His gifts for leadership, organization, training and communication have helped the Archdiocese of Boston greatly. Catholic Voices is an important new initiative and its approach to civil communication on challenging cultural issues will be helpful locally and nationally under Scot’s leadership…”

Bishop Robert P. Deeley, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Boston, said, “I am grateful to Scot for the wonderful leadership he has offered as a member of Cardinal Seán’s Cabinet these past seven years, first as Secretary for Institutional Advancement and then as Secretary for Catholic Media…I hope his new endeavors, which will build on his abilities in media and evangelization, will bring him much happiness,” he added.

Landry joined the archdiocese in 2006 as Secretary for Institutional Advancement. In that role, he oversaw an increase of financial support to the Central Ministries of the Archdiocese of Boston through the Catholic Appeal each year, implemented new training programs on stewardship and fundraising for parish leaders and was instrumental in the Improved Financial Relationship Model (IFRM).

In 2008, as part of a reorganization of the archdiocese’s Central Ministries, Landry became responsible for overseeing the archdiocese’s media organizations — The Pilot, CatholicTV, and archdiocesan websites and new media.

Given the rapid growth in media and because of his commitment to the New Evangelization, Cardinal O’Malley moved to establish a new Secretariat for Catholic Media in July 2010 and named Landry its first Cabinet Secretary. Among his accomplishments in that role, Landry established Pilot Bulletins and Pilot Printing, he helped bring a Catholic Radio station WQOM to the archdiocese, he launched and hosted a live local daily program on Catholic radio called “The Good Catholic Life,” he led Archdiocesan efforts to utilize Social Media for communication and evangelization, he led the revision of the Pilot Catholic Directory of the Archdiocese of Boston, and he worked with leaders of The Pilot newspaper and CatholicTV to strengthen those critical ministries.

Landry was part of the team that managed and led many important Archdiocesan initiatives during his tenure, such as Catholics Come Home, The Light is on for You, the educational campaign to prevent assisted suicide in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, the organization of 3,000 Boston-area participants at the 2008 Papal Mass at Yankee Stadium, and coverage of the 2013 Papal Conclave from Rome.

Cardinal O’Malley will begin a process, working with Sister Marian Batho, chair of the iCatholic Media Board of Trustees, to determine roles and responsibilities related to the leadership of the iCatholic Media Corporation. As President of the CatholicTV Network, Father Robert Reed will continue to run CatholicTV operations. As President of the Pilot Media Group, Antonio Enrique will continue to guide the ministries of The Pilot Newspaper, Pilot Catholic Directory, Pilot Bulletins, Pilot Printing and Pilot New Media.

This has been in the works for a little while now.  Rumors have been active for a while that he was unhappy, and BCI first heard about the prospect of Scot moving on several months ago.

As would be expected, Landry has his fans and critics.  The Pilot article cites the accolades.  In addition, he often served in a helpful capacity along with Janet Benestad (Secretary for Faith Formation) to balance the non-orthodox liberal-Democrat-leaning coalition of Terry Donilon, Bryan Hehir, and Rasky Baerlein (as well as Jack Connors and former Chancellor Jim McDonough).  BCI will offer several brief comments:

  • Scot, earning $250K a year, was one of the people in the category of “excessive six-figure salaries” we have been complaining about for years.  Still, he was paid less than the poster child for excess compensation, Mary Grassa O’Neill paid $340K/year until she left two weeks ago, and her Milton friend, General Counsel Beirne Lovely, paid $300K/year.
  • BCI wonders about whether establishment of Pilot Bulletins and Pilot Printing is really a positive for the Boston Archdiocese. We have heard for some time that these operations are not profitable and are subsidized by the Pilot newspaper and Catholic TV
  • BCI also wonders about Catholic Voices USA and their effectiveness for two reasons.  First, Cardinal O’Malley referred to their “approach to civil communication on challenging cultural issues.”  What “civil communication” usually translates to is the classic, “big tent” with watered down, non-confrontational messaging to make everyone feel comfortable sitting around the table. Second, Kathryn Jean Lopez is the current Director. A number of our readers are familiar with her time at the National Review, and we will ask them to comment.

We will let our readers weigh in with their comments.

14 Responses to Catholic Media Secretary Scot Landry Leaving His Post

  1. D Paul says:

    Very interesting posting.

  2. Chris says:

    BCI, are you anticipating a nationwide search to replace him, leading to a predetermined outcome?

    • Chris, What has been said publicly suggests the role may not be filled with an exact “replacement” for Scot Landry’s position. And if Sr Marian Batho is in charge, there is reason to believe that whatever results will not be as orthodox or faithful to the Magisterium as many would hope.

  3. Anna Lynskey says:

    The search will be led by Sister Marion Batho who thought catechesis called ‘two men with beards and a bird’ was an exciting way to attract and educate Catholics.

    I guess PeeWee Herman wasn’t available.

  4. Carolyn says:

    Remember the Alka-Seltzer ad: Oh what a relief it is!

    Scot is leaving after seven years of what could fairly be called an uneven track record. He was neither a good manager nor a good steward of funds. He went from very effectively calling a lot of people closer to the church, and developing excellent initiatives (Keep the Light on…) to promising to make the select few rock stars. Had he left when he was dangled over the pit four years ago, his legacy would be of a good guy who was ditched by the Connors machine. But he overstayed, insisted on a bloated salary, and wedged himself into “building” Catholic Media, which shook people’s confidence. The last straw: acquisition and questionable sales tactics (read arm twisting) of Pilot printing shed a harsh, if accurate, light on Scot.

    His replacement? My money, after a worldwide search, is someone who is already on the payroll. You flatten the masthead by terminating the biggest salary, then promote from within with a significantly lower salary, and add an entry level staffer. Same bang for a much smaller buck.

    P.S. – Please let’s reduce the overall Neo-Cat grasp on RCAB content!

    • Anna Lynskey says:

      There is no such thing as ‘neo-cat’ though it is often used to caricature Catholics who accept every teaching of the Church and strive to live by and evangelize them.

      I like Scott. He is a decent man whose focus is salvation and has worked hard to bring other souls to Christ. I wish him the best.

    • "Just Wondering" says:

      I AGREE WITH YOU CAROLYN THE “WORLDWIDE SEARCH” WILL BE WITHIN THE CONFINES OF THE ‘ELECT’ THE SAME AS A “WORLDWIDE SEARCH” FOR THE SUPERINTENDENT OF SCHOOLS. OF COURSE, “I’M JUST WONDERING!”

  5. Michael says:

    Kathryn Jean Lopez … the one who when made aware of Mitt Romney’s heralding of same-sex marriage to fulfill his promise to the log cabin republicans to not interfere with SSM, ignored the facts and continued to aggressively tout Romney for Pres. … being replaced by Scot Landry, who sat by idly watching (and making some pretty good cash) while Connors, et al ran Obama parties etc. etc. (read BCI if not sure what etc. etc. stands for in this specific context) and as the Archdiocese fell apart.

    Well I hope he can succeed in making sure that no official Catholic statement is too harsh on the socialistic/communistic approach Obama administration seems hellbent on instituting. To quote the modern day philosopher Rodney King; “Can’t we all just get along.” Scott, whatever you do, please don’t offend anyone with the “Catholic position,” such a mistake could negatvely impact your outrageous salary.

    • Zeke says:

      A completely unfair attack. You have no clue what Scot did, or tried to do within his role. If you knew, you would apologize.

  6. Totally and Completely Anonymous says:

    I early on never knew what to make of Scot Landry, I know people who knew him well before he entered the inner circle who thought well of him. I know others who were wronged by him quite badly after he entered the inner circle. I have often heard of his humble piety, but could never understand such a large salary for someone who is so personally very wealthy (I find the taking of nearly 2 MM from little old ladies’ social security checks, which is where much of the Diocese’ funding comes from, over the past seven years morally repugnant).

    I do know he would often go off on tangents about Cardinal O’Malley that reminded me of the kind of blind adulation that would be more at place at the Nuremberg Rallies, Waco Texas or in Jonestown.

    Knowing all things I have to confess that my opinion of him is no longer positive, and in fact is quite negative.

    I’ll wish him well nonetheless…….

    • Michael says:

      If I were him, I would read your comment and be mad. I would dismiss it outright.

      But what he should do, is read your comment and ask himself if it has the ring of truth. If so, he might then want to examine his future plans (and past conduct). Of course, we all should do that. Most of us, however, never have the luxury of, nor the opportunity Scott has been handed via, this blog. Although, I doubt he will look upon these comments as an opportunity, but rather as simply jealous people bashing him. I do not think that is the case though. I think these comments are the harsh end of Christian charity.

      • Zeke says:

        Michael and Totally,
        You sit on the outside assuming you know a man because of what you see not happening in the Diocese, and assume he has done nothing. Foolishness.
        If he speaks well of someone ( the Cardinal) I call that christian charity. You should try it sometime. I know Scot’s work well. He swam upstream on Brooks Drive, and fought tireless battles with serious influencers within and around the Cardinal. He is well acquainted with the strengths and weakness of Cardinal Sean, he just publicly, chooses to talk about the positives.

      • Michael says:

        Zeke,
        I do not assume Scott Landry has done nothing. What bothers me is what he DID do.

        He stayed in a workplace and got paid an excessively high salary for doing “God’s work,” while watching a litany of errors and lethal decision-making destroy the church in Boston. That is no assumption. That is a fact.

        So what — if he argued vehemently — behind closed doors? What were the fruits of those “arguments?” He didn’t lose his job, but rather received a promotion. And the place has gone to hell during his tenure. Please don’t tell me “but he really did try to fight.” That is ridiculous. Some things are so important that they require one to stand up and risk everything for the truth. Not only did he not risk everything, rather he gained a whole heck of a lot — risking nothing — indeed, the stepping stone approach to his career has worked well for Scott.

        Was he aware of the Cardinal’s position to surrender Catholic Hospitals to secular society? An extremely tragic situation that directly affects people’s lives in this culture of death. What was Scott doing then? Arguing vehemently behind closed doors?

        Was he aware of the Cardinal’s failure to stand and fight the weak (yet quite successful) attempt to force Catholic Charities to “get out of the adoption business” without so much as a whimper? — allowing CC to fraudulently claim: “We have encountered a dilemma we cannot resolve. . . . The issue is adoption to same-sex couples.” What was Scott doing then? Did he suggest a better resolution than rolling over and surrendering our religious freedoms in America (with world-wide implications — allowing that situation to be used as precedent in London for the closing of Catholic Charities there under the same false pretenses)?

        Was Scott aware of the implementation of an extremely confusing “policy” on permitting Catholic children to be exposed to the aggressive gay agenda in Catholic Schools? What did he do about that? Argue with more verve?

        Was he aware of the implementation of the Obama-based common core curriculum in Catholic Schools? What arguments did he make? Did he ask why Catolic Schools are using the government “standards?” Did he wonder if that could undermine and destroy our Catholic Schools? I know – this does not fall under Scott’s “job responsibilities.” Really?

        Was he aware of the Obama supporters (Jack Connors, et al) being supported and funded by the Archdiocese? What did he do about that?

        Was he aware of the Cardinal’s failure to even try to stop Mitt Romney from single-handedly implementing same-sex marriage in Massachusetts (and as a result across the entire US – as predicted by Judge Bork at the Red Mass in Boston in 2004 — while O’Malley was standing on stage right next to him)? The Cardinal was told to his face about a solution to legally and politically stop Romney and he chose to do nothing, but stand arm in arm with Romney as they pretended to be together in a fight against “the enemy.” What was Scott doing then? [I know he was not officially an employee of the Archdiocese at that time, but he certainly had the ear of the Cardinal back then?]

        Was he aware of Mary Grassa O’Neill’s outrageous salary? What did Scott do about it? Are you aware that the Chief Justice of the US Supreme Court makes about $100,000/yr less than O’Neill made. Oh yeah, and about $10,000/yr less than Scott made. You may argue that the federal government which doesn’t have a lot of money is the Chief Justice’s employer and that Justice Roberts is doing the job as a public servant while Scott merely was taking his salary from the Archdiocese (which is overflowing with money) and Scott was only doing God’s work — but I don’t think most people would understand your logic.

        You can say that these areas listed above were not part of Scott’s job responsibilities as listed in his HR file. But again, I do not see your logic. If I were making his salary and working for the archdiocese, I would assume that my responsibility is much greater than the “job responsibilities” listed in my HR file.

        The place has gone to hell while Scott made a ton of money. That is not mean-spirited. It is an indisputable fact. And now Scott has moved on. Probably just too tired of arguing. Or maybe it’s just a really good career move.

        Zeke, which is more important to Scott … Fear of the Lord … or loss of a career opportunity?

        — Michael

        P.S. regarding your term … foolish … “He that loveth correction, loveth knowledge: but he that hateth reproof is foolish.” The Book of Proverbs 12:1

  7. Zeke says:

    In the first paragraph you say you don’t assume he did nothing, in the second you accuse him of “watching” (i.e doing nothing). makes no sense.

    Better he proclaim the truth (as you see it) get fired, and affect no change at all. Great strategy to solve our Archdiocesan problems.

    You have no idea what he risked, and I think history shows, there were changes in title, but no promotion for Scot. Look, the place is corrupt, with poor leadership, and most times, Scot was the only one with a backbone to say or do anything .
    The common question you ask is “what did he do about that”? I know, ( not I think, I know) he was the only one doing or saying anything, saying about any of it. (Other than Catholic Charities. I’m pretty sure that happened in March 2006 and he was hired in August 2006. I pretty sure he wasn’t there.)

    Sorry he doesn’t meet your standards. So lets see what happens now. Likely the Archdiocese will not hire anyone from outside, but instead turn over his duties to Fr. Reed, or Antonio, or Sister Marian. Let’s see whether the place is better worse in 6 months or a year.

    Pay close attention to all press releases in the future, pay close attention to policy changes ( publicly stated or not). If you think it was bad while he was there, now you will see what it is like unopposed by anyone.

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