How much is Lynn case costing the Archdiocese?


From Letters to the Editor, The Philadelphia Inquirer, Feb. 21, 2012

How much is Lynn case costing?

Re: “Pennsylvania State University’s tab for the Sandusky case: $3.2 million,” Tuesday:

It should be reassuring to the residents of the commonwealth that Pennsylvania State University appears to be working toward accountability and transparency regarding its costs for the Jerry Sandusky child-rape case. PSU has taken the added step of breaking down some, but not all, of the financial information related to the Sandusky case and posting it and related material on its website, www.openness.psu.edu.

Can the members of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia expect a similar accounting in regard to the child sexual-abuse case involving Msgr. William J. Lynn? After all, the bishops of the United States mandated accountability and transparency way back in 2002. To my knowledge, there has been no detailed public accounting by the archdiocese similiar to that of PSU. There is no website where church members can find information on the costs of legal, consultant, and public-relations fees, or where the money to pay for these services is coming from. Shouldn’t a religious institution be at least as accountable and transparent as a public institution like Penn State?

– Sister Maureen Paul Turlish, New Castle

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78 Responses to “How much is Lynn case costing the Archdiocese?”

  1. Of course, Sr. Maureen is right, but it will snow in Philly in August before Chaput gives any accounting to Philly Catholics.

    Meanwhile, news reports indicate a former Philly DA and PA governor is involved in planning a possible bid to acquire the Philadelphia Inquirer and other Philly media outlets. Since his law partner is actively representing the Philly AD in connection with the abuse scandal, one must ask Chaput whether any Philly AD funds may be used, directly or indirectly, to help fund this bid?

    If you cannot handle the reports of a free press, try buying it and write your own story only. It has been done before.

    • However, Jerry, every church-going Philadelphia Catholic can request a full accounting, with a public, professional audit from an outside agency. If they don’t grant it, refuse to give to the collection. You vote with your pocketbook.

      Any money spent to pay for Lynn’s defense is a payment for evil, and you have to decide how much you want to contribute to evil.

      In Kansas City, they’ve already admitted that well over $1 million dollars has been spent by the diocese (without vote or approval by parishioners, of course) to pay to internally investigate and then to defend Bishop Finn, who absolutely, positively hid a known pedophile and allowed him to be in the presence of children.

      • Patrick I like your point.

        I fear however that Jason Berry made the point that there are dioceses that had professional, but very incomplete audits. Sort of a typical Catholic thing, looked good on the surface, but had no substance.

      • Patrick, I fully agree with you.

        Joan, an incomplete audit is not a professional audit. I have dealt with major auditing firms for decades. They know how to do well very complete, independent and professional audits, including of dioceses. The bishops don’t want them.

        For example, a part of the audit documentation requirements is a letter from the diocese’s outside attorneys evaluating ALL litigation and other legal claims against the diocese. This is not an area bishops want reported in a attorneys’ letter and independent audits, since these disclosures can come back to haunt the bishops.

        It is all about secrecy.

      • OK Jerry, checked out Jason Berry, Render Unto Rome, pages 12 and 13

      • Cont. …quote from Berry, page 12

        ‘Of the 194 dioceses…about 115 have audited or reviewed financial statements. Of the the others, 39 do not release statements…another 28 publish some sort of financial report…only 5 of the 115 audited statements include parishes. The remaining 110 are just administrative offices. if the audited financials are just for the administrative offices, and not the parishes, those financials are almost worthless to someone who wants to understand the financial state of a diocese.

        …a review is substantially less in scope than an audit’. ..there’s lots more , but only three dioceses were credited with posting audited statements, out of 195, Boston, LA and Kalamazoo.

      • Also, a full audit would undoubtedly who $4,000 or so per month being paid to Fr Cudemo, one of the evil scumbags in the grand jury report, who got a 12 year old girl pregnant. He needs his retirement money, even though they showed that he abused over 15 children and got away with it, thanks to Lynn and others.

        I don’t know how anyone looks themselves in the mirror after giving that diocese a penny.

      • Thanks, Joan, for that helpful info.

      • I read an article a few months ago about the legal costs in Delaware costing up to $800,000 a month in dealing with civil suits over the past few years. I will try to locate that article to post. In Philadelphia there are legal costs for both civil and criminal – I cannot imagine what the monthly tab is for this. Also there is the cost for the professionals -Gina Smith-attorney and psychiatrists etc…who are evaluating the cases of the suspended priests. The overall financial costs must be in the millions -easily by this point. And the kicker is that had the right thing been done all along, there would most importantly be less victims, and the financial cost of picking up the phone and calling the police is absolutely free. The church would have been heroes for protecting children and not a dime would have needed to have been spent.

      • Kathy, thanks for that info on Delaware legal costs.

        Not only are American bishops wasting millions on their lawyers by fighting most claims in court, they are unwilling to even consider less expensive and more sensitive alternatives.

        In several European countries, for example, bishops have supported relatively independent panels, in effect, mini-courts, that review and settle victims’ claims expeditiously and sensitively.

        US models of this kind of approach are the 9//11 victims’ and BP oil spill victims’ claims panels. Victims can still go to court and sue, but many would be satisfied with an independent panel’s prompt and fair review.

        US bishops want to maintain maximum control and secrecy, instead: hence the waste of hundreds of millions of dollars on their lawyers.

      • Jerry, I really like your suggestion about the US bishops setting up
        a program, as, I think Austria and Belgium, or BP and 9/11 or the national program the Canadians developed for Indian children in those orphanages!

        OR,

        Jason Berry on page 355 quotes Patrick Schiltz who in 2003, recommended a reverse-class-action strategy, with a completely independent national tribunal to arbitrate sexual abuse claims against the Church.

        If victims choose, and the Diocese opts in, then the victim would forego litigation and the diocese would pay the victim whatever that thoroughly independent tribunal determined. There’s lots more….I asked Jason Berry about the issue and he referred me to Schiltz. I rather think that Jim Jenkins suggested this to Levada, very early on. I e mailed the suggestion to the AB.

  2. Let’s not limit what it’s costing the faithful, who don’t know what it’s costing them, to the Lynn trial, alone. What has it cost the faithful to defend implicated clergy in the past? What has it cost the faithful in compensation to victims? What has it cost the faithful for the AD to harbor, support and provide for the likes of enablers like Belivaqua and other disgraced clergy? What has it cost the faithful for the AD to suppress changes in the SOL? No transparency = one, big, organized crime con game.

    • Good points all, Hadit. One also needs to add in these costs the significant additional “opportunity costs”, e.g., the contributions disgusted Catholics did not give in protest. My rough estimate of the all-in average financial cost to the Church exceeds $1 million for each accused priest. These funds could have kept a lot of closed parishes and schools open.

  3. Jerry did you factor in as ‘opportunity costs’ the potential donations of the 10% of the US population that recently left the Church, (and is the second largest religious group in the nation, after the 25% Catholics)?

    A huge loss in talent and treasure!

  4. Yes, Jerry and Hadit, you are correct. The priorities are not at all straight. In addition to the confounding financial situiations (legal, closing schools/parishes), St. Joe’s in Downingtown (parish where Lynn is still named as pastor) has decided to put crosses (on the site where they will build a new multi-million dollar church…after tearing old one down) representing surgical abortions. Maybe, in the interest of ‘Respect Life’ that sight should also include crosses representing how many innocent children have been abused at the hands of priests. Or at least one for each victim Lynn had a hand in assisting in the abuse of. Just a thought. I’m sure those crosses would be promptly removed.

    • I can’t believe any parish in the AD should be allowed to build a new church right now-especially not St. Joe’s in Downingtown. Deidre-do you know if the parish has seen any decline in donations since Msgr Lynn was indicted? I know you are one of the lone voices speaking out in that parish but I wonder if others are quietly withholding funds?

  5. Deidre…Good comment! The Lord gave me a good word for what has happened to HIS precious ones ten years ago. It’s called “Spiritual Murder”.

  6. Michael Skiendzielewski Reply February 21, 2012 at 5:56 pm

    If you want answers and information relative to Sister Maureen’s concern, start callling the Board Members and asking them about the litigation costs and expenses. I have and will report any information received to this site.

    Many of these members are highly experienced, trained and respected professionals in the finance and accounting fields and they certainly appreciate the need and requirement to account for expenses and report same to those who have a vested interest in the organization or institution.

    Members of the Finance Council, Archdiocese of Philadelphia – 2012

    Most Reverend Charles J. Chaput, O.F.M.Cap., Chairman
    Most Rev. Timothy C. Senior, ex officio
    Deacon Alvin Clay
    Michael Crofton
    Walter D’Alessio
    Dr. Robert LeClair
    Frank J. Miller
    Shaun O’Malley
    Gerald Parsons
    William R. Sasso, Esq.
    William Sautter

  7. The archdiocese of Phila and the rcc answer to no one, no government, no IRS , not even the catholic customers that support it. As far as the cost of attorney’s fees the rcc is not concerned as they will use the catholic customers donations to buy the best that money can buy. This is better than any Ponzi scheme invented.

  8. Don’t praise me to quickly, Gloria, I may not be deserving of it. I am very liberal when it comes to my feelings on abortion, and many other things the Church is against. Yet I used to respect the church’s standpoint on this issue, although I believe there are shades of grey, not just black and white. What I cannot respect, however, is the hypocracy of the church. On one hand, life is a precious gift from God. On the other hand, it’s ok for ‘God’s chosen’ to abuse, cover abuse, deny abuse, lie about abuse. It’s sickening. It’s also sickening to me that this parish, my parish, still has Lynn named as pastor, is building a new multi-million dollar church and tearing down the existing one. The fact also that these memorial crosses for the ‘murdered souls’ of children, happen to be on the site that the new church is going…also sickening, when you look at how many children and thier families are going to have thier schools and parishes closing. My point being, at the very least if ‘respect life’ is going to be preached,it should be respect ALL life. And that would include those who have been abused at the hands of priests.

    • Yes. This is a critical point. The rcc doesn’t answer to its parishioners. I hear over and over from catholics of a certain age…the people are the Church. What a joke! Until parishioners speak with their “wallet”, they will have no voice.

  9. Thank God for the courage of so many of you wonderful, faithfilled people who use this blog to express your frustration with those who have allowed sexual abuse to become such a tragedy for the church. You are demanding accountability, both moral and financial. You are neither impressed nor suppressed by bullies who use the pulpit to intimidate and suppress justice for victims. As a priest myself, I am ashamed and embarassed at those churches where “abortion crosses” or “shrines to the unborn” are placed so ostentaciously. We are supposed to be a church which welcomes persons who may “miss the mark” ( Harmatia -Greek word used for “sin”) and need to helped over their personal struggles. These “shrines” only make persons even more guilty and prolong the pain even further. PLEASE, PASTORS, STOP THE INSANITY OF THESE “SHRINES” OF HATE, AND LET OUR PARISHES BE TRUE HOMES OF RECONCILIATION.

    • Father Wintermeyer, I appreciate your support, and I am surely not alone in that.

      The notion of holding the Church accountable is such a long overdue issue. And there has been so much ugliness and evil that have, sadly, transpired, especially in the sexual abuse area, but not just there!

      Frankly, my hope is that with very serious accountability, the Church might regain some long lost credibility.

    • As a priest yourself, I doubt if a Catholic one.
      Being a priest forever, at the end of the day, they depend on their diocese to suppliment their pensions and can’t afford to bite the hand that feeds them.
      Unheard of in Australia, bearing in mind retired Fr Bob Maguire, unless he has a stash hidden under his mattress of course.

    • Father, with all do respect, those shrines and not “shrines of hate” they are memorials for those who have died. Most people have a head stone on their grave, most people recognize the need for mourning the deceased, whether young or old when they died. Most aborted children are not given a proper burial! Most are not given the proper respect that the human body deserves. these shrines are a reminder for us to pray for those souls who have been aborted and a reminder to ask them tp pray for us.

      I don’t understand how those shrines and memorials are condemnations, as you see it, of those who have had abortions. Certianly that is not the intention! We are supposed to assist those who have “missed the mark” and at the same time, we are supposed to bury the dead and pray for them! I think our parishes should be places of reconciliation as places of remembering the dead.

  10. Father Wintermyer, thank you for your courage and support of ordinary Catholics. My question is where are the other priests’ and sisters’ voices in this regard? Do they support the Gospel or the bishops? Their silence is telling.

  11. Interesting, it took a short time before the bishops responded against HHS and Obama in regard to the contraception issue. I am told that a letter was read at all the Sunday masses recently against support of a woman’s right to choose. I believe that I am correct that there was never a letter from the US bishops read at masses in support of the victims of clergy sexual abuse.

  12. I remember reading a few months ago about a parish in New Jersey that had designed a space on the parish grounds as a remembrance to clergy abuse vicitims. It was in the news because someone vandalized the space.
    Deidre ,when I was a member of the Respect Life club in high school, it included all life -I don’t know how we have moved so far from that mission. If we respect life then that includes children harmed within the church . Should be a no brainer -shouldn’t it?

    • Kathy, Cardinal Joseph Benerdin (sp.) developed a ‘continuing life ethic’ that saw pro life from, ‘in utero’, to the grave. That was probably the logic of your Respect Life club, it was certainly the logic that had me lobbying in our state Capitol for children, the poor, the elderly et al.

      Somehow, we have seemingly fixated on the ‘in utero’ period. ( no pun intended).

      Clearly, abused children, victims and survivors need to be factored in hugely, so in my view do the rest of suffering humanity.

      The thing about Benerdin was, he was falsely accused of molestation and very forgiving about it and when dying of cancer he went public with the process and wrote a stunning book about it.

      He was remarkable.

      • cardinal Joseph Bernardin…corrected spelling

      • The patriarchal, celibate fixation is on sex and controlling the sexual lives of women. Therefore, abortion and contraception take center stage as “life” issues.

        Children, victims, death row prisoners, the elderly, the poor… “life” issues but only remotely.

      • The Hierarchy’s Hierarchy of Life Issues.

      • Haddit, sadly I fear you have a substantive point, in terms of our good bishops busy controlling women. That doesn’t mean they should get away with it.

        I suspect they have overplayed their hand, big time. Today’s S F Chronicle had an Opinion piece by the retired head of Catholic Charities, entitled ‘Bishops Group Has No Credibility.’ I’d guess this is a view held more widely than just ‘in the city by the bay.’

        I’d further guess that women throughout the US, of every political stripe, will remember in November.

      • Joan, I am very upbeat about some aspects of the bishops’ disasterous decision to take on Obama publicly over contraception.

        I have already seen several major media instances where the patent contrast between the bishops’ dismal record on child protection omissions and their pelvic protection obsessions is being raised sharply.

        Generally, the major media outlets, especially TV, have avoided the abuse subject, but the contraception crusade is changing that. Amen.

        Let’s hope the bishops keep moaning until November. A nine month period of “media labor pains” would be some ironic justice for the bishops’ obsession with pregnancy related issues.

      • Jerry, I think you can absolutely count on the fact that media spots opposing the republicans in November, already have the recorded thoughts of Santorum et al and you will be seeing a very serious reprise relative to women and contraception, no matter who is the candidate.

        Truth in posting, I am related to folks who have been media active in presidential campaigns.

      • Joan, the media attention has already begun.

        A reporter on MSNBC yesterday complained that Santorum in 2002 blamed the Boston abuse scandal on Massachusetts liberals . DUH!

        Since then, he has been very quiet about the 2005 and 2011 Philly grand jury reports in his home state. As far as I know, he did zilch about child sexual abuse as either a PA state legislator or a US congressman and senator from PA.

        Of course, few other legislators have done much either.

  13. Michael Skiendzielewski Reply February 21, 2012 at 10:55 pm

    Reverend John S. Wintermyer (ret)

    I just wanted you to know that your comments above re the ostentatious displays of outrage and indignation of Church hierarchy with respect to abortion, contraception, etc. are so relevant and informative. Where is the forgiveness and reconciliation for those who may have sinned, no matter the offense?

    But, where is the same ostentatious displays of outrage and indignation of the Church hierarchy with respect of the violation of children’s bodies, souls, spirits and minds?

  14. This may seem a little OT but Joan mentioned Catholic Charities. This past Sunday at Mass a woman from a food pantry in Norristown run through Catholic Charities spoke in support of the Catholic Charities appeal. Our sound system in our church is terrible so it is always hard to hear anyone who is speaking. I’m sorry I don’t know her name or the exact program she works for but I clearly heard her say they receive 60% of the donations they receive through Catholic Charities. I was always under the impression that Catholic Charities had one of the highest percentages of donations going doirectly to programs serving the needy. Is the other 40% going to the AD -or worse-to the lawyers?

    Has anyone else here heard this 60% figure?

    Thanks if you can shed light on this.

    • Theresa, it’s been a long time since I worked for Catholic Charities, but I did serve on the state board.

      And I will give it a qualified try.

      Catholic Charities, along with Jewish Welfare and the Protestants, as well as a number of private service providers were the chief recipients of the major governmental grants for human services in our area. Big money and you needed it to provide services. Local catholic donations represented about 10% of the budget. Admin costs ran about 10%.

      I personally fought hard for some of those grants….our Charities agency did good work, but frankly so did everyone else. Staff with MSW degrees were interchangeable. That is, if a Catholic Charities govt grant shut down (as adoption services in Illinois, recently did over an issue of adoption by same sex couples) then the money and the staff emigrated to another service provider. Folks were served, just not by Catholic Charities.

      As to the funding of a local food pantry by Catholic Charities, if the government grant so indicated or private Charities funds were so directed, then it makes sense.

      The thing is, the vast bulk of Charities funding and services are taxpayer funded and mobile!

      The Church takes a lot of credit for its services to the poor, but make no mistake about it, that can change, and recently has, in Illinois.

      • Thanks for your perspective Joan. I appreciate it. I guess what I am asking is specifically with regard to the annual Catholic Charities appeal. If the charities served only receive 60% of the donations received from the appeal-where is the other 40% going-the local AD? Obviously they need to use some for administration but 40%?
        I thought a much higher percentage of the donations from the annual appeal went into direct care. If the AD gets 40% I would rather donate directly to the a specific charity (provided the AD doesn’t also take a cut of that money).

      • Catholic Charities is also a pretty secretive organization. I’ve tried to find real information about how much money goes to the actual cause and not to a variety of employees that work there, and you can’t get real proven information without paying for it.

        I do know that the president of Catholic Relief Services, a similar but distinct organization, retired recently, and he was documented to be paid $200,000 a year, plus a $2,000 monthly housing stipend, plus other things they wouldn’t document.

        They aren’t Mother Theresa.

      • Joan,
        I’m well aware of the fight in Illinois that happened between the rcc and adoption services.

        I don’t need a middle man to donate to charity. I also don’t need a middle man to get to God either.

      • I also wanted to add that I’d worked with grant writing and administration a number of years ago. If you have an ethical program administering the money, then most would be for direct services. But, I’ve seen some really “shady” organizations administering grants prior to them being pulled. The fat cats can pretty much swing money where they want it, skim from some areas to serve others and make “questionable” choices about how money is directed. Given the rcc’s track record on accountability and transparency in regard to…well, anything…it’s important to ask the questions.

        It’s an excellent question Theresa and one every Catholic should be asking. Where is the rest of the money going?

      • A couple more Catholic Charities thoughts. Our agency was a 501c3….I am wondering if your local Charities budget might not be available through the governmental agencies to whom they report, if one is looking for the fiscal facts.

        I think I missed Theresa’s question about the annual appeal drive. If the agency only received 60% of the donations, for direct services, well…the other 40% could, I suppose, go to the agency to offset admin costs for other program grants with no admin coverage….but this info should be explained to donors!

        Kathy’s point about donating directly to a charity makes a lot of sense. But, in all fairness, we ran large programs, for example, for the developmentally disabled, ( we had all the Regional center money for the Region,) and contributing to a governmental agency doesn’t seem like a likely project. We weren’t the middleman so much as the primary player, in that field. And a very tough and gifted nun ran that huge program, with national recognition, with extremely low admin costs.

        We also ran some programs for which there was no government funding, strictly appeals dollars, Community organizing comes to mind, similar to what our president did after college graduation and before Harvard Law.

        Nothing is ever simple.

      • Joan, thanks for the guide through the complexity of charitable giving, You, Kathy, SW, Patrick, Teresa and other C4C bloggers are giving us all a valuable lesson on charities.

        Because we know bishops move around funds as they wish, often with no transparency, we have sadly to be concerned that we do not unintentionally fund their abuse cover-up efforts.

        You might find of interest today’s NCR article on the fine efforts of Catholic Relief Services, readily accessible by clicking on at:

        http://ncronline.org/news/global/new-catholic-relief-services-head-calls-new-ways-aid-worlds-poor

    • Theresa I donate directly and cut out the middle man. I was a social worker for many years working with the homeless in Philadelphia. Mercy hospice,St John’s Hospice. Sr Mary Scullion of Project Home -all doing good things -make a check directly to a specific organization and send to them -believe me they need money and can absolutely accept private donations.

  15. Michael, sorry, there is no display about the victims of sexual abuse because it would have to show the names of priests who were predators and also the names of bishops and diocesan officials who allowed these predators to be transferrd from parish to parish. Some parishes have the names of donors placed on the walls of the entrance way. I am sure that parishes would not be interested in a “wall of shame” listing offenders nor any area that would focus attention to the fact that such abuses were concealed, put in “secret archives”, and the perpetrators moved on even to other unsuspecting dioceses. Simply, some pastors and parishoners need to have general intercessions each Sunday at Liturgy for Victims of abuse. I doubt if there is need for a memorial shrine. But each Sunday the people would know that someone is caring for the victims at this parish.

  16. In the classic 1989 film, Romero, the wealthy Spanish woman Arista Zelada demands a private baptism for her baby. Romero won’t make an exception. Arista: “You expect me to baptize my baby with a bunch of Indians?” They murdered Romero on the altar shortly thereafter as he was not servicing the needs of the elite. That is, after all, the essential duty of organized religion, to serve the upper elements of society, and to leave plenty of room for some charity work for the poor. It makes a really nice show to give 10 or 15 per cent of your non taxable earnings to some professionally employed do-gooders and take all the credit. Sheesh, I know the workers mean well, but please, it is the least effective way in the world to deliver real assistance. Nearly 100 years ago Upton Sinclair wrote a book called, The Profits of Religion; it’s a classic, and explains how organized religion–Catholic, Protestant, et al, pulls the whole charade off. As has been well stated, There’s a sucker born every minute. I’ve never seen a catholic diocese anywhere in the world with financial accountability. Just keep writing those checks, folks, there are plenty more settlements for which they will need the money; you don’t think they will actually open the archives, do you?

  17. Mark, well said. And, let us join in thought and prayer daily for Judge M. Teresa Sarmina,
    Dist. Atty. R. Seth Williams, and all the legal team fighting for justice and truth for the victims of clergy sexual abuse. There may be times and circumstances during the trial ahead which dash our hopes, but, let us think positive as we go forward, and, most of all, let us keep HOPE alive.

  18. Yes, Theresa, donations are down, as well as enrollment in school. People are just not willing to speak out. I guess out of fear, though why I’m not exactly sure. The atmosphere there is very cult like. It is hard to tell though, when the major push is on getting the (I might be off on this slightly)10 million dollar figure to build the new church. I’m shocked that this alone doesn’t frost more Catholics in Philadelphia AD. When other parishes will close, schools will close, a brand new expensive church is being built, and one torn down. Of course we have been asked to increase our donations, give to build the new church, (and what looks like a very costly addition to the rectory), etc. The list goes on and on. I would like to add that not everyone in the suburbs is wealthy. Many of us are making less money than 10 years ago, been through job loss, and other financial hardships, just like many throughout this country. I guess if we can’t get the church to care about abused children, than caring about economic recession is out of the question.

    And yes, Kathy, though I have very different opinions on the abortion issue than many Catholics, it is a no brainer. I have also never understood how the Church who usually stands to the political right because of abortion, can ignore the death penalty issue, which is usually supported by the far right. But I digress. I guess I appreciate most what Rev. Wintermeyer said, thank you for that Rev. I think displays, such as crosses to mark abortions, inhibit people from coming back to the church to seek spiritual guidance, solace, forgiveness, whatever. Yet in the interest of fairness, and the climate of the church, abuse victims (all but particularly those abused by clergy) should be included in such a morose display.

    • Deidre you stated, “People are just not willing to speak out. I guess out of fear, though why I’m not exactly sure. The atmosphere there is very cult like.”

      “The Heaven’s Gate cult opposed suicide but believed they must leave Earth as quickly as possible. After claiming that a space craft was trailing the comet Hale-Bopp, Applewhite convinced 39 followers to commit suicide so that their souls could board the supposed craft.” (Wikipedia)

      In answer to your concern, I believe that it is difficult to get off a spacecraft once you’re on board. It doesn’t matter if the inscription on the craft reads: Heaven’s Gate, RCC, or NASA; you’re going to be taken for a ride!

  19. Drwho13, I have been trying to take a less cynical approach to my responses, and my overall feelings about the church, here, and in general. Nothing has been done yet to change my opinions, quite the opposite. I used the description ‘cult-like’ based on my own personal experiences.

    This site has been a chance for many to air their dirty Catholic linen, and I believe it’s important to continue to do so. If you have to hide it, it can’t be good. But I also appreciate those who are still hoping to see some major change, or else there would be no reason to continue to read the posts or comment here. It is the reason why I have stopped myself from commenting, quite negatively, on other topics.

    I chose to post information regarding the new church being built in response to the discussion of Lynn’s legal fees, because money is a real issue for the PAD. I have no idea if people even know what is going on in other parishes, other than the ones we hear about (closings, etc.). Thought some here would be interested in knowing what is being asked of Lynn’s parishoners, while the AD comes up with money for his defense. Also, I find it offensive for this parish, in particular, to be putting memorials indicating a lack of respect to human life, on the grounds of a proposed multi-million dollar church during a time of recession, school/parish closings, while the pastor awaits trial regarding his responsibilty in the sex abuse scandle in this AD. Abusing, raping, defiling children in any way is also a lack of respect for human life.

    • Thanks, Deidre. If anything, your comments are measured and restrained, as well as constructively informative.

    • Deidre, I agree. We have keep the evil committed by the RCC in the public eye. In addition, I also choose not to give money to this organization. I can’t think of any other actions I could take that would be effective. Nonetheless, the RCC seems to be rolling along in style without my support. However, I take satisfaction I knowing that I have tried.

  20. Deidre, I respect the fact that you are trying to be “less cynical” I am too. But your questions are very fair.

    One suggestion that comes to my mind is reading Jason Berry’s, Render Unto Rome, I just quoted some of his data on diocesan audits….he covers the Church financial and abuse issue interplay with a great deal of documentation that took 4 years of research, is a practicing catholic, and the final words in his book are, “The miracle is that the Eucharist endures.”

    I don’t think there are any easy answers to any of this, but the better informed we all are, the better the hope for the Church, cleaning up its act.

  21. sister is sooo wrong on this one! Non-profit have no obligation to list these things. public institution are required too! So their listed of budgets, etc, is not a sign of their compassion, it is required by law.

    • Johnny V, I’m not an expert on the matter, but I believe you’re right. In the case of public institutions, the public is protected by disclosure laws.

      In the case of the RCC there are no such laws protecting donors (Jerry, help me out.) “You pays your money and you takes your chances.”

      In the case of the RCC compassion would be the only reason they would make such a disclosure. On a scale of 1 to 10, rate the compassion of the Church’s hierarchy

      • drwho13– good point… I’m not sure I can rate their level of compassion. I can only hope that they are doing everything possible. perhaps this disclosure would show that they are being more “compassionate”, but I still don’t understand how “compassion” and “revealing how much they are paying for the Lynn Case” are connected.

        maybe someone can help me with that? I think they are doing things… maybe they need to make public what they are doing, such as counselling, prayer services, etc. I don’t know… just a thought.

        I don’t know how compassionate Penn State is being by releasing financial records, whether they have to release them or not. I guess the point is … “what is the connection”? I’m not trying to stir the pot. Maybe sister maureen can explain it too. Anyway… have a good day everyone 🙂

      • Johnny V,

        There are certain compelling factors that would morally require a non-profit institution to disclose its finances, regardless of whether it is protected by disclosure laws.

        The global sexual abuse crisis has cost the Catholic Church somewhere in the billions. Its victims number in the tens of thousands. Its episcopal enablers have gone unscathed. It has led to a formidable “new religion” in the form of exit Catholics. The episcopacy has repeatedly defied its 2002 best practices. The crisis is epic, exceeding all other crises in the history of the Church. The hierarchy has done nothing but obstruct and impede both justice and healing.

        Considering the compelling circumstances and the breadth of the crisis, the institution in question is morally required to respond in a manner proportional to the crisis, in this case, in a manner that exceeds what is merely required of it. Because, what is required of it will not repair the damaged it has caused nor will it heal the Church.

  22. The answer to your question is really simple: It will take a court order and a forensic accountant.

  23. All the statements you make over many comments about the rcc are so true. There is no longer a real Christian meaning to anything the hierarachy says or does.anymore. It’s an ecuminical thing to them. The birth control is a sham, as they need more catholics. They do not care about life….,any life, child in the womb, or out.. old or young, only their own life is
    is considered as important.

    If you read the papers of JP2, you’ll find that Jesus Christ is not relevant to any of them.anymore. He says we’re all going to be just fine. God loves us all! Muslim, Buhdist , Jews etc. Nice thought !! HE does and wants all people to be with HIM but we must prepare the way for them to KNOW our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ….. They (hierarchy)
    will not.

    Most especially now that we have Ben 16, you get NOTHING about our Lord and Savior. It’s a ” god only” institution and you’d better forget about the Son of God..that’s” proseltizing” according to their words. Can’t do that!

    .This is a “sham church” we’ve belonged to for generations. Sadly, but not really, ( we’re just finding this out,) that the hierarachy is a “secular institution” and there is something NOW we can do about it and we are doing it.!

    They will not bulldoze us anymore with their diabolical, secular rhetoric, sugar coated with Christ’s name, when there is NO Christ for them. They have proved it. God knows what it was at one time but we know NOW it’s Not the Church of Jesus Christ.

  24. Catholic Charities! Please support Catholic Social Serves…

    Watch the Video: http://www.catholiccharitiesappeal.org/

    96% of all donations go to the GOOD WORKS of the Church

    • The only fiscal details I could find on this Charities Appeal piece were the listing of parish contributions against parish goals which indicated roughly that 10% of the $10 million goal had been achieved.

      I saw no evidence of a 96% direct services vs 4% admin costs.

      There are 7 Catholic Charities agencies in the nation that are given a 4 star rating by Charity Navigator, who posts their individual institutional data, ie admin costs, budget et al. Your charities agency is not so listed.

      I think folks might have a bit more confidence in your numbers, if the AD agencies, we’re so listed.

      http://www.charitynavigator.org/index.cfm?bay=search.fourstar

      • The Appeal video is a well done ‘puff piece”….touching personal vignettes, heartfelt requests for funds, appeals to conscience.

        And make no mistake the work the agencies do is needed and important.

        The difficulty I see is, it’s very weak on data…..no listing of actual programs, their govt funding source, what roles appeals dollars play to assist said programs,

        No factual fiscal accounting, no introduction of department heads, really just a puff piece…which did include the funding of priests in retirement, which is new to me as a Catholic Charities function, that used to fall under chancery office responsibility in our dioceses.

      • Joan, your keen observation, that the key medical and social service professionals usually move to another non-profit or governmental agency if the bishops shut an operation down, e.g., the adoption agencies in Illinois, confirmed my expectation.

        Why do we need bishops to serve as figureheads of Catholic charities and hospitals, especially when the bishops are seriously neglecting their spiritual duties..

        The Salvation Army in NYC recently transferred its major 800 bed hospital to a secular non-profit, NY Hospital, because the SA realized it was wasting needed religious personnel on running a medical business that lay people could manage at least as well.

        Perhaps in Africa and Asia bishops are still needed, but no longer in the US, it would appear.

      • The thing of is Jerry, that in my experience, charitable agencies really do very fine work, whether they do it for Jewish Welfare, the Protestants, independent non profits or Catholic Charities.

        And it’s work that desperately needs to be done.

        In the case of the religious charity agencies, they ALL see their efforts as an expression of their religious belief systems, Protestant, catholic or Jewish.

        I get uncomfortable when an individual denominational religious leadership announces that they have a right to the use of taxpayer funded grants because such grants help to fulfill the individual denomination’s religious agenda, however worthy that might be.

        It seems to me that the Grantor has an obligation to find the best service provider, available in a given area, and award the grant appropriately. If your concern is for services for the poor, then it stands to reason you want the most functional folks doing the work. And this can vary from agency to agency. In Resettlement programs, Catholic Charities was clearly a leader, on the west coast, so much so that at state board meetings INS, now ICE attended the meetings with the Resettlement Charities staff.

        However,In our area the Protestant world was very good at a whole range of community based programs and picked up the multiplicity of grants in that end of the world, (I did relieve them of one rather large one).

        The thing is this, the catholic church has taken a great deal of credit and accompanying prestige, for it’s ADMINISTRATION of governmental grants that are tax payer funded.

        If the church was unilaterally funding these programs solely with catholic donor dollars, then I think the credit would be appropriate. But if the bulk of the funds are coming from all of us, then it seems more appropriate to credit all the players, ie charities staff, government grantors et al.

      • Joan, I know many of the religious agencies are staffed by wonderful people and do valuable work, often with little credit and low pay. I represented some of them. A spiritual person can usually do this work just as well at any agency, whether or not there is a cross on the front door.

        My concern is that the bishops too often use their figurehead positions for personal objectives, such as to promote a political cause, or simply for old fashioned patronage.

        I hope over time that more Catholics will see this and pressure the Church to follow the Salvation Army’s lead and leave medical and social services to the qualified professionals who already do the real work.

    • I don’t trust any numbers coming from a Church-paid commercial to get their people to contribute more.

      • Given their track record for lying and deception when it comes to money and child sexual abuse, I’m surprised there’s anyone left in the pews who’s naive enough to believe them.

      • SW…..the reason I keep coming back, ad nauseum to Charity Navigator, is agencies that are listed by the group with 4 stars are verified thoroughly….you have to be accountable.

        Their figures are believable.

        Less than ten charities and one social services agency out of 195 US dioceses was so listed.

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