Do Child Sex Abuse Coverups ‘Bend Your Nose Out of Joint’?

I will always donate to Catholic causes but I will never donate to any Archdiocesan capital campaign. I decided that while working for the Archdiocese during the Catholic Life 2000 campaign. I observed Cardinal Bevilacqua “splurging” on helicopter transportation, expensive decor for the New Jersey vacation house and an ego-driven conference room that could have rivaled that of any billion dollar corporation.

Meanwhile, Archdiocesan social workers were barely making a living wage while working with limited resources in underfunded programs. They made a huge difference in the lives of so many. I can’t imagine what they could have done with more. 

Some could argue that things have changed since then. But fiscal responsibility still seems questionable. With so few seminarians and so many other worthy charities desperately in need, why on Earth would $14 million be poured into St. Charles Seminary? Surely, there is a more economical alternative. The Archdiocese still has yet to issue a comprehensive annual report to the faithful. 

But with the facts revealed in Msgr. Lynn’s testimony, we all know the archdiocese also lacked moral responsibility. It takes a lot of time and effort to earn back that kind of trust. I know of long-time donors who decided to pull and redirect their generous contributions. I’ve got some suggestions, too.  Write a check to Villa St. Joseph. Our aging sisters could use it. Offer tuition assistance to a mentally disabled child at Our Lady of Confidence. Or, donate specific needed items to your parish grade school. There’s no end to your options. 

Click here and read: “Philly archdiocese’s fund-raising campaign is falling short,” by Harold Brubaker, The Philadelphia Inquirer, Feb. 10, 2013

Excerpt: “I think that after the grand jury report people got their nose a little bit bent out of joint” and decided not to pay, said James J. Maguire Sr., a major donor to the archdiocese who was on the campaign’s board of directors.

28 thoughts on “Do Child Sex Abuse Coverups ‘Bend Your Nose Out of Joint’?

  1. “Despite assurances by archdiocesan officials when the campaign was launched that all the money collected for Heritage of Faith would go into a separate nonprofit, where the money would be used only for specified goals, at least $16 million went into the church’s general fund.

    Gavin said it was paid back during fiscal 2012.

    “The current financial administration implemented a system whereby all collected [Heritage of Faith] pledges are now deposited directly into a [Heritage of Faith] lockbox account,” he said.”

    “Despite assurances by Archdiocesan officials”…well how could that ever have gone wrong.

  2. Thanks, Susan. We learned today in the LA Times that Mahony has taken over $100 million from cemetery “Perpetual Care” funds to pay “Perpetual Cover-up Costs”. Has anyone recently checked Philly’s cemeteries’ accounts?

    Closing schools and churches was bad enough; but robbing from the dead is a new low, and probably a fraud on new plot purchasers that is still not time barred. Are you listening, Seth Williams?

    You may wait forever for Chaput and his captive Philly law enforcement team to regain trust. It still appears to be mainly business as usual.

    As I previously indicated, this is a national and even an international priest abuse crisis. Only the Federal government really has ths clout to resist Vatican political pressure, which is why almost 500 people so far have signed my petition to President Obama at: .

    I hope more C4C bloggers will click on and sign it. Local prosecutors and survivors lawyers may occasionally help, but when Catholics keep immorally feeding the bishops’ beast with contributions, the abuse won’t end until the Feds step up, in my legal judgement.

    1. You’re right about checking accounts. The recent embezzlement scandal here proved that. Philly priests might want to check in on their retirement funds. Any accounts are vulnerable – either intentionally or through lack of oversight.

      1. It is my understanding that the priests were told several years ago (I’m not sure how many) to remove the money from their retirement accounts and invest it on their own. I guess it is OK that the teacher’s retirement funds are not guaranteed.

      2. Susan word on the “street” there is no money left for retirement they are well aware of the finacial crisis.

    2. Apparently, there are all kinds of ways to “use” Catholic cemeteries. Mahony steals from cemetery funds to pay cover-up costs. In 2008, Dolan, in his former position as bishop of the Diocese of Milwaukee, hid 55 million in diocesan assets in a cemetery fund in order to reduce payouts to abuse victims.

      Makes you want to “die” and “roll over in your grave.”

      James McGuire’s comment that people got their noses a little bent out of shape by the grand jury report is insensitive and ignorant. Earth to McGuire: read the report(s). If you are not sickened and appalled, there’s something wrong with you… more wrong than the wrong of you being on the board of directors and being a major contributor to a Catholic capital campaign. La la la. Why don’t you ignore reading Jason Berry’s Render Unto Rome, too?

  3. A well informed decision on your part Susan.

    Sister Maureen

    “I will always donate to Catholic causes but I will never donate to any Archdiocesan capital campaign. I decided that while working for the Archdiocese during the Catholic Life 2000 campaign. I observed Cardinal Bevilacqua “splurging” on helicopter transportation, expensive decor for the New Jersey vacation house and an ego-driven conference room that could have rivaled that of any billion dollar corporation.

    Meanwhile, Archdiocesan social workers were barely making a living wage while working with limited resources in underfunded programs. They made a huge difference in the lives of so many. I can’t imagine what they could have done with more.”

  4. Susan, many of us have selected other Catholic charities or groups to donate to and thereby provide direct aid to those less fortunate and not “feed” the Church hierarchy.

  5. Once again this shows that the administration of this diocese has a severely defective conscience that makes them unworthy to lead us. A Bishop is supposed to speak with binding authority to all Catholics on matters of faith and morals, but current and former leaders have shown that their personal moral code is so defective as to deprive them of this authority. My current faith community meets my needs, but I miss my old parish which was led by a good man except that he insisted that his bosses be given respect they so clearly do not deserve. If the church finds leaders with both a strong character and a stronger code of ethics, they might find many of us returning.

    1. Even ultraconservative catholics are speaking out about the corruption and excess salaries and waste going on. A point they have been making is our leaders dont want to make moral decisions that might risk 3 figure salaries so they keep quiet . In many ways Jesus was right when he said it is difficult for the rich man to get to heaven.

  6. In the Archdiocese of Washington, the one organization which is truly making money is the Catholic Cemetary program. Not only are the lots expensive, but the liners for the grave are expensive and the grave marker, usually a flat bronze addition,are very expensive. So the faithful catholics who wish to be buried there are also “made to pay” just to get out of this world. Recently I asked if any of our Catholc cemetaries had a “green section”, a place where one could be buried simply in the gound without embalming and just placed in the ground with a simple marker. The administration had no idea what I was talking about and they always say that the law prohibits such burials. Interesting that the Trappist monastery in Berryville, VA. is openning their land to “Green Burials” and allowing any person who wishes a plot there to “make a reservation”. I also asked the Philadelphia Cemetary organization and they had no such idea of even pursuing such a program.

    As to St. Charles’ Seminary, 14million is a significant outlay for the few students who are there. St. Charles’ College Seminary in Baltimore, closed a few years ago and opened a beautiful senior residence program, so nice that even the former governor of the state was living there.

    There was a suggestion earlier in the summer that St. Charles be closed and the seminarians would take over one of the High Schools which had been subject to close. They would not have to spend as much money on refurnishing as they are spending on the Seminary now.

    There is great expectation that more and more “men” will be entering the seminary in the next few years, but the days of such expectarion are really over. The seminary should not be a residence for the Archbishop and the grounds are really wasted. They are beautiful, yes, but they are really “lifeless”.

    No organization which just uses other people’s money for esoteric expenditures would last long in the financial world because this is almost like a ponzi scheme. We take your money and we say trust us and it is simply poured out on absolutely fraudulent programs. Of course Catholic Charities and Sports programs are wonderful,Schools are important to our Catholic Philosophy of education, but useless spending should never take away from what is really necessary. And paying for sexual abuse crime with money given in good faith is really a crime in itself.

    1. John, perhaps His Almost Eminence is getting the seminary reconstructed to serve married and women priests. Or if he had any sense, that is what he should be planning. Then again, in 1989 the Soviets were in still overprinting Marx/Lenin texts not realizing their game was up. His Almost Eminence will have to learn the hard way, as other totalitarian groups’ leaders did.

      Separately, if you are a senior planning to “reside” longterm in a Philly or any other U.S. Catholic cemetery, try to line up a younger grandchild to cut the grass at your plot in a few years. Soon, the Perpetual Care funds will likely be depleted to pay for more criminal lawyers and Monsignor Lynn and Fr. Avery will be looking for their rewards for “not ratting” on Rigali, et al.

      At the present rate of cash drain, even the Catholic plutocrats, those with their noses out of joint, will soon realize there is no more money for them to “milk” out of the Church’s cows on financial, real estate, insurance, legal , PR and other services. How many brokers, lawyers, publicists, et al., will work for this shameful hierarchy when the “big bucks” dry up.? Few if any! Their grandkids will be wearing their Knights of Malta uniforms as Halloween custumes, an appropriate use, come to think of it.

  7. The Archdiocese of Phila. is the last organization to which I’d donate…and because of what we have learned about the long, ruthless and corrupt reach of the hierarchy of the RCC, I am not sure I feel confident donating to other Catholic charities either.

    1. Well said, Crystal. If hierarchs will steal from the dead, no Catholic organizations’ funds are beyond their grasp. Why do you think the Vatican really went after the American Sisters? With aging and declining numbers, the Sisters might give their remaining funds and property to the poor, God forbid, when a lot of criminal lawyers “need” it more! His Almost Eminence would not have it.

  8. I donate my money directly into our church’s poor box. As far as I can determine this money is used totally and exclusively to aid the needy in our parish. I wouldn’t give a plugged nickel to our bishop!

    1. Bill, you are joking, no? It is cash. Reliable reports are it often goes into the pockets of parish pastors, and how would you know where the balance goes? If you want to help the poor, avoid charities that bishops can skim from. Otherwise, intentionally or not, you are aiding and abetting child abusers.

      My nose is not out of joint at these clerical frauds, but my middle finger keeps twitching to salute them!

      Harsh words, perhaps, but true nevertheless. Catholics need to wake up. The hierarchy is a financial racket run from Rome, mainly by an self-perpetuating Italian Cardinals’ clique.

      Little has changed since the Renaissance and earlier. Not even the red dresses! Sad but true. Chaput is trying to get his red dress, but he may have to settle for an orange jump suit first.

    2. Bill,
      Money in the poor box?!?!?!

      One of the pedophile priests pulled out the large bills from the collection baskets and those “poor boxes” right in front of the brothers he was abusing. He took them to carnivals and funded whatever they wanted. He used parishioner money to groom little kids to abuse! This happened more often than you can imagine. This happened even after the ushers and volunteers collected/counted/accounted for the donations.

      Who would ever throw money anywhere near the Catholic Church?

  9. I put my money directly into our parish poor box. As far as I can determine, these funds go directly and totally to help the needy of the parish. I wouldn’t give the bishop a plugged nickel!

  10. I have not given any money to the Archdiocese since being sickened by the Grand Jury Report in 2005. In addition, I personally went to our Pastor in Northeast Philadelphia about a priest who wouldn’t keep his hands off of the parish children, he would pick little girls up and let them “slide” down his body. My Pastor accused my of blasphemy against a priest and said that no priest would ever have those thoughts for a child. He told me to save my soul by going to confession and never speaking of this again. You can only imagine how I feel now…just disheartened. On a positive note, may I recommend some very reputable charities that do amazing work, such as Catholic Relief Services, and some local organizations in Camden, Chester, and Wilmington. Just make sure that they run independent of the local diocese and your money should me safe and used appropriately to help others.

    1. Amen, Lottie, again you set a great example of what being Catholic is really about. I am not as confident, however, about bishops not getting access to CRS funds as you are.

  11. Susan, I too read the article in the paper, and then when I got on the computer, there were your comments. It was like you were reading my mind! My sentiments exactly. And “is my nose out of joint? No, my soul has been torn in half. What an imbecile that guy is! He really doesn’t get it. I (and so many others) lost my church that I had loved and supported for 64 years. I didn’t step away lightly. We have all been betrayed, most of all – the actual children who are the victims.

  12. We agree you are right on…..My wife and I were called to a meeting of the big donors of the parish when the Heritage campaing rolled out. Now we are sending our Money elsewhere, including the good sisters of St. Joseph.

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