By Diogenes ( articles ) | Jun 11, 2005
The Boston archdiocese is now mass-producing public-relations disasters. They come rolling off the assembly line, one after another, day after day. Poor Uncle Di can't keep up.
It takes a special kind of genius to concoct a situation in which little kiddies are holding "graduation" ceremonies outdoor in a traffic circle, mourning the little goldfish that are perishing in their classroom, because the archdiocesan grinch locked them out of their school just 2 days before the end of the academic year. (You understand: the archdiocese had to act, because otherwise disgruntled parents might have staged a sit-in at the school, and that would have brought-- are you ready?-- negative publicity.)
But on another battlefront, the chancery is striking back.
You may recall that, almost exactly one month ago, it came to light that the priests' pension account is underfunded, because for 16 years the archdiocese took up a collection for the priests' retirement, and diverted the funds into other accounts. Now-- just in time, a month later-- the chancery bean-counters are defending their actions, hotly denying that there could be even a soupcon of mismanagement.
Now here's the explanation: (Are you sitting down?) It's true that parishioners were asked to donate to the priests' retirement fund, and it's true that the money didn't go into those funds. But the money went into other funds to benefit priests, and the archdiocese always intended to pay the pensions.
Got that? All perfectly clear? The archdiocese wanted to fund the pensions, and so it took money that had been collected for the pension, and put it into a different account, but it was all used to benefit priests, so why would anyone raise questions?
(At this point chancery officials put on their best used-car-salesman smiles, and ask, in effect: Don't you trust us? Well, as a matter of fact, now that you ask...)
To prove the righteousness of its financial practices, the archdiocese is going to make available audited accounts of all the funds that benefit priests. And these accounts will be made available... by the end of next year.
The end of next year.
It's takes a long time to put these numbers together, I guess.
Some people like to do things quickly, and others prefer slow cooking.
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