Catholic Culture Trusted Commentary
Catholic Culture Trusted Commentary

for a rainy day

By Diogenes ( articles ) | Mar 29, 2007

Bishop Anthony Pilla took early retirement from the Diocese of Cleveland last year for health reasons he declined to specify, having filed amended tax returns under pressure. The Diocese is claiming his disputed bank account wasn't secret and wasn't misused.

The Anthony M. Pilla Charitable account wasn't a secret fund but rather the former bishop's personal savings account, a lawyer for the Cleveland Catholic Diocese said.

The information emerged in a motion filed in U.S. District Court as part of the criminal case against Joseph Smith and Anton Zgoznik, two former employees accused of bilking the diocese out of $784,000.

Lawyers for the two men filed a motion last month in which they accused the diocese of maintaining hundreds of secret bank accounts used to funnel money to employees, including a $600,000 account controlled by Pilla.

"The McDonald & Co. account is Bishop Pilla's personal account in which his savings were deposited," diocesan attorney Stephen Sozio wrote. Smith "tries to impugn Bishop Pilla by arguing that transactions relating to that personal account -- transactions on which he actually advised the bishop -- were somehow untoward. They were not."
Maybe. Maybe not.

As far as I can see, there's nothing illegal, or dodgy, or shameful about a bishop's having a personal saving account. So why doesn't it appear on the books as, for example, the "Anthony M. Pilla Personal Savings account" instead of the "Anthony M. Pilla Charitable account"?

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  • Posted by: samuel.doucette1787 - Apr. 19, 2010 9:09 AM ET USA

    "Strike the shepherd and the sheep will scatter" -- The reference to "shepherd" applies both to the decades of weak leadership at the Archdiocese of Chicago (first Bernardin and now George) and to the many dissenting priests they've allowed to continue in spreading that dissent (Greeley, Pfleger, and others). The "sheep" stands for the many generations of faithful there who have suffered ecclesiastical abuse as defined by uncorrected and unpunished liturgical and doctrinal abuses. God help us!

  • Posted by: a son of Mary - Apr. 18, 2010 8:59 AM ET USA

    Watch the youtube video faux liturgy complete with young female dancers and would be "priest" pfleger sitting around a square table with a bunch of the guys (gays?) - it will turn your stomach - an insult to our Lord Jesus Christ, may he forgive us, and may Blessed Mother intercede on our behalf. Today starts the Litany of Our Lady of Good Counsel - maybe offer it up to her in reparations for him?

  • Posted by: SentimentalGent - Apr. 17, 2010 9:42 AM ET USA

    "While this is my personal opinion, I do respect and follow the Catholic Church teachings and I am sorry I failed to do this" Father Pfleger does not "respect and follow" the Catholic Church teachings, and him saying that makes him either a fool or a liar. He can decide which on that one. Oh, one more thing. He needs to have explained to him that a priest gives a "homily," not a "sermon" at Mass.

  • Posted by: - Apr. 16, 2010 8:00 PM ET USA

    Wait and see? Wait and see for what? He's already had opportunities to stop this. How did this happen - that Cardinal George could be so myopic in some areas- a brilliant good man, and yet? What and where is his blind spot? Why do our best and brightest continue to make these errors? This is a knife to the heart,...again.

  • Posted by: Hal - Apr. 16, 2010 4:38 PM ET USA

    Why do these folks get rewarded for their poor behavior while the faithful languish. I'm sorry, but this has me really, really ticked off. need to let it go, I guess.

  • Posted by: - Apr. 16, 2010 3:07 PM ET USA

    If I didn't know any better, I'd say that Fr. Pfleger has this impunity because he's got the dirt on someone higher up. Few other rational explanations exist....

  • Posted by: Hal - Apr. 16, 2010 10:54 AM ET USA

    This story gets more depressing by the day. George needs to go.

  • Posted by: DrJazz - Apr. 16, 2010 9:06 AM ET USA

    Hey Cardinal, it's been a few days. Time to schedule Father Flailer for another award.

  • Posted by: imanxufan9901 - Apr. 16, 2010 6:48 AM ET USA

    And this joker gets an award! No wonder the SSPX churches are full!

  • Posted by: - Apr. 15, 2010 11:20 PM ET USA

    This is an ongoing shell game between an apostate priest who runs his own little fiefdom at the expense--in all its ramifications--of the Church and a prelate who simply cannot straighten his spine in this matter and end the scandals that Fr. Pfleger has caused now for several decades. It's a another of many, many good reasons to channel financial support away from the Archdiocese and into known honest and compassionate organizations and institutions in the Church.

  • Posted by: Frodo1945 - Apr. 15, 2010 10:02 PM ET USA

    This is not news. Fr. Pfleger was this way before he got the award. All this does is show the weakness of Cardinal George. What a poor leader. How long, O Lord, .....

  • Posted by: - Apr. 15, 2010 5:55 PM ET USA

    The guy is out of control. He is either mentally ill, or a con man who is addicted to that trade and the attention he gets. The cardinal from the windy city has made a grave mistake, and an apology from him is in order.

  • Posted by: Minnesota Mary - Apr. 15, 2010 5:36 PM ET USA

    Of course Cardinal George will allow Fr. Pfleger to continue to disregard Church authority. The Cardinal doesn't mind wiping the egg off of his own face at all. I can hardly wait to read Tom Roeser's column on this.

  • Posted by: - Apr. 15, 2010 5:22 PM ET USA

    Y'know, for Pfleger this is a step in the right direction, so I'm glad he said it.