By Diogenes (articles ) | Jul 06, 2010

Still struggling to pay the bills, the Boston archdiocese has announced that all parishes will be expected to send 18% of their revenue to the chancery. That will shift some of the fundraising burden to individual pastors, but the archdiocesan staff is ready to help. Or at least to tell the pastors where to find help. And give them a shove in that direction.

The archdiocese is pushing parishes to hire professional fund-raising consultants to encourage parishioners to give more generously and consistently. “Hopefully it will be a win-win situation in terms of greater fund-raising and in terms of a greater relationship between the various ministries and the outreach of the Archdiocese of Boston,’’ said the Rev. Richard M. Erikson, vicar general of the archdiocese.

It’s a “win” for archdiocese, because the parishes will send more money. Understood. But how is it a “win” for the parishes? Ah, because they’ll have more dealings with the archdiocesan staff. Which is, no doubt, just what the typical Boston pastor wants.

Remember the economic rule that the late Jack Kemp cited so frequently: When you subsidize something, you get more of it; when you tax it, you get less. The Boston archdiocese is now subsidizing the parishes that have already closed, and taxing the revenue of the parishes that stay open. The predictable result: the functioning parishes will bring in less revenue, and more parishes will be closed.

Count on it. Make a note on your calendar to re-read this post in 5 years, and see how it worked out.  

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  • Posted by: lauriem5377 - Jul. 07, 2010 11:26 AM ET USA

    I think both your comments are correct, Samuel. I think that the more Catholics learn about the correct tenets of their faith and see the Church spreading the Word of God first and foremost, the more likely they are to contribute to that good work.

  • Posted by: samuel.doucette1787 - Jul. 07, 2010 8:32 AM ET USA

    I didn't want to give the impression that good stewardship of the Church's temporal goods isn't important nor did I want to give the impression that nothing worthwhile is going on in the Archdiocese of Boston. I just wanted to say that the financial effort is a little out of proportion to the evangelizing/prophetic/apostolic role of the local Church given the immense apostasy from the faith among so many cultural Catholics here in New England.

  • Posted by: unum - Jul. 07, 2010 12:13 AM ET USA

    The U.S. Church is long on "administration" and short on building the Christian community. I suspect that the parishioners of the Boston diocese will resist the fund raising campaigns to protest the actions of the Diocese. Only God knows where this will end.

  • Posted by: lauriem5377 - Jul. 06, 2010 8:46 PM ET USA

    I think it's not a matter of finding the right financial model....I think it's a matter of finding the right Catholic church model. Jesus wanted the apostles to spread the Word of God...that is the work of the Church here on earth.... Samuel is right in his comment. The structure has grown so far away from the simplicity of Jesus and the Apostles...that the Word is getting lost in the complexity of the 'business' of the Church. Pray for our Church to return to its roots.

  • Posted by: samuel.doucette1787 - Jul. 06, 2010 4:06 PM ET USA

    And the band played on... No matter what they do administratively, if they don't get the evangelization, liturgical, and teaching part right, the Archdiocese will continue to suffer.