Saturday, February 20, 2010


More hair splitting from the Anti-Diocese. Their PR firm must have told someone at the chancery how bad a 15.5 million dollar total deficit looks, so now they are trying to make it look a bit better. It doesn't.

From the Citizen's Voice:

A letter published Thursday in The Catholic Light from interim leader of the diocese Cardinal Justin Rigali cited a diocesan "deficit" of $15.5 million in fiscal year 2009, but by conventional accounting standards the actual operating deficit for the year was $3.1 million.

The figure cited by Rigali, and then reported by The Citizens' Voice, includes shrinking value in diocesan assets like the value of investments, and growing liabilities like bad loans and pension obligations - which do not bear upon actual revenue and expenses of the annual budget.

The Diocese of Scranton's actual deficit for fiscal year 2009 totals $3.1 million, increasing from a $502,460 deficit reported in 2008.

Major factors were a $3.5 million decline in revenue, led by a decrease in investment income, special collections and the Diocesan Annual Appeal.

Separately, the diocese did see a $15.4 million decline in the net value of its assets. Of that, $7.1 million were provisions for loan losses, many from parishes that cannot repay money borrowed to fund Catholic schools. Another $3.6 million of the 2009 asset decline is related to long-term effects of changes to the pension system, according to the financial statements.

The diocese's total liabilities now exceed its total assets by $26.1 million, or 25 percent, according to the financial statement published in the diocesan newspaper.


Anonymous said...

Sir Rockin One:

This is the result of years and years of people giving their weekly dollars and demanding the Church thrive off of it.

This is the result of years and years of pastors not talking talking about money, and telling the people the problmes becasue they got sick and tired of being accused of "Oh, there he goes again, Father is talking about money."

For some reason, Catholics have never understood their obligation to support the work of the Church in a meaningful way. They have not followed the example of their Protestant counterparts in that regard. Priests have never been able to motivate people to give in a meaningful way.

Sir Rockin One, one thing is certain: The days of weekly dollars have to come to an end. This Diocese, and the pastors are going to have to do some major revamping of the collection system and get the people to understand they have an obligation to support the work of the Church in a way commesurate with their state in life.

Father Dave Bechtel

Anonymous said...

My family tithes to our parish. Really tithes. We give money at the sacrificial level to the Annual Appeal. So what if I drive a 20 year old car to make it happen? That's my choice and it's the right one. I feel glad that I can. But none of it makes one ameoba of difference in wisdom in the running of the Diocese of Scranton. Demographics were telling the story of what needed to be done for years, and the leadership did nothing. Now the changes needed are so austere and numerous they're being mechanically exercised absent of compassion , with plenty of sarcasm. When I ask for the spiritual support necessary to my life, I'm treated as an inconvenient pain in the @ss because priests are overextended and assigned to 2-3 parishes. I even get "yeah, you might need what you're requesting but that doesn't mean I have to provide it - I'll tell you what you'll get and be glad you're getting even that". Just so, and to a great degree, I am grateful that we may worship freely in this United States, our church strong and awe-inspiring, an eternal militant army. Be that as it may, I can't believe it's a shock to the leadership that the Call to Holiness is compounding the problem, instead of solving it. The Diocese could take a play page from finances of the Salvation Army if they have a spot of humility and an earnest wish to learn a variety of effective ways to provide spiritual, corporal works of mercy and provide education. The S.A. can take care of a buck and make it stretch to two - and absent the weekly scandals being swept under the rug (and hiding sin ultimates wounds the Church, NOT protects it, because it will always come out - always). When the Church again shows the financial common sense and the spiritual leadership it had pre-V-II, I believe tithes will follow. No one wants to throw their blessings down repeated cycles of poor planning/execution - and even more endless blaming of the laity.

CatholicMomof6 said...

I have just discovered your blog and I will be back. Not only has our family stopped financial contributions to our local parish, we have stopped attending all together. We travel 2 hours one way to attend a Tradtional Latin Mass whenever we can. Other Sundays we stay home and pray the Rosary with our children. Here's why--the last 3 Sundays we attended Mass the "priest" shared his homily with a lay person, some of whom identified themselves as non-denoms. The Calendar offered this Christmas was Precious Moments. When I addressed a concern about the 6 lay ministers of the Eucharist and where I could expect the "priest" to be standing, I was reprimanded. The percentage of non-Catholics attending the local Catholic school is pushing 40%. The percentage of non-Catholic teachers is higher. I won't even mention the millions of dollars spent to pay for the sex crimes and drug crimes of members of the clergy. As a Catholic, I have a duty to support the Church, but I don't have an obligation to support this mess and I won't. Our family has left the Novus Ordo permanently. We shall not return. When the Diocese of Scranton can address that, we'll see.

The Rockin' Traddy said...

Hi Catholic Mom, I know what you are talking about. Why don't you send me a private email and fill me in on the particulars. Anyone other than the deacon or priest giving the homily is illicit. We can get that addressed at the very least.