|Title of the Arlington Diocese Lenten Appeal for 2019|
As years go by I get angrier and angrier over this because I look at the published distribution of the funds and I rarely see a single thing I would choose to gladly write a check for.
We have contributed thousands in the past, but in the last couple of years our commitment to it has shrunk significantly. This year it will be less than $50. I think it is important for the actual number of people to remain high and the dollar amount to shrink, so the bishop knows clearly we the faithful are still fulfilling our "duty" but will no longer fund a diocese that no longer fulfills the needs of the Catholics in the pews.
I say Catholics in the pews specifically because I struggle with the thought that perhaps a large percent of all this money is actually going to pay salaries and "training" and "materials" and for "stuff" handed out to non Catholics, non Christians with no effort put with it to evangelize their souls.
more redistribution of wealth and no spreading the Gospel. WHY would I
feel obligated to fund that? When our own parish is a million dollars in
debt to the diocese for a building program we had no say in, and our own grandchildren are barely able to attend Catholic schools
because of outrageous tuition costs. Paul VI high school's annual tuition
is $15,000!!! It is actually cheaper to attend Virginia Tech University. And the priority of our bishop is "program
ministries" and "Catholic Charities" and "youth and young
adult ministries"? The last is a complete JOKE. 11% of the
budget to this? Seriously? Have you EVER in your life been in a parish
where either of these groups is thriving? Over TWO MILLION DOLLARS for "youth and adult ministries"?
|Screen Shot of the Allocation of Bishop's Appeal|
8% to "support chancery offices assisting the bishop." Translate that to superfluous secretarial bureaucrats and their computers and office supplies, medical benefits, and paid vacations.
The carrot they dangle is 18% to "seminary education." But WHICH seminary? And for what kind of priest in the end? Three seminarians from St. Veronica have gone to the American college in Rome. (Must be nice.) You can't tell me our young men are best off right now in the hotbed of sodomy and corruption, Rome, and that they are being taught the traditions of the faith. What kind of parish priest will they be after jetting back and forth to Europe annually and living on a Mediterranean diet and sipping Chianti?
They might likely come back as well prepared bureaucrats who are licking their chops for a position behind a desk in a chancery somewhere or getting their expenses paid for another advanced degree in nonsense that doesn't do a darn thing toward saving a single soul or keeping the existing flock fortified. And then another and another degree in canon law.
I am sick of it. Furthermore, I am sick of my own jaded attitude for a Church I should love with my whole heart and serve with gladness. I am sick of feeling like the girlfriend who knows she's been betrayed and lied to, but has no where else to go. I am sick of knowing our bishops are as aware of the problem as we are yet NONE OF THEM is willing to say ENOUGH!
NONE is willing to say subsidiarity starts in your own parish and the money collected will be put to use IN THE PARISHES in our diocese whose needs come first and in which the poor in our midst can be loved by the people near them. Where tuition for school can be brought into affordability for average families and CCD can be FREE. Where organs can be bought and talented trained musicians can be hired. Where kitchens can be built for parish community activities and sanctuaries and adoration chapels can be odorned properly. Where inspirational speakers and Adult catechism programs can be introduced and supported.
And NEVERMIND money going to "Peace and Justice Commission." WHO and WHAT is that anyway? Has the smell of communism, in my opinion.
The Arlington diocese budget is set with anticipation of $18.85 million. That's A LOT OF MONEY. Each little segment of the pie contains multiple "recipients." I believe this is trickery. Say for instance I felt good about the 8% that goes to "Catholic Schools, Office of Sacred Liturgy and Religious Education Programs."
8% of $18.85 million is $1,508,000. How much exactly goes to schools? How much to "office of sacred liturgy"? Who even knows whom or what that is. And "religious education programs"? Such as??? Who the heck knows? But it all sounds so nice, so "worthwhile," when it may be a complete waste of funds.
These things are long established at this point. People's livelihood/incomes, their families, depend on the funding. We are led to believe we owe it to them to keep the gravy train rolling. It is a bureaucracy "too big to fail." I probably wouldn't want to be the bishop to turn the lights out on this either, but someone at some point has to say ENOUGH! This isn't the way to run a Church. We are not an employment agency.
That someone is us. Just stop giving them your money and do something Catholic with it instead.