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Tuesday, January 7, 2020

The Parasite That Keeps on Taking

When I read this article today I felt really naïve to have thought a bishop's office is anything other than just another corporate headquarters looking after their bottom line using their "local businesses" to keep them in the red.  This story is about New Orleans but I am sure it isn't any different anywhere else.

One can imagine some praying gets done somewhere in all this, but that may be just wishful thinking.  I wouldn't want to be in any bishop's shoes these days because in a country as wealthy as the United States it is a given in most dioceses that a lot of money will flow through the doors and it all has to be managed on a scale that would shock most of us who rarely ever give it a thought.  The truth is the diocese is a parasite.  It lives off the sweat and tears of the people in local parishes who are emotionally and spiritually invested in generosity and charity, as they should be.  But that said, the bishops take tremendous advantage of this selflessness as they tax more and beg more and assess more and more money to meet the expanding "needs" of the bureaucracy they have created.

It is very easy to do this when you are spending other people's money.  If you don't have enough, you just ask for more and if it isn't given freely, you demand it.  The article says the budget needed improving to meet anticipated abuse claims.  A little like knowing you are going to have to replace your roof or buy new tires in the near future.  I don't think most people understand that the money THEY put in the collection plate is being "put away" to pay out claims by other Catholics who are pressing the Church for money because they know they can probably get it and lots of it.

I've never understood how any Catholic, active or not, can blackmail the diocese for moolah, taking it from the good works of the Church and the dire needs of most parishes when the pay out they receive will never undo what was done to them.  I understand the harm done, but that's what the civil justice system is for.  If a criminal act was done to you and it is within the statute of limitations, then go to the police and file charges.  I wonder sometimes if the people strong arming the bishops for this money are the same kind of people who are forever wanting to be in a good car crash so they can land themselves a  settlement to live off of for a while.  

And why are the bishops giving out these settlements?  Because we keep giving them the money!  The money that might be going to pay off parish mortgages, or lower Catholic school tuition, or increase the number of scholarships, or build new churches or renovate the ones that are crumbling.  Instead, it is in that budget column designated for "future claims" by people who want revenge and don't care who they harm in the process.  While they think they are getting pay back from the one who harmed them, they are in fact harming you and me.

New Orleans anticipates more than $11 million in claims.  Multiply that across the whole country and we are talking about a LOT OF YOUR MONEY that will go to individuals that will have made their point, but who won't be any better off emotionally.  If paying these claims was a deterrent it might be different, but because the diocese doesn't actually suffer the consequences---the suffering gets passed on to you and me, they just don't seem to care.  As long as they keep that reserve fund handy it's business as usual.

Remember this the next time your bishop tells you how needy his programs for the poor are and how much he depends on people like you to keep his office running.


Anonymous said...

I reported as the adult female victim straight to the bishop's office. My mistake was thinking that if I kept focus on protecting other vulnerable women, and obviously wanted no monetary recompense, that would count for something.

I was told I had done the right thing by coming forward. I was told they had been concerned about him for a while.

There was no follow-up with me as someone struggling after such betrayal and damage. There was no repercussion to him in any way.

The victims are paid off for their silence. When I gave my silence at no cost, assuring the bishop that I just wanted other women safe from his predation, they apparently got a bargain.

My mental health was in the toilet.

The fallout in my psyche has been fierce. I was a throwaway to that man and nothing more to his boss.

If my detailed report had come after the Me, Too thing, I am sure I would have been told I was just "trying to take down a good priest."

There is nothing good about a man who abuses himself for pleasure and expects you to do the same for him, then takes what he wants anyway as you are saying NO NO NO

When what you should have done is clawed his eyes out.

I had always wondered how victims didnt fight and typically just lay there like dead meat.

Now I know.

The shock that this person of all people on earth is doing this to you - you freeze and go somewhere else in your head. You watch from the ceiling

Those hands and that mind are consecrating the Host at Mass.

It is an abomination and his bishop knows.

I know they know because they asked more than once if he heard my confession.

I was lost as to why until I learned that misconduct and my confession equals instant excommunication.

I trusted the bishop to hear my story that spared no detail to do something.

I was even more betrayed by him than the pervert.

I chose telling the bishop rather than police to avoid the scandal both the Bible and the Church condemn.

The statute of limitations on unlawful restraint, a felony, is two years.

I still have that window.

But...I am so busted up inside, I think a trial would literally kill me.

Anonymous said...

Friends called the other day about Bishop Barbarito of Palm beach Diocese. Not only did he send them a Christmas card but he personally called them too.They were shocked.
Then there was this

I personally know people who, after Bishop Barbarito had the " he is insane" accusation letter read about Fr John Gallagher at every Mass, have made the decision not to donate. Also, one wonders if the recent lifting of the "Pontifical Secret"in sex abuse cases is causing some Bishops to feel uncomfortable about punishing good priests who blew the whistle on clerical child sodomite abusers?

Bishop Barbarito gave an interview in his previous Diocese in which he stated that no clerical abuser guilty or not should be publicly named....

No Bishop , let's keep it all a secret so more children can be at risk !!!

Susan Matthiesen said...

At Christmas Midnight Mass the church was partially empty whereas just a few years ago it was packed with people standing out the door. Collections are down so we have a NEW program in place where the pastor has asked people to INCREASE THEIR WEEKLY DONATIONS. There have been TWO mailings and new envelopes have been created for the increase that people pledge. I did not and will not and I told him that. I told him if people are leaving the Church it's not my fault therefore I am not going to pay for it by PROMISING BY A PLEDGE to increase my donation!

He is ALSO now wanting more money to tear down the 40 year old church and build a new one. All of this comes straight from the bishop who gets it from his fellow bishops. THIS is what they talk about at their very expensive meetings - not how to nurture the flock but how to fleece the flock.

Mary Ann Kreitzer said...

Chriss, I think you meant to keep them out of the red.

Anonymous, I'm so sorry for your pain. I think of the betrayals in my life that have been so painful and they are nothing compared to what you experienced. I'm praying for you today and all those who were victimized multiple times: first by the abuser and second by those who should have cared enough to do something about the abuse when they were informed of it.

Is anyone surprised about the saints who said the floor of hell is littered with bishops skulls and miters? There are no doubt a few white papal beanies among them.