Sunday, May 11, 2008

Transparency and the church

Jim Norton in the April 18, 2008 Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
OK, I get it. If I want the Catholic Church in the U.S., Wisconsin and Milwaukee to exist and serve, I will have to pony up more cash. But I have a problem with that. ...

When someone has squandered my money, stock purchases or donations, I have to think long and hard about giving those same institutions more of my cash. Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me.

For example, back in 1997 I received a thank you letter from the Very Rev. John H. Endejan for my contribution to the Cathedral Preservation Foundation.
... Your personal support of the Cathedral of St. John the Evangelist will certainly help to preserve our common treasure.

... One can only guess how many people have been touched by a visit to our beautiful Cathedral, by attending formal ceremonies or in a time of private prayer.

The restoration and continued preservation of the Cathedral will only be possible through the heartfelt loyalty and profound generosity of valued friends like you. ...

I invite you to visit your beautiful Cathedral whenever you have the opportunity to do so. ...

Richard S. Vosko provides a side-by-side comparison. "My" beautiful Cathedral is on the left. The attempt to fool me twice is on the right.


  1. Anonymous6:41 AM

    Beautiful! I don't know what your problem is. It looks so much more inviting and inspiring.

  2. Herald's Angel12:09 PM

    Yeah. In the same sense that, say, Bay Shore Mall is "inviting" and "inspiring." The sad story of the destruction of that cathedral is well known enough. How low we've come when, as criteria for the suitability of ecclesiastical architecture, we believe "inviting," "welcoming," and "inspiring" legitimate categories as opposed to, say, "sacred," "beautiful." and "transcendent."

  3. Anonymous12:34 PM

    Can I conclude that you are not giving to the campaign (I already have forgotten the name) for the educational and charitable works of the archdiocese? :-)

  4. herald's Angel3:53 PM

    Let's see here: how do we get from a comment about the re-ordering of the cathedral to a conclusion about not giving to the campaign? Mind boggling, but indicative of how some minds work. It's a little frightening.

  5. Aquinas4:10 PM

    Anonymous 12:34:

    You mean the campaign that's really a recapitalization campaign for the archdiocese because the money you gave in the past, foolishly thinking that it was being used for education and charity, was instead pissed away to pay the diocese's legal bills? That campaign?

    I can't speak for anyone else, but no; I will not be giving to that campaign. I will, however, be making direct contributions to several worthy, local, Catholic entities. I feel better when I'm able to avoid the shifty middleman.

  6. Anonymous10:12 PM

    EXACTLY Aquinas! Thank you. And not just to pay the legal bills, but to coddle and protect those in the Church who have done such horrible things, many of whom are still in place. No, it does not inspire one to give to THAT campaign! Sorry Herald's Angel.

  7. herald's Angel10:26 PM

    Oooops! My bad. I didn't see the smiley at the end of your post, clearly indicating «snark»!! Sorry. I'll read more closely before I start raving. In my own defence, though, there are a lot of morons stumbling about who would post something exactly like that and be serious about it. Unfortunately, I was the moron who didn't give it a close reading. I'll try and behave...

  8. "Can I conclude that you are not giving to the campaign ..."

    Or the checks might have a frowny face in the memo line.