Monday, March 13, 2006

Religious group claims Diocese of Rockville Centre is hoarding money

The Voice of The Old Faithful (VOTF) are at it again. They are spending thousands of dollars on an ad campaign to say the Diocese should give away more money. They base this on an audit done by CPA Dick Grafer, who used to work for Arthur Anderson, the firm that did a bang up job taking care of Enron's finances. (Good job!) This audit was done months ago, but VOTF is starting this campaign now as the Diocese is in the middle of their annual fund raising. I don't have a problem with the Diocese having lots of money on hand, since they employ thousands of people, so I once again fail to see the point of VOTF's crying. It seems to me that the Diocese is in better hands today than years ago, and that it is managing its money carefully. However, Catholics should know and understand how their money is being used, and the Diocese should keep the Gospel in mind above all else. There are a lot of things I too would like to see the Diocese do with their money but no one asked me since I never worked for a firm that was convicted in the Enron scandal:

Destroy many of the ugly, non-Catholic Church buildings built during the 1970's-1990's and rebuild beautiful Catholic ones.

Create an educational endowment fund to make Catholic schools affordable without 8 billion cookie sales.

Fund pro-life groups such as Mommas House, Birthright and The Life Center of Long Island so they too don't have to beg for money every 5 seconds.

Endow the seminary so finances aren't a problem for seminarians.

Start a loan program or credit union for Catholics who can't afford living on Long Island, which would be almost all Catholics.

I am sure discussing how the Diocese spends its money is a good thing for Catholics. But I don't think the VOTF is being helpful at all by approaching the issue this way. All large organizations, religious or otherwise, need to have large cash reserves. After all, we would not want one of Long Island's biggest employers to end up like Arthur Anderson:

"From a high of 28,000 employees in the US and 85,000 worldwide, the firm is now down to around 200 based primarily in Chicago. Most of their attention is on handling the lawsuits."

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