Saturday, July 12, 2014

SO HERE'S WHAT THEY'RE GONNA DO

Archbishop Apuron knows that there is NO good reason NOT to publish the diocesan financials. He knows that the Vatican has urged transparency at every level of the church. He knows that Pope Francis himself has personally called for it. He knows that the U.S. bishops have had a transparency policy in place for over a decade. He knows that almost every other diocese has already complied with the policy. And he knows that he CANNOT comply lest we all see where the money is coming and going.

However, he also knows that the jig is up, that we are not going away, that the major media is finding this story ever more juicy, that his usual tactic of silence on this issue is NOT going to work, and that his pathetic "let's meet" response to the anonymous public call for transparency was worse than if he had said nothing at all. 


So here's what they (the Archbishop and his frantic team) are going to do. They will publish a mock report showing some of the financials, probably mostly showing parish and perhaps school data, but certainly not the audited report that has been both called for and that every other diocese publishes. 

They will do this because they believe that we will then shut up and go away. We won't. And when pressed for the full audited report they will claim that they can't afford it and that if we want one we can pay for it ourselves. 

Of course, never mind that the Archbishop drives around in a fully loaded Equus, a $70,000 "Super Luxury" car, complete with the car manual on an iPad. Never mind that he receives a steady stream of envelopes full of "cashee" from "mystery donors". Never mind that he is probably the most traveled bishop in the world outside of the Vatican diplomatic corp. Never mind that the cost of the upkeep of the seaside swimming pool at the seminary could probably pay for an audit. But "Nah". An audit? We can't afford it. Pay for it yourself. 

Oh sure, the car was a gift, they'll say. So! Get your "mystery donor" who paid for your car to give you some "cashee" to pay for the audit. Simple! Or sell some indulgences, er, I mean annulments. (People know.)

But seriously, for an archdiocese to say they can't afford an audit...well, what does that say about the competency of those who run the archdiocese? The Archdiocese of Agana is at least a high deca-million dollar enterprise. And they are telling us that they don't do audits? That they have no internal financial controls? No independent review? No professional system of financial checks and balances? No stewardship or accountability either internally or externally?

The cost of an audit should be part of the budget. Why isn't it? Or is there even a budget?

I'll be back. 

P.S. And don't hold your breath to see the financials on the seminary. The Archbishop will claim it is a separate entity...after claiming that it isn't. But that's what we'll come back to. See you soon. 

11 comments:

  1. Mr. Rohr, I have a question for you to look into.

    Why is it that whenever the Archbishop presides mass at a village fiesta or any other event the people of the Parish gives him $400 Dollars in CHECK? Do we, the people of the parish, have to pay him that much for mass? Isn't it enough we prepare a special meal for him?

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    1. It is a gift for coming to celebrate with the village - a courtesy. For example, when you invite a priest to celebrate or concelebrate, you give him a gift as well. This amount depends on your means, but $100 is typical for a Mass. People are forgetting or worse, taking for granted that "it's their job" to show up and why should we give a monetary gift. Well, for one, priests do not get paid regular salaries. Second, it has been Chamorro custom to give in this way.

      As for the claim that the Archbishop expects $1000, that seems inaccurate to me. He has never made demands for a certain amount when he says a fiesta Mass at my church and I have been involved for over 15 years in my parish. We willingly give him $500 as our gift and appreciation. In addition, we wrap ample food for him to take to his community because we know he is heading there soon after. It has become part of our fiesta protocol.

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  2. It is public knowledge that the former nuncio, Archbishop Balvo, ordered an audit to be done. What happened to that audit? Why has it not been disclosed? Id there anything in the audit that would embarrass archbishop Apuron? Why the reluctance?

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  3. Archbishop expects one thousand cash per visit.

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  4. One Thousand in Cash in envelope??

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  5. Annulments 25,000 USD.

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  6. How much funeral?

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  7. What is the lastest on the nuncio visit?

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  8. Jungle strangely quiet. Tread carefully. Shhhhh.

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    1. Yes. I spent yesterday, a Sunday, with my family.

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    2. Meanwhile we had 3447 page views.

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