Saturday, February 21, 2015


Autonomous Catholic charitable organizations are certainly nothing new. 

What IS new is the idea of using such an organizational structure to directly administer funds at both the parish and diocesan level.

The idea of doing this was mostly born of the clergy sex abuse scandal which exploded into view in the last decade.

The cost of the scandal has escalated into the billions with lay Catholics footing the bill and making them victims twice over: once for the actual sexual abuse and once again for having to pay for it.

In addition to the billions paid out in law suits, it was learned that incalculable secret sums of hush money had been paid out for decades to victims and their families.

Adding insult to injury, not only did bishops buy the silence of victims, they also bought - again with our money - silence for the abusers: bishops paid to ship the offending clerics off to other dioceses or to treatment or just to some place out of the way where they were paid to stay off the radar for awhile or the rest of their lives. (BTW, where is Wadeson?)

In the wake of this mess, lay Catholics began rallying to save their parishes.

Since the mess had been allowed to occur in the first place because of an above-reproach espiscopacy and better than off-shore financial secrecy about where the collection basket money goes, concerned lay Catholics began calling their religions leaders to financial transparency and in some cases, began taking the financial matters of their dioceses and parishes into their own hands.

One example is the Diocese of Orange, California.

In 2005, the Diocese of Orange paid 100 million dollars to 87 vicitims. And that was in addition to many more millions paid previously to other victims. At the time this was the largest clergy sex abuse settlement to date until two years later when the Archdiocese of Los Angelese settled for 660 million.

The matter had gotten out of hand under Bishop Michael Driscoll, who had been warned since the early 80's of certain priests in his diocese who were sexually abusing minors. 

However, Driscoll, like most other bishops at the time, sought to hide the problem by moving these priests around and (though we don't know for sure) probably used church funds to keep priests off the radar and/or their vicitims quiet.

In response to similar situations across the country, the Catholic faithful began responding by forming non-profit tax-exempt organizations. These organizations appear to have two main functions: 1) to prevent the abuse of contributions and provide the financial transparency that bishops and pastors were not willing to give, and 2) to shield at least some assests from future law suits.

The people of the Diocese of Orange created the Orange Catholic Foundation. Here is its stated Vision and Mission:

Through inspiration of the Holy Spirit, the Orange Catholic Foundation strives to become a premier, nationally-recognized steward of Catholic philanthropy in carrying out Christ’s work to sustain and enhance all aspects of Catholic life for the entire community in Orange County.

We are an autonomous, pious foundation that works in collaboration with members of our diocese to raise, manage, grow and grant entrusted funds supporting all aspects of the Catholic faith following each donor’s intent.

The Orange Catholic Foundation is currently both sanctioned by the Bishop of Orange and administered with his cooperation. But this is a NEW bishop. Not the one who permitted all the abuses. (Maybe someday soon we will be able to work with a bishop like this, but obviously not now.)

Another method of lay stewardship could take the form of a charitable trust. This form could accomplish the same ends: seeing to the needs of a parish/diocese and shielding a percentage of the assets, not just from law suits, but from irresponsible clerics as well.

At this point, we only want to get a count of how many of Guam's Catholics would support the general idea of bypassing the collection basket and finding an alternative and more responsible way of supporting their priests and their parish.

To respond to the survey, please go here. The survey can also be accessed at the top right sidebar.


  1. It is so sad that parishes have to resort to this but the misuse and abuse of funds donated by the Catholic faithful has to stop. The Church and Her mission of saving souls, helping victims of war, poverty, disasters, and disease has become victimized by people within its ranks. Greedy, ambitious, power and money hungry clerics have broken the people's trust...the same clerics that tell us to leave them alone and not to question them by virtue of their positions. Shame on those responsible for reining in these clerics but failed to do so. Shame on those who are complicit with the wrongdoings perpetrated by these clerics "gone wild".
    The laity has to step up and make sure there's no room for corruption.

  2. Interesting. Today in one of our Dededo Parish Liturgical Celebrations, a JPII Seminary was "used" to solicit funds for their Seminary. Elders and others wanted to immediately write checks and give donations. Sadly, I was confused and did not donate.

    At the end of the day, what does the JPII Seminarians have to look forward to? The fact they are affiliated with the RMS instructors?, that they are affiliated with Rome via some kind of external degree program? Well, the bottom line is that they will not have an accredited U.S. Recognized degree (or an internationally recognized degree of Academics). So they are misled to believe.

    Hmm...So (to the JPII Seminarians), do you want to get ordained as a priest under "Rome's" extension program (whatever that is has not been validated or clearly identified) through the RMS curriculum or should you reconsider your current curriculum and vocation and revisit (discern) your future as a potential priest?

    I chose not to donate and I choose to use the money I would have donated to go to approved Seminaries and studies that are in sync with Rome, NOT KIKO. How about you, JPII Seminaries?, have you truly discerned why you would want to be a priest and study under a ruse with the RMS and their instructors? You all are young adults. Do things for the right reason and the right purpose, not the right purpose for the wrong reasons. Hope you discern with great contemplation. Good luck in your faithful journey.

    1. the funds collected will go the Appeal. Most of the funds collected for the Appeal does to support RMS. The AAA knows that non neo parishes will not support RMS, so he sends out the JPII...the money donated will not be for them....Put the money you wish to donate in a savings account or trust until this mess is cleaned up. Don't give to the appeal until the Chancery tells you where the money is going..

  3. Today at San Miguel there was a 2nd collection for Missionary Childhood Association Lenten Drive. Does anyone know what this is for? It's suppose to run for the entire Lenten season.

  4. What all these 2nd collections look like unfortunately is Pius efforts to compensate for the lack of success of the AAA.
    I would not bet the house on it, but it appears that all these sudden collections for one reason or another are just a way to raise the money they usually get through the appeal.
    Unfortunately since there is no transparency at all, there is no way at all to find out where all the money is going.
    My 6th sense tells me, (and the history of Apuron and Pius deceptions) that they will disappear in the syphon of the NCW money machine......

    1. PIUS needs it for his new project. What a guy.

  5. What's going on people? Only 33 people have the courage to sign the petition for Parish-based Non-Profit Organization so far! SMH

    1. No worries. We are only looking for key people to contact once we get the model for the 501c3 or the charitable trust up and running. Also, it's not really a petition, we're just using a program called i-petition because it surveys the information we are looking for. There is also an option to hide your name, so not everyone is visible. But thanks for the support. We'll be talking more about this soon but I encourage you to do your own research on how other parishes have done this in the states.