Sunday, March 5, 2017

TRUST - THE QUICKEST WAY TO HEALING OUR FINANCIAL WOES

Posted by Tim

PDF copy here

We know that Archbishop Byrnes and the new Finance Council and Finance Officer have their hands full after three decades of abuse and neglect of our diocesan finances at the hands of Apuron and his merry band of self-serving stooges. 


The good news is that Archbishop Byrnes need not fear. Once the faithful of this diocese know that they can trust the leadership, they will open their lives, their homes, and their pockets to rebuild this diocese the same way they and their forefathers and mothers built it. 

It was clear from Archbishop Byrnes' headline article in today's Umatuna, "An appeal to all our Faithful on Guam," that he is well aware of the breach of trust that has now shown up as a negative number on the balance sheet. 

Archbishop Byrnes and his new army of advisors may be well on their way to addressing some of the matters we will recommend here, but just in case, we'll recommend them anyway. And readers, feel free to add your own recommendations in the comments.

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The first thing that comes to mind is the need for more detail. We realize that this is only a summary report, formatted to fit on one page of the Umatuna, but we look forward to seeing all of this itemized.

One glaring example is "Parish Assessment." We need to understand this better. How much is each parish assessed and what are the mechanics of the assessment? Many church goers believe the money they put in the basket is for the parish. They don't know that a certain percentage goes to the chancery. An explanation will help. 

As for expenses, the note about Administration gives a general description about where the money goes. But let's get into detail. Perhaps some may balk at listing the names of the employees and how much they get paid, but we are in a crisis of trust. 

For RMS, it says that the subsidy from the chancery has stopped as of September 2016. Is RMS paying rent? If not, then that's a subsidy. And what about the tuition for the JP2 seminary? Who gets the tuition money? RMS. And 66 plus thousand goes to a "subsidy." Is that going to RMS too? 

One last note. Clergy Support of $6600 says it goes to "retired priest." Who is this "retired priest?" And why is it in the singular? Do we only have ONE retired priest? A chart published by the chancery in 2015 showed the same $6600. 



At the time, we knew that Fr. Brouillard was receiving $550 per month. ($550 x 12 = $6600.) Is Fr. Brouillard now retired? If so, then let's say that this is where the money is going to. I for one do not oppose subsidizing Fr. Brouillard. At 95 years of age, regardless of what he did, it would be sin to throw him out on the street. Also, I am very moved by the fact that he owned up to what he did and asked for forgiveness. So I say, keep the subsidy or whatever you want to call it, but let's be up front about to whom the money is going and why.

Please know that we are not doubting the sincerity of the new team. We know they are working overtime to straighten out a colossal mess. We simply urge you to continue down the road of transparency. It's the quickest way to trust. And trust is the quickest way to healing our diocese's financial woes. 

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