Monday, November 8, 2010

ATM's at Oregon Churches, Extorsion of Priests and Parishoners for Money

"It seems the only answer to the new Church collection is that we are no longer at Sunday Mass for spiritual nourishment, but to be treated as if we're ATM's.  Our priests and parishes will be penalized if they don't have a good reason for not getting to their goal. Money forcibly taken for this reason?  Sounds like extortion. (The term extortion is often used metaphorically to refer to usury or to price-gouging, though neither is legally considered extortion. It is also often used loosely to refer to everyday situations where one person feels indebted against their will, to another, in order to receive an essential service or avoid legal consequences due to social or political beliefs.Thanks wiki) The love of Christ is nowhere to be seen, or read, in the campaign manual. Click on link.  It might take time to view, thirty-six pages to read...but here's a sample

      "Sharing Our Faith" - Manual on Capitol Campaign  (Click on link above. Might take time to view, thirty-six pages to read...but here's a sample)If the link doesn't work go to

          Page 3   Hiring Nebraska Firm to Run New Campaign
"The Archdiocese of Portland retained the services of the Steier Group, a Catholic fund raising and development firm, to help manage the campaign."
Steier Group says:  "We assign a team of professionals to each client. Your campaign manager will be dedicated to your project – and only your project – throughout the effort and will handle the day-to-day campaign activities. Your campaign manager will be directly supervised by a campaign services director, as well as our CEO, Jim Steier. Your campaign manager will be supported by a staff of public relations and media specialists, full-time graphic designers, full-time grant writers and experts in planned giving, direct mail appeals, online fundraising, stewardship programs, major gift solicitations and event planning."

      Page 4.  Penalties for Priest and Parish
120% of collections are goal or parish will be penalized without a good reason. 75% collected goes to Archdiocese and 25% to parish.  Any funds over targeted amount are divided 50/50 Archdiocese and parish.

"Parishes will be asked to make every effort to achieve their goal. A parish seeking to adjust its target must provide the archdiocese with justification for  the adjustment in order to be approved by the Archbishop.  Plans to raise funds for new construction or renovation must be approved by the Archbishop in writing.  If a parish follows the recommended campaign procedures, the parish will
not be assessed any financial penalty if it does not reach its campaign target."
(VOCAL- priests have confirmed this form of penalty for other campaigns as well.)

      Page 4.  Annual Archbishop Catholic Appeal
"The Annual  Archbishop’s Catholic Appeal (ACA) will be conducted during the Capitol Campaign. Ministries and programs remain in need of the funds generated by the ACA.  The ACA and the capital campaign may fund similar needs. Extensive communications and marketing is planned to clearly explain the need for such levels of funding."

       Page 7  Parishioners are judged on giving abilities.  Large Donors are "courted".
"All parishioners will be evaluated and assigned to a specific campaign phase and section based on their gift request for the five-year campaign.

Whereas the evaluation needs to include local knowledge regarding the donors’ ability to give, each family’s current annual adult envelope giving will provide a starting point for the evaluation.  To assist in the evaluation of donors, the following matrix will be employed at the parish-level (and the Steier Group will train parish administrative  assistants and secretaries in the use of the matrix."

       Page 13  Collection Agency to Assure Giving
"Pledge collection and tracking process is being reviewed and proposed to be handled by the Cavan Corporation, a Catholic consulting and redemption company specializing in parish and diocesan offertory,pledge collection, tracking and redemption.
      For Pilot Phase Parishes, these meetings will be held from mid-May-August, 2010.
For Wave #1 Parishes, these meetings will be held from September, 2010-January,
 (There is a quiet period of a few weeks in the campaign for Advent)
For Wave #2 Parishes, these meetings will be held from mid-January-May, 2011.
For Wave #3 Parishes, these meetings will be held from May-August, 2011.

USCCB's "Renewal of CCHD"
CCHD How to Shoot Yourself in the Foot.
December 12, 2010 -  Retirement Fund for Religious
January 16, 2011 -  Catholic Communication Campaign
April 3, 2011 -  Catholic Relief Services
May 8, 2010 - Collection for Catholic Charities of Oregon
May 22, 2011 - Collection  for Catholic Home Missions
June 26, 2011 - Collection for the Holy Father (Peter’s Pence)
N.B.  The Archbishop's Annual Appeal spends almost $400,000 to oversee the yearly $3,600,000.00 they ask for annually to pay for salaries and perks for employees (that includes one million dollars from Oregon Catholic Press as a grant)
We can only imagine what it costs for $50,000,000.00 overseen for five years.  It will assure those involved a hefty salary for those years.  Funded by us.
The new campaign has no loving kindness or fruits which we would be able to see for families or the unborn.  We need to be good stewards of our money. 

"Let us more and more insist on raising funds of love, of kindness, of understanding, of peace. Money will come if we seek first the Kingdom of God - the rest will be given."
Mother Teresa


VOCAL said...

Hi Carolyn: This reminded me of years ago when we lived in Poway, Calif. and some of the Catholic people on our street told me they had been sent a letter from the Catholic Church telling them what amount they were required to contribute per month. They said it was well beyond their means and quit going to church so it seems this is not a new idea. I know most churches expect you to tithe 10% of your income and to expect a ten-fold return on the "seed you have planted." Good to hear from you, Norma

VOCAL said...

VOCAL - last post was sent to in response to my email blast.

As a convert there are many things Catholics don't realize are more functional than spiritual and Christ-like. If a church has a pastor who is really off base and starts not speaking the TRUTH of Christ...he is gone. Not so easy for liberal priests who are on the dole for life and just have to live off their investments. And they know it.

Kris said...

Thanks Carolyn!
I quit giving money altogether. Until things improve and we can trust where it is going I will not put money in the collection basket. I do when a visiting priest comes and I know where it is going for sure, otherwise too dangerous!

Also, did you know that LaSalle teaches two different religious classes now! One for Catholics and one for non-Catholics! It doesn't sit well with me! It is a Catholic school!!! If people attend a Catholic school, wouldn't it be in their interest to learn the whole truth, don't ya think? How is it any different now than a public school? Oh! I know, it's $13,000.00 a year now, that's the difference! Again, nobody is overseeing the Catholic schools either. sigh..Should I write a letter to the Archbishop? Would it do any good? Catholic grads come out knowing nothing about the faith! We sure don't want to offend anybody! Looks like we have no confidence in our faith now, the way the truth is covered up. Did you know about this Carolyn?

M.S., Portland said...

as soon as religious entities took on having "Business Offices", it was all down hill from there- you can't serve two Masters. St. Mother Teresa's plan was much more effective!

priest's wife - S.T./ Anne Boyd said...

so sad- we aren't Mormons! (they have to show the elders their pay stub and pay the church 10%)

VOCAL said...

Thanks for your note. I'm not surprised at the leaderships silence on things they want to keep going. If there are useful idiots they can get money from, especially rich ones, they will.
There is earth worship in our rich Catholic schools and they go merrily along. Mostly because they fit in with their pain living in a progressive world.
You're right kids don't know their faith. The Leadership will be held accountable there IS Divine Justice (Romans 1-2). I don't even know if they believe it anymore. As long as we remember, we can have hope.

VOCAL said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
M.S., Portland said...

as soon as religious entities took on having "Business Offices", it was all down hill from there- you can't serve two Masters. St. Mother Teresa's plan was much more effective!

VOCAL said...

You're so right. We have one heart for Him. They are filled with red tape.

HB said...

Carolyn - isn't this like a "New Church Tax"? Kinda like indulgences? Coercion is a form of violence too. What % does the Steier Group get? What are people thinking/doing?

NEW CHURCH TAX --- In the new Capitol Campaign the trust-based relationship between the faithful and the organizational dimension of the Church is being erroded by the New Church Tax which is based on one's yearly historical envelope giving to the Parish. That is, if one gives $1000 a year to the Parish, The Church Tax is to be $2000 a year and $10,000 in 5 years commitment to the diocese. Why has the amount of our Parish tithing donations been released to the diocese? Why such an elaborate fund-raising machine? What percentage does the Steier Group receive? Can we just say NO?

VOCAL said...

It is a new church tax. And thanks the word "coercion" is perfect for this violence. Extortion may come up, but not in the full sense.

You are right.
1. The already precarious trust level is almost gone.
2. We don't know why they need money, maybe to fill up coffers so the new Archbishop in 2012 won't see certain monies being used for investments and not their original use, like retirement for priests.
3. We CAN SAY NO. Tell your priest this is coercion and you can't be part of it.
4. There's supposed to be an audit regarding the Archdiocese every year to be given to the laity. We haven't seen one in over five years. There has to be funny business.
5. Ask these questions to the Archdiocese. If you don't get good answers. Go to the Vatican. They trump the US Bishops.