Monday, March 06, 2006

Toto, I Don't Think We're in America Anymore....

So a British bishop has "discovered" that his chancery played fast and loose with funds which were earmarked for parishes, and that the diocese is $17 million in the red.

Does he start whining and building strawmen? No.... he *GASP* apologizes.

I don't know if I can handle this degree of integrity.... From the Telegraph

A Roman Catholic bishop who sold his £1 million house to live a simpler life has apologised to churchgoers after discovering that his diocese has slipped £10.2 million into the red.

The Rt Rev Patrick O'Donoghue, the Bishop of Lancaster, said that the diocese's central administration had been "eating up" money belonging to parishes and trust funds without permission.

The administration had also spent half the £1 million raised when he sold his 16-room house and a cottage near Lancaster in 2003, in favour of a modest apartment adjacent to St Peter's Cathedral in the city centre.

The bishop had ring-fenced £250,000 for his successor, who might not be suited to his spartan lifestyle, and £250,000 for "evangelisation purposes", but all the money was spent without consultation. Much of the money was spent on ambitious projects such as an inter-faith centre in Preston and on staff salaries.

OK, in the name of sanity, because you don't just look the other way while $17 million goes down the funnel, it must be asked -- where was the bishop in the midst of all this? Could it be that, akin to some American chanceries, it was all being done behind his back?

Don't say that doesn't happen, either.
Of the £10.2 million taken by the administration, a total of £7.2 million was taken from current and deposit accounts belonging to the parishes. A further £3 million came from monies that were either ring-fenced or held in trust funds.

Four years ago, Bishop O'Donoghue, 71, was applauded when he announced that he planned to "break free" from the customs, traditions and bureaucracy that hindered him from being a more effective pastor.

Breaking free is good, of course, but we've gotta keep an eye as to how this hole is gonna get plugged.