Monday, April 14, 2008

Milwaukee Archdiocesan Staffing Cuts

I decided I should have a real blog entry this week. Per the Catholic Herald, the Archdiocese of Milwaukee will be cutting 37 positions this July in order to help close the expected $3 million budget deficit for the coming fiscal year. In truth, I don't have much to say about it. It's a tough position to be in, and some sort of decision had to be made to balance their budget. It is a very sad day for the Archdiocese and I'm sure that Dolan did not make take these firings lightly.

The one comment I do have is about the restructuring that will be taking place. Also per the Milwaukee Catholic Herald, a new flow chart outlining this structure has been made public. The one thing that sticks out at me is that the position that was formerly "Vicar for Clergy" is now "Vicar for Ordained and Lay Ecclesial Ministry." I do not see how this bodes well for lay ecclesial ministers in the Archdiocese. My understanding is that the current vicar, Fr. Curt Frederick, is a very nice guy, but vicars change. And unfortunately, as with the Milwaukee police force ala Frank Jude, the interests of the old boys club often trumps those of people outside of the group. If a lay ecclesial minister has a legitimate gripe against a priest, I would assume that the vicar (who is a priest) is the person they are to contact. Will this priest, the vicar, always be willing to put things in proper perspective. It would just make a lot more sense to me to have that position held by a layperson. Expanding the vicar's job for both types of ministers does make a lot of sense on a flow chart, but I think this is a clear indicator that lay ecclesial ministers do not have a voice at the Archdiocese. It looks like this position has been created to give the Archdiocese an official arm with which to reprimand lay ecclesial ministers. I hope I am wrong, but it initially looks that way to me.

A Faithful Catholic

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