Monday, January 26, 2009

Financial Common Sense and You Tube

Rev. Ken Knippel let his parishioners at St. John Vianney Catholic Church in Brookfield know that over the past three years, nearly $128,000 was stolen from the parish. It appears that Father Leonard Van Vlaenderen was taking it from the weekend cash offerings before it was counted. Normally, cash offerings were around $775 before Van Vlaenderen came and when we would be gone on leave, but were aroud $330 when he was around. There are a few red flags here. 1) The money counters should have noticed this. How could they have not noticed such a difference. 2) The bookkeeper should have noticed this. 3) Their administrative services committee should have been given regular financial statements and they should have noticed this.

Unfortunately, only the audit noticed this. I suppose this is pretty damning evidence that our parishes in the Archdiocese need audits, if not yearly, on some sort of random cycle. The other option... all three points mentioned above and the people involved in each point should be trained. We do the same thing regarding training against sexual abuse, why not training against financial abuse.

On a completely different note, I see that that the Vatican has begun their own YouTube site on which they will regularly post videos at "".

A Faithful Catholic

Monday, January 19, 2009

Vatican Clueless with Regards to Seminaries

In the wake of the sexual abuse scandal, the Vatican performed a visitation of all US seminaries. Their conclusion is that they are pretty healthy and that there has been improvement in their health because of the appointment of "rectors who are wise and faithful to the church." There has also been a decrease in instances of immorality, aka, homosexuality. Their recommendations include greater oversight of seminarians and a stronger focus on moral theology as the Catholic hierarchy does.

Clueless. If the Congregation for Catholic Education thinks that less homosexual acts and more "orthodox" moral theology will stop sexual abuse, they are on the wrong track. I'm pretty sure that no seminary ever taught that sexual abuse or child rape is okay. When they state that seminaries are more healthy, they mean more in line with Vatican thought; not that they are safer for kids.

A Faithful Catholic

Monday, January 12, 2009

Gitmo to Close

I usually reserve this blog for strictly religious issues, but in a real sense, everything is a religious issue. And the treatment and the existence of Guantanamo Bay has been an embarrassment for our country as well as the Catholic Church, which has been basically silent on this grave human rights abuse.

According to a Milwaukee Journal Sentinel article, one of Obama's first actions will be to give an executive order to close Gitmo. George Bush, whose favorite theologian is Jesus, never thought that this was good idea. I'm still skeptical of any politician, but I applaud Obama's humane and Christian action. With the Christmas season in the recent past, there was the regular tug of war about nativity sets and the like. That's window dressing that serves no purpose when at the same time our country and states and cities treat individuals inhumanely, uncharitiably, and un-Christian. I hope this upcoming action will set a new course for how America treats the "other."

A Faithful Catholic

Monday, January 5, 2009

Pope Calls for New Economic Model

On World Peace Day, January 1st, Pope Benedict stated that we need a new economic model. This model needs to be a "virtuous circle" based on simple living and fighting poverty. I do like that phrase of "virtuous circle." I'm assuming that it is supposed to be a play on "vicious circle," but I'm not sure if the official language for this kind of address is Latin or not. It is refreshing to see that on World Peace Day, Benedict addressed the issue of the economy rather than abortion. In his message, he also condemns the arms race, which is literally stealing resources from the world's poor. While he does not cite capitalism in particular, his section on finance is written against the unfair advantages that capitalism gives to the Western world. And simple living is definitely at odds with capitalism. Our president wants us to shop - that's how capitalism "works." Overall, a good message. I wish it was a bit more explicit, but it is obvious that our economy needs some Christianizing.

A Faithful Catholic