The Archdiocese of Saint Paul and Minneapolis has sent out the following FAQs to participants in the priest and lay pension plans. For a less optimistic view of the status of the plans in light of the bankruptcy filing, I once again recommend reading the articles in The Economist and 'Minnpost'. 


Greg Coulter
01/23/2015 11:44am

I'd be worried about the language of "should not be" in the first two answers. That is as non-committal as one can get without appearing to be so. "Should not" isn't "can't". It's not even "won't". From the evidence so far, it looks as though the financial structure of the Archdiocese allows for any and all sorts of transfers of funds from one pool to another. The distinction among budget pools seems to be merely one of labeling/record-keeping, not of legally restricted funds. If they did not set up accounts that were bankruptcy proof, then it's incompetence. And when the Archdiocese will not openly and clearly state whether or not funds can be taken out of some pools in order to fill others, but instead tries to appear as if it has so stated, it is being dishonest. Parishioners were assured by the Archdiocese that their donations to specific works (e.g. a school) would not be used to pay off suits related to priestly abuse and its enablers, it was at best a desire or hope, not a guarantee. I am saddened to see the continual stream of statements and promises that things will be different at the Archdiocese--that it will follow rules and be transparent--yet what actually happens is the reverse. This FAQ is a prime example of deliberately misleading and vague language geared to achieve a specific result. Persuading Catholics to continue to financially support the Archdiocese. I don't like saying it, but there needs to be a change at the upper levels of this organization. The trust is gone--for good reason.

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    Jennifer Haselberger is a canon lawyer who served as the Chancellor for Canonical Affairs in the Archdiocese of Saint Paul and Minneapolis until April of 2013, when she resigned in protest of the Archdiocese's handling of sexual misconduct by clergy.

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