1. Standard memberNemesio
    Ursulakantor
    Pittsburgh, PA
    Joined
    05 Mar '02
    Moves
    32455
    05 Jan '07 23:32
    How come you never post this sort of stuff, Ivanhoe? Hmm?

    http://www.nytimes.com/2007/01/05/us/05church.html?ei=5087%0A&em=&en=e80f0f855e5d1b89&ex=1168146000&pagewanted=print

    January 5, 2007
    Embezzlement Is Found in Many Catholic Dioceses
    By LAURIE GOODSTEIN and STEPHANIE STROM
    A survey by researchers at Villanova University has found that 85 percent of Roman Catholic dioceses that responded had discovered embezzlement of church money in the last five years, with 11 percent reporting that more than $500,000 had been stolen.

    The Catholic Church has some of the most rigorous financial guidelines of any denomination, specialists in church ethics said, but the survey found that the guidelines were often ignored in parishes. And when no one is looking, the cash that goes into the collection plate does not always get deposited into the church’s bank account.

    “As a faith-based organization, we place a lot of trust in our folks,” said Chuck Zech, a co-author of the study and director of the Center for the Study of Church Management at Villanova.

    “We think if you work for a church — you’re a volunteer or a priest — the last thing on your mind is to do something dishonest,” Mr. Zech said. “But people are people, and there’s a lot of temptation there, and with the cash-based aspect of how churches operate, it’s pretty easy.”

    Specialists in church ethics said they believed this was the first study to assess the extent of embezzlement in a denomination.

    Officials at the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops said they had seen the study, which was released just before Christmas and was first reported in the National Catholic Reporter, and were considering ways that parishes could tighten their financial controls.

    “The Villanova study does not come as a surprise,” said Bishop Dennis M. Schnurr, treasurer of the bishops’ conference. “This is something that the bishops in this country have been looking at for some time. They are aware of a need to look for mechanisms that can assist parishes in accountability and transparency.”

    Mr. Zech and his co-author, Robert West, a professor of accounting at Villanova, did not set out to look for embezzlement. They were conducting a study of internal financial controls in Catholic dioceses and sent a battery of questions to chief financial officers in the nation’s 174 Catholic dioceses; 78 responded. Mr. Zech said he was surprised that so many dioceses had detected embezzlement. In 93 percent of those cases, police reports were filed.

    He said the survey did not ask who stole the church money. But it did ask who detected the theft, and found that it was most often the parish priest, followed by the bookkeeper, an internal auditor or the parish finance council.

    In October alone, three large cases of embezzlement surfaced, including one in Delray Beach, Fla., where two priests spent $8.6 million on trips to Las Vegas, dental work, property taxes and other expenses over four decades.

    In the survey, 29 percent of the dioceses reported thefts of less than $50,000.

    Most denominations have had cases of embezzlement, sometimes by top officials. In June, the Presbyterian Church U.S.A. fired its second-ranking financial officer, Judy Golliher, after she admitted stealing money that church officials put at more than $132,000.

    Many nonprofit organizations that accept cash donations experience theft, and churches are particularly vulnerable, said John C. Knapp, director of the Southern Institute for Business and Professional Ethics, at Georgia State University in Atlanta.

    “Churches have a tendency to be in denial about the potential for this conduct in their midst,” Mr. Knapp said. “When ethics seminars or ethics codes are proposed in churches, they are often met with resistance from people who say, ‘Why in the world would we need this? After all, this is the church.’ Whereas in business, people readily recognize that this sort of thing can happen.”

    The Salvation Army is widely considered exemplary among nonprofits in handling cash collections. The red buckets in which bell ringers collect donations are covered and locked, and all buckets must be returned to a central location, where at least two people count the number and type of bills, coins and checks, said Major George Hood, the charity’s national spokesman.

    The money must be deposited in the bank within 24 hours, and different people reconcile the initial tallies with bank records, Major Hood said.

    In the Catholic Church, parishes and high schools handle many cash transactions, making them vulnerable to theft, the Villanova report notes.

    Canon law requires each parish to have a finance council to provide oversight. But Bishop Schnurr, who heads the diocese in Duluth, Minn., said there were no standards for how finance council members were chosen or whether they should have any expertise in accounting or finance.

    Only 3 percent of the dioceses said they annually conducted an internal audit of their parishes, and 21 percent said they seldom or never audited parishes, the survey found.

    This lack of scrutiny is at the core of the problem, said Francis J. Butler, president of Foundations and Donors Interested in Catholic Activities, a nonprofit organization independent of the church.

    “You’re taking a lot of risk,” Mr. Butler said, “and these days the church cannot afford to take these kinds of risks.”

    Bishop Schnurr said the study’s findings on lack of parish oversight contradicted his experience. But both he and Kenneth W. Korotky, chief financial officer for the bishops’ conference, said a committee could soon consider writing guidelines for the composition of parish finance councils and how often dioceses should audit parishes.

    But they cautioned that the bishops’ conference could not make guidelines mandatory, because each bishop was in charge of administering his own diocese.

    Jack B. Siegel, a tax lawyer and expert on nonprofit management who has commented on church fraud on his blog, charitygovernance.com, said he kept a tally of church frauds and was surprised by how many occurred at Catholic churches.

    “I got interested because I thought, wait, I’ve heard a lot about pedophilia, why aren’t I hearing about these financial problems,” Mr. Siegel said.

    He said he was impressed with the guidelines that the bishops’ conference and other Catholic organizations have offered.

    But he said, “How those standards and guidelines get put into practice is what really matters.”
  2. DonationPawnokeyhole
    Krackpot Kibitzer
    Right behind you...
    Joined
    27 Apr '02
    Moves
    16879
    05 Jan '07 23:481 edit
    Originally posted by Nemesio
    How come you never post this sort of stuff, Ivanhoe? Hmm?

    http://www.nytimes.com/2007/01/05/us/05church.html?ei=5087%0A&em=&en=e80f0f855e5d1b89&ex=1168146000&pagewanted=print

    January 5, 2007
    Embezzlement Is Found in Many Catholic Dioceses
    By LAURIE GOODSTEIN and STEPHANIE STROM
    A survey by researchers at Villanova University has found that 85 p
    But he said, “How those standards and guidelines get put into practice is what really matters.”
    There is but one God, and Moolah is his profit.
  3. Standard memberDoctorScribbles
    BWA Soldier
    Tha Brotha Hood
    Joined
    13 Dec '04
    Moves
    49088
    05 Jan '07 23:55
    Originally posted by Nemesio
    How come you never post this sort of stuff, Ivanhoe?
    Perhaps because it doesn't come out on the Vatican CIS wire. Why that is the case would be another interesting discussion.
  4. Standard memberDoctorScribbles
    BWA Soldier
    Tha Brotha Hood
    Joined
    13 Dec '04
    Moves
    49088
    05 Jan '07 23:582 edits
    Originally posted by Nemesio
    "As a faith-based organization, we place a lot of trust in our folks"
    LOL. What a confusion of notions this statement betrays.
  5. DonationPawnokeyhole
    Krackpot Kibitzer
    Right behind you...
    Joined
    27 Apr '02
    Moves
    16879
    06 Jan '07 00:05
    “I got interested because I thought, wait, I’ve heard a lot about pedophilia, why aren’t I hearing about these financial problems,” Mr. Siegel said.

    Having been prevented from screwing the acolytes, they resort to screwing the parishioners.
  6. Felicific Forest
    Joined
    15 Dec '02
    Moves
    24375
    06 Jan '07 00:191 edit
    Well, thank you for initiating a thread especially devoted to me. I feel honoured.

    "Where there is money, there will be thieves."

    There is too much trust in the Church community concerning these and other issues ... and maybe that is why certain people take advantage of it. Naivite is not being tought by the Church ...... that's why I think this attitude will change.
  7. Felicific Forest
    Joined
    15 Dec '02
    Moves
    24375
    06 Jan '07 00:22
    Originally posted by DoctorScribbles
    Perhaps because it doesn't come out on the Vatican CIS wire. Why that is the case would be another interesting discussion.
    Actually, it is the Vatican Information Service, the VIS.
  8. Felicific Forest
    Joined
    15 Dec '02
    Moves
    24375
    06 Jan '07 00:35
    Nemesis: "How come you never post this sort of stuff, Ivanhoe? Hmm? "

    ... because I am a bad and evil person.
  9. Joined
    02 Apr '06
    Moves
    3637
    06 Jan '07 09:31
    Originally posted by ivanhoe
    Well, thank you for initiating a thread especially devoted to me. I feel honoured.

    "Where there is money, there will be thieves."

    There is too much trust in the Church community concerning these and other issues ... and maybe that is why certain people take advantage of it. Naivite is not being tought by the Church ...... that's why I think this attitude will change.
    I thought the church did teach naiveity, *mmmm* or was that nativity? No it definitely has something to do with not asking difficult questions....

    ...sorry.

    But like any organisation people will take advantage.... but 85 theft%!?
  10. Standard memberNemesio
    Ursulakantor
    Pittsburgh, PA
    Joined
    05 Mar '02
    Moves
    32455
    08 Jan '07 07:32
    Originally posted by ivanhoe
    ... because I am a bad and evil person.
    I don't believe you are bad or evil. I think you are a sheep who is scared to think on his own.

    The fact you are you routinely unwilling to criticize the actions of your own tradition, even in the
    face of colossal scandal and, at times, are willing to excuse and even defend it is simply tragic.
    It is your tacit acceptance that the Church will occasionally behave abominably that allows her to
    continue such practices unchecked rather than by expressing constructive outrage (without
    defecting, to be sure).

    If, but once, you expressed a disdain for the actions of the Church commensurate with nature of her
    sins
    in the same way you extol her for her virtues, you would find much of us a more attentive audience.

    Nemesio
  11. Felicific Forest
    Joined
    15 Dec '02
    Moves
    24375
    08 Jan '07 10:462 edits
    Originally posted by Nemesio
    I don't believe you are bad or evil. I think you are a sheep who is scared to think on his own.

    The fact you are you routinely unwilling to criticize the actions of your own tradition, even in the
    face of colossal scandal and, at times, are willing to excuse and even defend it is simply tragic.
    It is your tacit acceptance that the Church will oc ...[text shortened]... you extol her for her virtues, you would find much of us a more attentive audience.

    Nemesio
    Nemesio: "I don't believe you are bad or evil. I think you are a sheep who is scared to think on his own."

    .... bèèèèèèèèh .... bèèèèè ... èèè .... èèh .... 😵


    Nemesio: "The fact you are you routinely unwilling to criticize the actions of your own tradition, ..... "

    Really ? You are hallucinating. The fact that I do not join the usual parrot choir in certain anti RC Church "debates" doesn't mean you can draw this conclusion.

    Nemesio: "If, but once, you expressed a disdain for the actions of the Church commensurate with nature of her sins in the same way you extol her for her virtues, you would find much of us a more attentive audience."

    You haven't read all my posts.


    Tell me Nemesio, why do you refuse telling us the denomination you yourself belong to ? Do you want to steer away from your own convictions and rather critise others who do have the guts to state what they believe in instead ?
  12. London
    Joined
    02 Mar '04
    Moves
    36083
    08 Jan '07 15:051 edit
    Originally posted by Nemesio
    How come you never post this sort of stuff, Ivanhoe? Hmm?

    http://www.nytimes.com/2007/01/05/us/05church.html?ei=5087%0A&em=&en=e80f0f855e5d1b89&ex=1168146000&pagewanted=print

    January 5, 2007
    Embezzlement Is Found in Many Catholic Dioceses
    By LAURIE GOODSTEIN and STEPHANIE STROM
    [b]A survey by researchers at Villanova University has found that 85 p ...[text shortened]... he said, “How those standards and guidelines get put into practice is what really matters.”
    [/b]
    I wonder why you did not put this bit in bold:

    "He said the survey did not ask who stole the church money. But it did ask who detected the theft, and found that it was most often the parish priest, followed by the bookkeeper, an internal auditor or the parish finance council."
  13. Standard memberNemesio
    Ursulakantor
    Pittsburgh, PA
    Joined
    05 Mar '02
    Moves
    32455
    08 Jan '07 22:102 edits
    Originally posted by lucifershammer
    I wonder why you did not put this bit in bold
    I did not put it in bold because it is hardly surprising. The priest has
    the greatest likelihood of noticing the error since he is the one most
    affected by it. That a priest was most likely to detect the theft doesn't
    exclude that his brother priest was the thief (either because they were
    working together in a pastor-curate situation or because the discovering
    priest found out that a previous priest was a thief).

    Again, it doesn't particularly matter to me even if the priest was
    the thief. What matters is that the ordinary safeguards which are
    parcel to any monetary enterprise were not in place. The Church
    didn't make it a priority to protect the voluntary donations given by
    the faithful. Did a priest go hungry? Did a priest go without heat? Did
    a priest go without clothes? No. The poor did.

    It is common knowledge that the vast majority of theft in any business
    comes from within the institution. Cameras over the cash registers,
    bookkeeping checks and balances, money-counting procedures are all
    elemental to a successful financial enterprise. For excellence in such
    endeavors, one needs only to turn to American casinos.

    So, again, we find that the Church has not prioritized what I feel to be
    one of its essential missions, to help and protect the vunerable. The
    rectory cable bill got paid, but the extra money that was stolen (by
    whomever!) meant someone else's stomach went empty.

    This should outrage anybody but especially Roman Catholics.

    Nemesio
  14. Standard memberNemesio
    Ursulakantor
    Pittsburgh, PA
    Joined
    05 Mar '02
    Moves
    32455
    08 Jan '07 22:17
    Originally posted by ivanhoe
    Really ? You are hallucinating. The fact that I do not join the usual parrot choir in certain anti RC Church "debates" doesn't mean you can draw this conclusion.

    If you haven't recognized that I correct those falsehoods about the
    Church when the parrot choir sings, then it is you who has not
    been paying attention.

    You haven't read all my posts.

    Where is the criticism of the Church in this thread?

    Tell me Nemesio, why do you refuse telling us the denomination you yourself belong to ? Do you want to steer away from your own convictions and rather critise others who do have the guts to state what they believe in instead ?

    Denomination? So, I guess I'm no longer a Deist, huh? I must be
    some sort of Christian, huh?

    I make my convictions clear. What issue have a shied away from?
    None. What you want is a convenient little label so you can put me in
    a little box that says 'Roman Catholic' or 'Deist' or 'Liberal Episcopalian'
    or 'Quaker' or whatever. I'm not going to dignify it because such a
    label obscures what I believe.

    As for the nature of my relationship with the Almighty, as I've answered
    many times before: It is none of anyone's business. It should be
    sufficient for you to know that I am not an atheist or agnostic. Beyond
    that, asking me to elaborate in that relationship is as personal as my
    asking you to enumerate the personal intercessions you make in your
    Evening Office.

    Nemesio
  15. Felicific Forest
    Joined
    15 Dec '02
    Moves
    24375
    09 Jan '07 13:46
    Originally posted by Nemesio
    Originally posted by ivanhoe
    [b]Really ? You are hallucinating. The fact that I do not join the usual parrot choir in certain anti RC Church "debates" doesn't mean you can draw this conclusion.


    If you haven't recognized that I correct those falsehoods about the
    Church when the parrot choir sings, then it is you who has not
    been payin ...[text shortened]... umerate the personal intercessions you make in your
    Evening Office.

    Nemesio[/b]
    You're a coward, Nemesio ... a great hypocritical coward.
Back to Top