Tags: Catholic | Church | Has | Trouble | Raising | Money

Catholic Church Has Trouble Raising Money

Friday, 10 May 2002 12:00 AM

So writes the New York Times' Daniel J. Wakin, who reports that as of Wednesday, with just two weeks to go, the archdiocese had raised only $8.2 million of the $15 million it needs to fund Catholic schools and religious education programs, give financial help to poor parishes, fund social services and pastoral outreach, aid St. Joseph's Seminary in Yonkers, and support retired priests.

To reach the $15 million goal, the archdiocese will now look to the small donors to make up the deficit.

It's not that Cardinal Edward Egan hasn't gone all out. The Times reports he has personally raised $2 million from personal appeals to wealthier Catholics. Early in the campaign, pastors, bishops and Egan himself attended cocktail parties, large dinners and intimate meals.

"With the aid of a professional fund-raising company the archdiocese had raised $5.8 million from donors who gave more than $1,000 each," the Times reported. Egan was involved in appeals to a dozen donors who pledged more than $100,000 each, including one over $1 million, Msgr. Charles M. Kavanagh, the archdiocese's vicar for development, told the newspaper. None had given more than $50,000 before, he said.

How much the scandal has affected fundraising is a question not yet answered.

"Are there some people who are angry?" asked Kavanagh. "Yes. Are there people who are voting with their pocketbook? I'm sure there are."

But he said he was satisfied with the results and expected that the goal would be met by less well-off Catholics. The small-donor solicitation from them amounted to $8 million or $9 million in past years, he said.

Michael Elmore, a 48-year-old librarian who attends St. Joseph's Church in Greenwich Village, who has a record of supporting the annual Cardinal's Appeal, said he would give to Catholic Relief Services this year instead.

The cardinal's "behavior has been reprehensible, and I do not trust him, because of the way that he behaved when he was bishop of Bridgeport in covering up scandals," he told the Times.

News reports have suggested that when Egan was bishop of Bridgeport, although he was aware that some of his priests had been accused of sexually abusing minors, he still allowed them to keep working in parishes and did not pass on information about them to law enforcement authorities.

Those small donors on whom Msgr. Kavanagh relies to make up the shortfall might not be there this year.

For example, the Rev. Walter F. Modrys of St. Ignatius Loyola Church on New York's Upper East Side told the Times he did not expect to reach his church's goal of $225,000.

"There is a lot of feeling out there, negative feeling among Catholics, that's making it increasingly hard to raise money for the Cardinal's Appeal." He said a more troubled economy was also to blame for the shortfalls.

At Holy Name of Mary Church in Croton-on-Hudson, where two pastors have been removed over allegations of sexual impropriety, the new pastor, the Rev. Michael Keane, told Wakin he expected his parish to raise barely half its $66,000 goal. "It's hit home, twice in a row," he said.

Across the river in Brooklyn it's a different story.

In the Brooklyn diocese, which includes Queens, officials said donations to their diocesan appeal had not fallen even though Bishop Thomas V. Daily of Brooklyn has been charged by critics with allowing a priest accused of serious sex abuse to keep serving when he was a chancellor of the Boston archdiocese years ago.

Pledges to Brooklyn's Annual Stewardship Appeal since Feb. 3 have reached about $5.9 million, well above the goal of slightly more than $4 million, Frank DeRosa, a spokesman for the diocese, told the Times. "We're on track to do as well as we did last year," he said.

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So writes the New York Times' Daniel J. Wakin, who reports that as of Wednesday, with just two weeks to go, the archdiocese had raised only $8.2 million of the $15 million it needs to fund Catholic schools and religious education programs, give financial help to poor...
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2002-00-10
Friday, 10 May 2002 12:00 AM
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