For Immediate Release
Fleet Bank Calls RCAB's
Financial Community Loses Confidence
Newton, Mass., September 27, 2002- VOTF has learned that
Fleet Bank has called the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Boston's
$9 million credit line. The RCAB in turn has obtained a $12.5 million
credit line, secured by its Chancery property, from the Knights
of Columbus, of which $9 million will be used to repay the Fleet
Bank loan, leaving $3.5 million remaining for operating expenses.
This turn of events is another indication of the continuing
financial deterioration of the Archdiocese of Boston. It is also
an indication that the financial community has lost confidence in
the management of the RCAB, and it reflects the disappointment and
discontent of lay Catholics in the Boston Archdiocese.
Although the refinancing that the Archdiocese received
from the Knights of Columbus addresses its immediate financial needs,
the plan does not address the underlying causes of the Archdiocese's
distressed financial situation. Clearly, other contributing factors
include the costs associated with the clergy sexual abuse scandal
and the significant decline in financial support by the laity as
a result of this scandal.
Typically, organizations in financial distress adopt
a plan of reorganization that addresses the underlying causes of
their problems. Perhaps the most significant underlying cause of
the RCAB's financial deterioration is the laity's loss of trust
in the hierarchy, which has resulted in a withholding of lay financial
support. For trust to be restored, the hierarchy must work in collaboration
with the laity. Accordingly, a plan of reorganization should be
developed in cooperation with competent laity, who represent over
99% of the Church and who provide 100% of its financial support.
About Voice of the Faithful
Voice of the Faithful is a Newton, Mass.-based organization of concerned
Catholics formed in response to the clergy sexual abuse crisis.
The group's mission is to provide a prayerful voice, attentive to
the Spirit, through which the Faithful can actively participate
in the governance and guidance of the Catholic Church. Its goals
are to support victim/survivors of abuse, support priests of integrity,
and shape structural change within the Catholic Church. VOTF's supporting
membership exceeds 25,000 registered individuals from more than
40 U.S. states and 21 countries.