It Really All About Money

Last Sunday, in his weekly op-ed column, Frank Brunni asked the question, “Would Pope Francis sign the contract?” Brunni was referring to the new contract the Cincinnati catholic diocese is demanding of its parochial teachers. In the column, Brunni highlighted the controversy that has struck a number of catholic school systems.

Teachers are being asked to sign a much more specific set of “do’s and don’ts” contracts. Spokespersons for the diocese claim the new language does not change any policy but simply makes them clearer. Hmmm.

At a time when Catholic Church leaders are in serious need of a mirror, some seem set like lemmings to plow ahead. In the way are homosexuals, gay marriage, family planning, and unwed cohabitation. Disappearing into the shadows are ministering to the poor, helping neighbors, and building a strong moral and ethical code necessary for the secular world.

But I am not going further with this line of thinking. Why? My view towards all religions is the same. Members are free to practice the religious message and the organized traditions are free to put forth their message providing they do not force their views on others or take money from my pocket to practice their beliefs.

With this in mind, the Catholic Church is free to self destruct if its leadership feels this course is wise. The new contract is a business relationship with teachers and as such is not being forced upon them.

It is interesting to note as did Brunni, that these new contract requirements fly in the face of what Pope Francis has said. The Pope spoke of some church leaders’ preoccupation with contraception and homosexuals… “whom am I to judge?”

I doubt very much there is any accident here. The US conservative church leaders know their business facts. Wealthy people give more to support the church than people with little or no wealth. Ministering to the poor may be what Jesus asked, but Jesus never ran a business.

When Pope John Paul took the reigns of the Catholic Church from Pope John XXIII, it did not take long to turn the keys back to the money makers. Why?

US lay Catholics who were in a position to financially support the church had, at least in their minds, followed the traditional church teachings during their lives. Now sex could be pursued without worry of unwanted pregnancies, embryos could be harvested safely for later use, and homosexuals were being recognized as a product of nature, not nurture.

For these traditional catholics, the world was unwinding. All the rules they tried to follow were being called into question. To the rescue came the all male catholic hierarchy. With Pope John Paul and Pope Benedict who followed, the message from the top and the necessary follow up preached the same about family planning and homosexuality.

The conservative, wealthy catholic lay group had the rules it could put its faith in again. The US church also made peace with the likely outcome of a smaller but wealthier church.

It should not be overlooked that the US catholic church faced very serious financial pressure with the litigations and settlements over priest child abuse. In some regards, church leaders probably saw this as a do or die situation. So when Pope Francis said, “whom am I to judge”, he once again woke up US church leaders. It appears, however, that the newly awakened hierarchy have arisen once again from the wrong side of the bed.

The apparent rebuke of the Pope is not personal, it is only about business.

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One Comment on “It Really All About Money”

  1. Jane jones Says:


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