It's that time of year again. Oh, how I pray this is the last time I have to stew about this thing. The Annual Appeal bugs the heck out of me. There is almost no accountability for where the funds go. It's one great big Archdiocesan slush fund. And there are many things that are funded by the Appeal which conscientious Catholics should be concerned about. The little we know is bad enough, what about the stuff we don't know about? I haven't put a bunch of time into looking deeply into the issue, mostly because I have a (vain?) hope that this long nightmare is coming to an end. (I know, I know: "Sunshine and Lollipops") Here's a couple gems for you to consider before committing you bucks to this... umm... ugh.... trying to be charitable here... ahh screw it... boondoggle:
Catholic Parents Online has been harping about the sex (mis) education programs at most of the Archdiocesan schools for years. Clearly your money would go to pay for the furtherance of these programs.
Catholic Charities also receives a significant (though we never really know how much) contribution from the Appeal. One doesn't have to dig too deep to find this organization mired in controversy. Uncle Di has a great piece here showing how your contribution to this charity are basically used to hire lobbyists to raise your taxes and increase government spending on welfare programs. Here's a nice picture of our own Minnesota guy, Fr. Larry Snyder with "Dingy" Harry Reid after meeting to discuss ways to use more government money to help po' folks:
I leave it to you to discover your own problems with giving money to one giant slush fund (Annl Appeal) who will pass it along to yet another giant slush fund (Catholic Charities) who will spend it trying to get more money from yet another slush fund (the guvmint).
Beyond all that, you need to decide if it is prudent to throw money at an organization who puts out an annual report that is as schlocky as this. Apparently that $1.5 million in "restructuring costs" did not go to hire a new accountant.
Yes, true, "at least 25% of each dollar is returned to your parish". But, why not just give it all to your parish in the first place?
I do think it's great that some of the money goes to help the (mostly) good things going on at the seminary. But why not just send a check directly to the seminary if that is where your heart is leading you?