Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Catholic Church Scandals - the Gift that Keeps on Giving

By way of Current.org, I learned today that KMBH down in Brownsville, TX (the very southern tip, along the Mexican border and the Gulf) canceled one of their four annual fund drives after only receiving six pledge calls over three days.


So far they're eight months into their fiscal year and have only raised 15% of their annual budget.


If you believe the reports in the local newspaper, The Monitor, there is a serious governance problem at KMBH, with the local Catholic Monsignor Pedro Briseño effectively having total dictatorial control over the station. Which in and of itself is not unusual...lots of stations effectively are dictatorships...but apparently he's made some questionable decisions about dismissing more station trustees than is allowed, refusing to hand over public documents and the like. And he's given zero justification for any of it, referring all queries to his lawyer.

Again, I should point out this is all coming from one newspaper. Never underestimate the power of a newspaper with an ax to grind.

But assuming for a moment that the newspaper is being reasonably objective, I have to think the lack of transparency is being severely exacerbated because it's a Roman Catholic institution doing the stonewalling.

Has the Church learned nothing from the sins of the Boston Archdioceses? Stonewalling the public, giving no information at all, sweeping things under the rug, and having an antagonistic relationship with the press should be considered cardinal sins after the long, painful and , ultimately, obscenely expensive ordeals the Church put parishioners through with the priest sex abuse scandals...and that the public turned around and put the Church through in response more recently.

I'm from Boston, and Boston was undoubtedly "ground zero" for the priest sex abuse scandals...so maybe what's obvious to me isn't as obvious to a region 3000 miles away. But apparently it's clear to the listeners and viewers in south Texas, because they're voting with their wallets when it comes to the actions of KMBH management.

No comments: