The extravagant salaries of the bloated Church bureaucracy February 1, 2013Posted by tantamergo in abdication of duty, Basics, Dallas Diocese, disaster, episcopate, error, foolishness, General Catholic, horror, scandals, self-serving, sickness.
All I can say is, wow! And you can see why those chancery officials like to hang on to their jobs for decades. It apparently pays very well to lead the Church in a period of severe collapse. I imagine the Holy Father’s Motu Proprio Cor Unum regarding the nature of service to the Church, primarily in Her charitiable institutions but it applies to chanceries as well, and which highlighted the fact that Church offices should not be vehicles to great wealth, went over like a lead balloon. But this is how bureaucracies work – they assess their own function as being utterly critical, and thus deserving generous compensation, with which they recruit more like-minded individuals into the bureaucracy, forever expanding the bloat. It works the same way at the local, state, and federal levels – why do you think Washington DC has the most booming economy in the country right now? It’s all our money – whether it be the Church, the state, or the county, all those very comfortable salaries come from us.
Now, perhaps here in Dallas, the Diocese is a model of fiscal restraint. I really don’t know, to my knowledge, the Diocese does not publish salaries for chancery employees. But as Michael relates, it appears that nationwide, high 6 figure salaries for diocesan employees are far from rare. Good work if you can get it.
One final note: I don’t know that such compensation is sinful, as Michael questions, but I will say that it is emblematic of the very nature of bureaucracies – they constantly seek to reward themselves and grow no matter the external conditions – and point out the grave problem of so-called collegiality and the spread of massive “structures” throughout the Church, whose effectiveness any thinking Catholic has to seriously question, if not outright condemn. Once again, it reveals to me the massive failure of the transfer of Church authority from the centrality of Rome to the dioceses, which was the great “carrot” at Vatican II by which so many of the other problematic changes were made in exchange for the promise of more local authority. I think 5 decades of experience have shown that local authority has been a dismal failure. More than that, it’s been the means by which the radicals have most widely and deeply entered into the Church.
A bit of a history lesson. Prior to Vatican II, a Diocese like Dallas would be staffed by the bishop, the vicar general, the cathedral rector, and a handful of other priests. There might be a secretary or two. Total staff would be under 20 – often, way under 20. Today, 300 odd people work at the chancery. Then there are the state and national conferences. All told, the number of people working for the Church has exploded by 2000% or more from what it was prior to the Council. Almost all authority and bureaucracy used to be centered in Rome. That was the horse trade the liberals made at Vatican II – if the bishops would approve some of the dubious, unclear formulations at Vatican II, they would get a massive transfer of power to build their own little mini-Vaticans in every diocese. That was a very tempting proposition. There was a great deal of chaffing at the centralized bureucracy of Rome before and during the Council. The radicals got their friends in the media to attack the centralized Curia at every turn, describing it as medieval and undemocratic. There is no question the media reports had tremendous influence on the Council – the media may have been THE decisive influence. Perhaps the Church was “undemocratic,” but it was that way for a very good reason. For only the Chair if Peter is particularly protected against error. Individual bishops are not. In fact, many of the great heresies of the Church have been started by bishops. In any event, the radicals got their way, and it’s been a gold mine for them, in every sense of the phrase, ever since.
I don’t think there is a way to reform this system. But I’ll leave it to the Holy Ghost to light the way as to how to proceed.