A few weeks ago, San Francisco Archbishop Salvatore Cordeleone sent a second letter to all parish pastors calling for an investigation and resignation of Pope Francis. Cordeleone has a lot of nerve calling for Francis’ resignation. After all, this is the same archbishop who refuses to release the names of priests who are accused of abusing young children. This is also the same archbishop who condoned a bogus investigation into the immoral actions by a principal at a local Catholic high school by Maureen Huntington, the former superintendent of Catholic schools. This is also the same archbishop who dismissed a female teacher’s complaint about her students taking pictures underneath her skirt and the skirts of other female teachers. Ultimately, both cases resulted in lawsuits and both were settled out of court. In addition, Cordeleone continues to permit Deacon Brian Bromberger, an openly gay deacon to write for the Bay Area Reporter, a free weekly newspaper serving the LGBT communities in the San Francisco Bay Area. Lifesitenews.com reported that Bromberger’s articles “have included numerous positive reviews of sexually explicit movies depicting homosexual acts.” My concern isn’t about who is gay and who is not because I have wonderful family members who are gay and devout Christians. This is solely about Cordeleone and that his actions are the essence of hypocrisy.
One example is how Cordeleone promotes the San Francisco Archdiocesan Annual Appeal. If you go to the Archdiocese’s website you will find that Parish Ministry and Schools is positioned at the top of the four components where money is supposedly allocated. Sadly, Parish Ministry and Schools receive the least amount of money, and all one has to do look at the back page of the annual appeal pamphlet and look at the pie chart which illustrates four areas where the money will be distributed and the goal amounts. The four areas include: (1) Clergy Support – $2,220,000; (2) Universal Church and Communications – $1,800,000; (3) Social Ministry – $1,430,000, and (4) Parish Ministry and Schools, which receives $1,370,000.
No one should be surprised by Cordeleone’s hypocritical behavior, after all, it is learned behavior. According to the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, “priests who belong to a religious order, for example, Dominicans, Benedictine, and Franciscans, all take the vows of poverty, chastity, and obedience. Diocesan priests make two promises – celibacy and obedience.”
In addition to making promises instead of vows, America Magazine reported in their September 17, 2017 issue that “The national median total taxable income for priests is $45,593.” Despite receiving a salary and allowed to have a bank account and make investments, such as purchasing a house, the greatest percent of the Archdiocesan Annual Appeal for 2018 is earmarked for “Clergy support.” Perhaps even more disappointing is that not one penny of the monies collected goes to assist religious women (nuns). My question is why does a parishioner have to pay the expenses to care for a retired diocesan priest when these priests were earning money their entire life?
The most troubling thought is what happens to a parish if they do not meet their Annual Appeal Goal? According to the Diocese of Oakland, “These goals are simply that – goals, not assessments, however, under the “Good Faith Effort” policy, if it is determined that parish leadership did not make an effort to succeed, the goal amount could be assessed to that parish.” In other words, the (Arch)bishop can eliminate programs allocated for parishes and schools to make up the difference. One would think there must be another way the Archbishop can raise money without continuously laying a guilt trip on parishioners?
Here is an idea: perhaps the Archbishop can sell off pieces of land at the Saint Patrick’s Seminary & University in Menlo Park, CA. In a January 25, 2018 memo from Catholic San Francisco, Saint Patrick’s sold one acre of its land to the Menlo Park Fire Department for $6.6 million. The memo also says “In need of money in 1998, the seminary sold 43 acres to a land and housing developer for $22 million. (Jane Knoerle, “Marking a Century: St. Patrick’s Seminary in Menlo Park Begins a Year of Centennial Celebration,” The Almanac (Menlo Park), Sept 16, 1998.).”
All one can say is that Cordeleone has a lot of nerve sending out his second letter to all parish pastors calling for the investigation of Pope Francis. If there is one person in the Catholic Church that needs to be investigated it is Archbishop Cordeleone. What additional evidence does Pope Francis need to replace Cordeleone with a real shepherd to lead a flock of dedicated Catholics in San Francisco?