With Rev. Robert Schuller’s Crystal Cathedral Ministries in bankruptcy, his Crystal Cathedral is up for auction. And one of the bidders is the Catholic Diocese of Orange. Why? It needs a cathedral, and the $53.6 million they’ve bid is a lot less than the $100 million they anticipate it would cost to build a new one. By the way, the diocese told the creditors committee it will pay cash for the facility.
Melee as a musical: If Richard Rogers and Oscar Hammerstein II were alive, what kind of play would they have written/scored about this year’s Wisconsin State Fair? If they based it on incidents like that which occurred opening night, they could have called it “State Terr’r.” It might have included songs like “When I Go Out Wilding With My Baby” and “It’s a Grand Night for Wilding.” Some they wouldn’t even have had to re-title: “That’s the Way It Happens” and “Next Time It Happens.” When it comes to “next time,” let’s pray there isn’t a “next time” for racial attacks.
Eye-opening lesson in stewardship: The Knights of Columbus has bailed out the Archdiocese of Detroit by agreeing to purchase the little-visited Pope John Paul II Cultural Center in Washington, DC, for $22.7 million. Built in 2001 at a cost of $75 million, the center was the pet project of Detroit Archbishop Emeritus Cardinal Adam Maida. Whatever the cardinal envisioned never occurred as the place failed to draw the number of visitors it needed to pay its bills. But he kept it running — with money from the Archdiocese of Detroit’s coffers.
One understands that the cardinal might have wanted to honor his close friend, the pope, but the center was not a wise use of resources. And the lack of accountability regarding archdiocesan money? Well, his “investment” is costing the archdiocese $65,000 per month in upkeep for the grounds and building. The Knights are planning to make it a shrine dedicated to Blessed John Paul II.
In a letter to the priests and people of the archdiocese announcing the sale, Detroit Archbishop Allen H. Vigneron noted that the archdiocese would receive $20 million from the sale “considerably less than the $54 million” his predecessor had poured into the center. Not to mention the elimination of programs, services and the staff that provided them. Here’s how it was reported nearly two years ago: http://mary.catholicnews.com/plweb-cgi/fastweb?state_id=1313447062&view=news_current&docrank=84&numhitsfound=282&query=archdiocese of detroit&query_rule=($query)&docid=17814&docdb=NEWS&dbname=NEWS&starthit=75&sorting=none&operator=AND&TemplateName=predoc.tmpl&setCookie=1.
Before any bishop makes that kind of financial commitment, he should be required to read or re-read and then quizzed by a committee of bishops, priests and laity on the best document ever written collectively by the U.S. bishops — “Stewardship: A Disciple’s Response.” Published in 1992, it is certain to guide the reader in making the right decision.
National Cupcake Day is this Thursday, Aug. 18. If cupcakes can serve as birthday cakes, then 48 of them should go to Bishop Don Hying as he celebrates his birthday.