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Cardinal Adam Maida, who retired as archbishop of Detroit in 2009, first proposed the idea of the Pope John Paul II Cultural Center to the pope when he (Maida) was still bishop of Green Bay, Wis. (1984-90). It may or may not have influenced the pope to appoint Maida to Detroit. More than four years later he was named a cardinal.
The center was subsequently erected in Washington, D.C., at a cost of $75 million. It was expected to more than pay for itself as a tourist attraction and a think tank. That never happened, as some predicted at the time.
The center opened in March 2001 and has just been sold to the Knights of Columbus for $22.7 million. That's a lot of money, of course, but it represents a $34 million loss for the Detroit archdiocese.
The Center's original purpose was to explore the intersection of faith and culture through interactive displays, academic discussion and research, and museum exhibits. The academic discussions and special events reportedly have been successful. However, the center could not overcome optimistic attendance and financial projections that were based upon anticipated paid admissions. The new center was affected by a downturn in visitors following the 9/11 attack in the Washington, DC region just six months after opening and then an economic recession.
"Major scandal," "Criminal investigation," Where are you getting those ideas from? You've shown nothing to support either of those ideas.
It would have been nice had it made money, but as you pointed out it lost $9300 a day for ten years. Some bad judgment maybe, some unexpected events maybe, but "criminal?" Not based on what you've provided.
And, of course, the story is over a year old, so I suspect Detroit is no longer being "rocked" by it.
The guy is 82 years old, and he's in the Cayman Islands because he was appointed to be the Superior of the Mission there in 2000. He's there because he was sent there.
I have no problem agreeing that people can feel the money he borrowed should have been spent differently. I don't have enough facts. Did the finance people tell him that the center would be a money maker and would pay off the loan by itself? Was he under orders from Rome to do it, regardless? No one knows.
If he had spent the money on the homeless, wouldn't the parishes still be closing? And if he tried to keep the parishes running without contributions from the parishoners, the $34 million would disappear into dozens of failing projects instead of just one.
Again, to say that because a project failed, the guy that ran it is a criminal is unjustified and unsupported by the facts you've shown. (Besides, if that was the case, the present administration would be down to three deputy assistant undersecretaries, and the guy that makes the coffee.)
How is this a major scandal?
I see a fair number of stupid decisions, but the money raised for this sort of thing is voluntary, so if they sold the idea to people, and it just didn't work out, even though it was begun in good faith, does this result in a scandal?
Originally posted by CookieMonster09
How is this a major scandal?
Um, when you embezzle, er..."lose" $34 Million, it raises a lot of questions.
This is a huge scandal because the repercussions of this boon-doggle are enormous. The Archdiocese is now forced to close nearly a third of its churches because it doesn't have the funds to keep them open.
The funds were wasted on this building - a building financed by a foreign bank, without committee oversight, without financial support from any other archdiocese, and without any oversight whatsoever - no transparency.
It's a huge scandal here in metro-Detroit, because some of these churches that have been around for over 100 years or more are now going to be closed.
Unfortunately, such is not the case for Catholics in the Detroit archdiocese who, when the deal is finalized, will be left with a loss of $34 million.
The reality, however, is that while the Detroit metro area includes rather affluent suburbs, the city of Detroit has for a long time been one of the poorest U.S. cities by many measures. Since 2000, the archdiocese has closed more than three dozen schools, and more than 60 parishes have been either closed or merged.
Let’s just say $34 million would have gone a long way toward aiding the lives of the poor.
It is heartening to learn that Archbishop Allen Vigneron, upon taking charge in 2009, immediately went about a thorough review of finances and reform of structures that should lead to much wider consultation and transparency about financial matters in the future.
Okay, so the $34 million loss is in the future, once the deal selling the joint to the KoC is done.
... and the schools and parishes have closed "since 2000", and there isn't a necessary causal relationship. In the area of Minnesota that I live in, I'm aware of four parishes that have "either closed or merged" since 2000, and we have no connection to Detroit or Archbishop what's-his-name.
Well, that's true, but, let's face it, you can say that about anything, right? I gave the local Archdiocese $100 last week to help restore the St. Paul Cathedral, I suppose I should have given it to the poor instead.
Again, what major scandal? It sounds like three years ago they put the kibosh on this stuff so that it won't happen again.
If you think this is bad, I have a worse story for you that involves not just Catholics, but ALL Americans. It makes this 34 Million dollars look like spit in the ocean. It Barrack Hussein Obama's $16 Trillion deficit! www.cbsnews.com...$16-trillion-should-you-worry/ But I don't here much squawking about that.
That isn't how accounting works, but whatever.
I'm sorry that your parish is closing, and it's very unfortunate that this has happened, but it does seem from the article that the new Archbishop has already put the changes in place to prevent it from happening again, so this seems more like sensationalism than anything else.