At at least one Jefferson City parish one can’t blame the sudden decline in donations on either the Chancery staff or the campaign run by this blog, it was just Deacon Tony Valdes as far as anyone knows: http://www.newstribune.com/news/local/story/2017/aug/18/suspended-deacon-charged-with-felony-stealing/686915/
However, just as with the revolutionary LGBT/Transgender process, politics has crept it’s way into the Church. If the clergy would stick to preaching the Gospel then we would stick to quoting scripture and the Catholic Catechism. For many people it seems that political party trumps Church office and duty. A few years back there was a contested race in Jefferson City between two Catholics for the presiding circuit court judge for Division 4 of the 19th Judicial Circuit Court in Missouri. ((This is the court where Valdes’ felony case should be heard.) No comment here on either candidate, both are assumed to be practicing Catholics as far as we know. We focus on Deacon Tony Valdes who dipped his toes in politics while a Deacon by being a very public supporter of the person who became judge, namely Pat Joyce. Her husband happens to be Diocesan spokesman Deacon Dan Joyce. We know this thanks to the magic of Facebook, where often the people who have nothing important to say do the most talking. What you will hopefully see coming up is proper procedure where a judge with a connection to the accused recuses herself and there are no favors requested of other judges so that there is a fair hearing. That way any solid evidence would lead to a felony conviction. Back to the point, please put the Gospel first because delving into politics and finance hasn’t ended well for our clergy.
Now embezzlement is more prevalent than one would assume, here are the top 10 most notorious local embezzlers according to the Columbia Business Times. The problem Deacon Valdes may have had was not being too big (or too not-for-profit) to have his crime covered up. They call this Too Big To Fail in the Finance industry. Religious and not-for-profit entities seem to get a pass when it comes to audits but they shouldn’t because they are staffed by the same human beings with the same fallen nature as any oridnary company. If you saw your Diocesan leaders going to confession weekly then you might assume they were improving themselves but one look at confession times and the confession line should tell you that humility and repentance isn’t likely their jam.
In conclusion we believe that when funding suddenly declines at a not for profit entity, when staff are fired and not replaced, when politics enters the scene as it has at the Chancery, then it’s probably time for an independent audit. That sounds harsh but so did the priestly abuse accusations until some dogged reporters finally listened to the whitstleblowers and investigated. It’s time to quit sneaking around playing politics and finally clear the air once and for all. With an AUDIT.