Bishop McKnight’s Employees

If you go to the website of Bishop Elect McKnight’s current parish and click on the “Bulletins button” on the top right corner you can find the bulletin for December 17th. In it is an article entitled:  “Tis the Season to Celebrate. . . and Embrace Change.”  Below is an except containing most of that article.  Should these things happen in Jefferson City conditions will greatly improve, even for those who have been doing the dirty work for their boss for 20 years:

 

Written by Kristin Schmitz and Jennifer Patterson:
It was with a mixture of sadness and excitement that we received the news of
Bishop-Elect’s appointment to the Diocese of Jefferson City. Bishop-Elect is a true
leader in every sense of the word. He will be a wonderful Bishop with his strong
faith, compassionate ministry to others, and administrative abilities. We are
excited for him and the Jefferson City Diocese, but we are, of course, sad to lose
him here at Magdalen! He has been a blessing as a pastor and boss. Bishop-Elect
McKnight fostered a culture of resiliency at Magdalen Catholic School by defining
administrative processes, reaching out to the margins, empowering his employees,
and creating a partnership between home and school, and therefore, school
and parish.
One of Bishop-Elect’s $rst initiatives as our pastor was to begin the “REACH
Initiative”. A year long process, this Initiative explored ways to make Catholic
education available to all who desire it. Through listening sessions and surveys,
we implemented a three prong improvement plan which included better data,
special education services, and more support personnel. We found the means to
fund these additions with a grant, more effcient budgeting, and donations. We
are on year 2 of the implementation, and, by all accounts, all 3 parts of the plan
are established and growing.
Empowerment of employees can come in many different forms. One of
Bishop-Elect’s best gifts to our staff is the permission to be human. He encourages
us that we are not perfect, he is not perfect, and in admitting so, we are free from
fear of mistakes. We acknowledge our imperfection, we honestly communicate
a mistake, we problem solve together, and we move forward with the lesson
learned. What a beautiful way to empower employees. Are there consequences
if needed? Of course. But an employee of Bishop-Elect does not work in fear.
Compassion, fairness, and processes are consistent.
As Bishop-Elect identified needs on our campus or in our hallways, he was able
to address these with a collaborative spirit and involvement of people within our
parish with the right skill sets to help. For example, when we wished to do a safety
review, Bishop-Elect formed a Joint Safety Board, which identified the security
needs of our school and placed people with the proper backgrounds to assist.
Due to the number of charitable requests the school receives, and the difficulty
in balancing a charitable spirit with the amount of resources at hand, Bishop-Elect
formed a Charity Board to help the administration with this task. The same can be
true of Athletics and the establishment of a committee. These collaborative and
skilled groups have uniquely helped us in our roles of administrators, and we’ve
been blessed by the formation of them and the processes they develop.
Throughout all of these improvements ran the thread of improving the
partnerships between home and school and school and parish. As resiliency
was fostered, so too our relationships with each other grew. Communication
improved, the willingness to work together as a team extended into more areas,
and our interactions with each other were positive and productive. Does this
mean things were perfect at Magdalen Catholic School? Of course not. But the
spirit of resiliency created by Bishop-Elect is strong, and we will work to carry on
this legacy as he moves to Jefferson City as the new Bishop. He leaves us stronger,
healthier, and empowered.

Sexual Abuse and the Fear of Losing a Job.

In the last few weeks there have been dozens of revelations about sexual harassment and rape among powerful men in America.  The latest involve Ken Friedman, a famous restauranteur in New York City.   Please read that short link before you read further here.  Regardless of the individual circumstances that scenario of abuse of power gives every lay person a window into the last 20 years of the Jefferson City Diocese.  Before you go on accusing us of dredging up filth to smear Bishop Gaydos please remember a few things; for starters this Diocese and Boston were at the center of the abuse crisis.  There are just a few parishes in the Diocese that didn’t have proven abuse, we are tempted to post a map proving it.  People know about their own parish but not others and how broad and systematic the abuse was.  That’s abuse perpetrated by someone in authority over someone younger or weaker.  And we believe there was hush money, that is why we keep bringing up the lack of funds at the Chancery.  Secondly, Bishop Gaydos himself put his stamp of approval on the promotion of the same sort of madness in his own Catholic Schools.  And then consistently doubled down on that agenda.  Thirdly we have taken pains to publish what the Chancery itself promotes about this agenda.  To be clear, that means that we have worked hard not to include personal life details about individual clergy no matter what we encounter.  We are lay people not employed by the Diocese, we can’t absolve you of your sins via email and we are not the police or the FBI so if you are in a position of authority and are by law a mandatory reporter of abuse you are required to contact them.  The blog is an easy target but the blog won’t be the thing that unleashes a bombshell report on the Diocese, those things go to the national Catholic media and we cut and paste here.  Blame us though if it makes you feel better, it won’t make any difference in the outcome.

Which brings us to our main point, and this is a serious point which will probably have consequences for people in power so read it twice.  Our clergy in general are so terrified that they refuse to discuss Bishop Emeritus Gaydos’ Transgender Process.  If they do come close to mentioning it they simply give homilies condemning those who they believe are stirring up trouble, they wish to be left alone.  That is a symptom of a larger problem.  Now read these quotes so you can understand why clergy would fear to speak up about many things but specifically something deeply disturbing and dangerous to children in their care:

And the rewards of a job at a Friedman-Bloomfield restaurant can be great. Servers at the top of their game can earn six figures in a year. Working with Ms. Bloomfield confers prestige in restaurants around the world. Mr. Friedman has treated favored employees to after-work drinks, field trips to his beach house and top-tier concert tickets.

She gave notice within days. “I was terrified to tell anyone why,” she said. “Ken bragged about blacklisting people all the time. And we saw it happen.”

She decided to work harder, knowing that pushing back could put her job in jeopardy.

“I made a decision to stay there because I loved the job and I loved April’s food and I believed in it,” she said. “You hike up your bootstraps and you work. That’s how we all survived working for him.”

Mr. Friedman has also been intimidating in other parts of his empire, even to men on the staff. “There were definitely times I was scared of him,” said David Rabig, a former manager at several Friedman restaurants. “He’s a very large man. He likes to threaten to fire people. He liked to remind people he was the boss.”

“I can’t even retell this story now without getting teary. It is one of the many demoralizing experiences that have taken place within my 20+ year waitressing career.”

Employees were told to bring sexual harassment claims directly to restaurant managers.

But the managers interviewed by The Times said that they were often promoted because they were close to Mr. Friedman, so that rarely happened.

“The people you are reporting the abuse to are the abusers.”

Mr. Friedman wrote her a long, profanity-filled email threatening to blackball her in the industry.

“The restaurant industry is very small and tight knit, and he does know everyone.”

“I feel guilty even talking to you,” she said. “But it’s got to stop.”

Come we now ladies and gentlemen to our main point: whether it was abuse of children, abuse of statues or Church property, soliciting and inappropriate behavior with subordinates, or promoting the abuse of children through a Process of indoctrination, the truth eventually comes out.  It comes out when the pressure builds to the breaking point inside the abused or it comes out when the abuser loses the power to do the things in bold above.  Once the cracks appear the dam breaks.  When the truth comes out there are two types of people who knew:  those who reported it and those who didn’t.  One never knows the exact time when the first credible report will come out but after it happens those who knew and covered it up often get lumped in with the abuser just for knowing and doing nothing.  Even if they don’t lose their job they may lose their reputation.  In the end the cover up intended to save one’s job is the very thing that destroys their job.   Read the articles about the famous men being deposed and pay attention to those surrounding them who also have to resign.  We’re not saying it’s fair but it is reality and we are warning you now so that you have the chance to do the right thing before you lose your reputation and your job.  This also applies to all people in all circumstances as many Americans are learning the hard way.

 

 

 

 

Know when to walk away, know when to run.

Bishop Gaydos’ statement announcing his retirement ends with this phrase:

“I plan to live out my days here in Jefferson City and with medical counsel I have been assured that I will be able to continue to lead a productive life in your midst.”

Is that so? In our midst?  After years of almost continuous travel to all kinds of amazing places with fabulous people?  Finally settling down then, in the convent that the good Carmelite Sisters used to inhabit?  The one that got a million dollar renovation?  Maybe keep an eye on things in the Diocese for us?

Now it just so happens that this blog was settling down for the exact same reason, ready to live out it’s days on the internet as a legacy of all the hard work Bishop Gaydos and his hand picked staff put into advancing the Transgender/LGBT agenda among Catholic children.  They were as tough as nails, they didn’t budge an inch in the face of fierce opposition and withering publicity, they kept going until the Pope himself finally reduced the Bishop to an administrator.  No apology, no backing down.  It would be heroic if it weren’t also so predatoryLike the inverse of the Roman Martyrs.  And that’s exactly what we don’t need any more of in this Diocese.  These people are doing a good job building a legacy of successfully showing every other Diocese in the country and all the clergy what not to do.  Or how to arrange things so that those who both support and oppose you are united in their distaste for your leadership.  Kenny Rogers said it best, “You’ve got to know when to walk away, know when to run.”  One wonders just how bad the publicity would have to get for people to listen to Kenny.  So now the blog can continue to lead a productive life in our midst too.