Tuesday, January 25, 2005


Together in Mission Annual Tax

The Archdiocese of Los Angeles is foisting its annual tax on the parishes of Los Angeles starting this weekend. The Together in Mission (available in English and Spanish only) annual giving to support economically distressed schools and parishes is tied to each parish giving 10% of its annual offertory take of the previous year in total. As it was explained from the pulpit last year, each parish is held responsible for that amount even if the parishoners choose not to meet the 10% tax. Thus, parishoners who might have misgivings about the program, or think that the Archdiocese of Los Angeles is not using its funds to adequately address the problems that the program is intended to fix will see their own parishes penalized. This is tantamount to blackmail.

The general intent of the program is noble: it helps educate furture generations of Catholics and ministers to the souls in these poor parishes. However, this blogger is not aware of any serious discussion of alternatives to this tax let alone making the contribution voluntary. Should some parishes and/or schools be closed and consolidated? Should some of the parish land of the closed parishes and schools be sold to support the newly consolidated parishes and schools? Is the Archdiocese creating and encouraging the problem by flaunting U.S. immigration law? Is the Archdiocese, through Together in Mission in addition to its general promotion of leftist multi-culturalism, promoting Gramscian-Marxist multiculturalism at the expense of the future overall health of the United States and the Roman Catholic Church? Are these schools and parishes acting in the tradition of the schools and parishes in immigrant communities of 100 years ago who worked to save souls and worked to build American citizens?

Perhaps all of these questions can be answered to this blogger's satisfaction. However, most people who are in lock-step with the corporate offices on Wilshire Boulevard, usually fall back on intelectually dishonest cries of, "It's all being done in the spirit of Vatican II," and, "you're a racist!"

As to the former statement, the Pope's appointment of Cardinals and Bishops to lead dicoeses and archdioceses in the last ten years (most recently the appointment of Bishop Gomez to the position of Archbishop of San Antonio indicates a direct attempt by the Holy Father to move away from appointments of those who are in the same school of thought as those of the American Left in the Church. As to the latter charge, my wife and I support missionaries both here and abroad (including Franciscans in Central America). Being opposed to illegal immigration is not the same as being racist.

That being said, the questions I have posted above have not been answered as far as I know with one exception: closing parishes and schools would be disruptive and emotionally damaging. Please... Catholics are not emotional cripples.

So, are my wife and I going to donate to Together in Mission in 2005? Yes, we will, just as we did last year; but, it will not be as much as the Archdiocese suggests since we will continue to support the people who reside south of the border by sending our money directly to the missionaries who work there. Unless satisfactory answers are given to my questions posted above, it will be the last year of giving.

edited at 12:01 p.m.

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