Monday, August 31, 2009

Why does Peter Verrill, Chairman of the Diocese of Portland Finance Council, think it's OK for the bishop to live in a $1.2 million mansion?



September 1, 2009

Peter Verrill of Cumberland Foreside is Chairman of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Portland Finance Council.

In a letter published on the diocese web site, Verrill explains that his responsibilities include assisting the bishop "in achieving openness and transparency in diocesan financial reporting."

That said, we want Mr. Verrill to explain why the diocese financial report for the period ending June 30, 2008 was not published on the diocese web site until two weeks ago (and only after intense pressure from a small group of Catholics), even though the report was completed seven months prior, in November 2008.

We want Mr. Verrill to explain why he and Bishop Malone will not publish (on the diocese web site) the names of the other eight laypeople who serve on the Finance Council (Mary Arnold is Chairperson of the Budget/Audit Committee).

We want Mr. Verrill to explain why he said and did nothing when Bishop Malone utilized a legal defense known as the "Charitable Immunity Doctrine" against a victim of clergy sex abuse. Malone attempted to avoid financial reparations for the harms and injuries inflicted upon a 12 year old boy by claiming that the diocese didn't have any money.

Finally, we want Chairman Verrill to explain why he supports Bishop Malone's decision to use Church funds for the purpose of the bishop residing by himself in a $1.2 million, 7,000 sq.ft., 16 room, three story brick mansion that includes six bedrooms, four full baths and a three car garage.

The bishop's $19,620 property tax payment is more than many Mainers make in an entire year.