When news of Archbishop John J. Myers‘ extravagant weekend and vacation home leaked out last month — renovations include a 3,000 square feet addition and a second pool — many Catholics in the Newark Archdiocese were disgusted.
Now, some are saying they will no longer contribute to the archdiocese, at least for now. But rather than withholding their contribution in silence, they’ve hit upon a pretty neat grassroots idea to stress their displeasure in a way that the padres will notice. They’re still be sending in the customary donation envelopes, but the envelopes will contain… nothing.
In recent years, the appeal has brought in between $10 million and $11 million annually, said Jim Goodness, a spokesman for Myers.
While acknowledging the good work the church does, the parishioners said they believe their complaints will be ignored if they don’t make the point more indelibly with their pocketbooks.
“The only language the church understands is money,” said Maria Bozza, 69, who has urged fellow parishioners at Holy Family Church in Nutley to withhold contributions to the archdiocese. “We need to start an ‘empty envelope month’ to replace the archbishop’s annual appeal. If parishioners in every church in the Newark Archdiocese sent in an empty envelope, then they will get the message.”
Another frequent donor, Joe Ferri, left an empty envelope on his pew at St. Thomas the Apostle Church in Bloomfield, NJ. “If this is the only way I can be heard, so be it,” he told the Star Ledger newspaper.
Envelopes that are just as empty as church leaders’ promises of living humbly … very on point.
(Image via Shutterstock)