Wednesday, October 27, 2010

JP2 Cultural Center Goes Kaput.....

I'm going to turn guns today on a target that I usually let alone, but I can't remain silent.

There was an announcement today that a building in Washington, DC has been sold, the John Paul II Cultural Center near my alma mater, Catholic University of America. The announcement reads like this:
Ann Arbor, Mich., Oct 26, 2010 / 02:45 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- To accommodate their rapidly growing community, the Dominican Sisters of Mary, Mother of the Eucharist announced today that they will purchase the financially beleaguered John Paul II Cultural Center in Washington, D.C. near the Catholic University of America. The center, which was the brainchild of the now retired Archbishop of Detroit, Cardinal Adam Maida, has been beset by numerous financial difficulties over the years. Intended to be a museum and Catholic intellectual hub, the center borrowed heavily from the Archdiocese of Detroit, owing them $40 million as of 2006, according to the Detroit Free Press. The Ann Arbor sisters have had a different problem as they’ve been unable to build facilities fast enough to house new members.

In an e-mail announcement on Oct. 26, the Dominican order wrote that their community “welcomed 22 aspirants in August of this year – a gift from the Lord that continues to call us to ongoing discernment of how to provide for the formation and education of the young women seeking to enter religious life.”

“In order to plan and care accordingly for these vocations, the Dominican Sisters of Mary,” the community is “in the inspection phase of a purchase and sale agreement to buy a building at 3900 Harewood Road, known to many as the JPII Cultural Center, near the Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C.”

“It is our hope to use this building as a House of Studies for the continuing education and formation of our Sisters.”

The Dominican sisters made headlines in February, when they made an appearance on the Oprah Winfrey Show – fielding questions regarding their vocation and discernment, their vows of poverty and chastity, and their life in community. Sister Maria Guadalupe Hallee, Director of Mission Advancement for the sisters, told CNA last March that since the show, almost all the feedback the sisters have received has been overwhelmingly positive.
Now, I'm delighted that the good Sisters have bought the building and that it will serve a useful purpose. We need more Nuns and Sisters and they deserve a decent home.

But the fact that the multizilliondollar boondoggle called the John Paul II Cultural Center was even built--at enormous cost to the Archdiocese of Detroit--shows that while the Church may indeed be the Bride of Christ, sometimes she acts like the Bride of Hosea, or worse.

In this case, the now retired +Adam Cardinal Maida sunk more than $67 MILLION DOLLARS in a building in Washington, DC.

And they're on the hook for $40 million more in debt.

And while they spent $100,000,000.00 in the US capital in what can only called a kissing of the, ahem, ring of a dead Pope, THIS is what +Adam's home diocese of Detroit looks like:

DETROIT, 2009. (Regular readers--both of you guys--will recognize these pix from last year.)

P.S. The picture of Tiger Stadium no longer reflects reality.

They tore it down this last fall. (The abandoned building to the left however is still standing.)

Cardinal +Maida--thank you very much for throwing my second collection money into this thing. And that of my children, and grandchildren, and great-grandchildren .... and please know that I remain a faithful Catholic not because of leadership of men like you but in spite of it.

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Keep it clean for gene.