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April 26, 1991     The Message
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April 26, 1991
 

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The Message -- for Catholics of Southwestern Indiana April 26, 1991 Bishops to discuss NCCB-US,( C finances in June WASHINGTON (CNS) -- The tLS. bishops will examine the structure and finances of their twin conferences, the National Conference of Catholic Bishops and tJ.S. Catholic Conference, at a three-day closed meeting june 13-15 in St. Paul, Minn. The bishops are expected to vote oll possible increases in diocesan assessments to fund the NCCB-USCC, possible cut- :tacks in NCCB-USCC opera- 'ions, or a combination of both. Tile review was mandated by tile bishops when they were asked in 1989 to increase the diocesan assessment from the current rate of 15.7 cents per Catholic. A Conference Assess- ment Project, known as CAP, began in 1990 to review NCCB- USCC operations. The current NCCB-USCC budget is $34.2 million, with file diocesan assessment cover- ing $8.1 million of that. The rest of the conference's income comes largely from grants and from fees for services. Bishops were sent a survey in May 1990 asking them, among other things, whether the budgets of individual NCCB- USCC departments and offices should be enlarged or cut back based on what they perceived the value of its service was to the national and local church. Father Dennis Schnurr, public information and educa- tion campaign. "A certain percentage of of- rice expenses directly at- tributable" to the campaign are also paid in this manner, Father Schnurr said. The Knights of Columbus donated $3 million to the campaign shortly after it was announced in April 1990. Bishops are being asked to consider "the whole idea of funding from outside," Father Schnurr said. Scenarios would include an NCCB-USCC development office to help other offices get grants from Catholic foundations, or ac- tivities a Catholic agency would fund "if it would work much more effectively in tandem with the bishops' conference," he said. With no other outside in- come, the per-Catholic assess- ment would have to ri . to 16.7 cents in 1992, 17.3 cents in 1993, 18.1 cents in 1994, 19 cents in 1995, and 19.9 cents in 1996 just to keep NCCB-USCC activities at current levels, Father Schnurr said. Each one-cent assessment in- crease represents about $500,000. Keeping the same assessment levels "would force us into cut- backs," Father Schnurr said. Bishops' survey responses "most frequently" suggested merging NCCB-USCC offices to avoid duplication, he said. Father Schnurr did not say which NCCB-USCC depart- ments were mentioned most often. "If we're looking for a sav- ings, a reduction in the overall budget," Father Schnurr add- ed, the necessary step would be looking at "(bishops') con- ference units that have the largest budgets. It doesn't make a lot of sense to cut back in a department whose budget is on- ly $40,000 a year. But it doesn't mean the smaller departments are immune either." A third option, he said, would be an across-the-board percentage reduction in each office's budget. The executive director of each department was informed of "suggestions" -- Father Schnurr said the word "recom- mendations" has not yet been used -- made by the CAP Com- mittee based on bishops' survey comments. The executive directors then met with the NCCB or USCC committee that oversees their work to discuss the sugges- Susan Winiger joins age NCCB-USCC associate general taft i secretary, said some bishops S as executive ass stant replied that certain depari- ments could be cut back because tl)ey duplicate work done on the diocesan level. But those responses came mainly from larger dioceses; Father Schnurr said. "Smaller dioceses are saying, 'Everything you're doing is ap- preciated.'" Since the survey was taken, the bishops have received the complete survey results, an ex- planation of current NCCB- USCC finances and structures, and a document by a committee of bishops, dubbed the "CAP Committee," with 16 "global questions" bishops should ask themselves relative to the NCCB-USCC's future, Father Schnurr said. Cincinnati Archbishop Daniel E. Pilarczyk, NCCB- USCC president, is chairman of the CAP Committee, whose membership consists of the NCCB Executive Committee and its Committee on Priorities and Plans. Among the global questions, Father Schnurr said, were how investment revenues should be utilized and whether the NCCB- USCC should seek more outside revenue sources for its ac- tivities. Currently, investment revenues, along with slight surpluses from the 1989 and 1990 budgets, are helping fund 1991 operations, he said. In- vestment income in the past had helped finance the con- struction of the new NCCB- USCC Washington head- quarters, which opened in 1989. Some NCCB-USCC activities receive outside funding. The salary of Helen M. Alvare, director of planning and infor- mation for the U.S. bishops' Secretariat for Pro-Life Ac- tivities, for instance, is paid from the fund-raising drive mounted last year to establish a three,, to. fiw-year pro-life Susan Hirsch Winiger has joined the staff of the Message as executive assistant to the editor. Her appointment, effec- tive April 1, fills a vacancy in the staff of the diocesan com- munications office. Winiger's previous employ- ment included sales work at de- Jong's in Evansville and photographic processing and printing at Camera Arts Studio, also in Evansville. She is a graduate of Memorial High School, Evansville. Secretarial work, circulation updating, coordination of the Bulletin Board page of the Message and newspaper pro- duction assistance are among Winiger's current responsibilities. SUSAN WINIGER Winiger resides in Evansville. She is the mother of three children. 1991 National Conference on Medjugorje June 14 - 16 University of Notre Dame "You Will Know Them By Their Fruits" er. mdude: Ft. Michael O'Carroil, CSSp: The worldwide impact of Medjugorje and the conversion of mankind Ft. Rene Laurentin: The good fruits in the lives of the six visionaries. Ft. Gianni Sgreva: How Medjugorje inspired the church's newest religious order, Oasi della Pace/ Bishop Nicholas D'Antonio: A bishop's testimony to the good fruits of Medjugorje. Jim Jennings: How convicts in America, as a result of Medjugorje, consecrated their prison to the Immaculate Heart of Mary Wayne Weible: The &ood fruits of Medjugorje in the lives of Protestants. Also: Ft. Ken Roberts, Alberto Salazar, Michael O'Brien, Lola Falana and morel write: Queen of Peace Ministries, P.O. Box 761 Notre Dame, IN 46556 lions. When there was "an ab- solute lack of enthusiasm" about suggestions, the CAP Committee withdrew them, Father Schnurr said. The bishops will benefit from computer technology when making their decisions. "At every moment they are going to have before them a calculation of the impact (their budgeting proposals) will have on them," thanks to a computer program's output being linked to a large projection screen in the meeting room, he said, Cutbacks in NCCB-USCC pro- grams or dropped programs will take effect by the end of 1992, Father Schnurr said. They ]nay be picked up by dioceses or Catholic agencies, but that was all "speculation," he said. "Some perceptions" by the bishops. Father Schnurr said, were that "the progress of the '70s and the '80s were fine. They've taken us to a certain place. But they've taken us as far as we can go." RUXER FORD - LINCOLN - MERCURY CT STEVE BA Y 2nd WARD COUNCILMAN MEMBER CHRIST THE KING PARISH GRADUATE REITZ MEMORIAL HIGH SCHOOL, 1966 Paid for by Bagbey for Council, Dan Tuley Treasurer -- PAID POLITICAL ADVERTISEMENT