The Worker is Worth his Wages. And Perhaps Retirement, Too – UPDATED

“Oh, God, no….”

When I saw the title of this piece by Father Dwight, those were my groaning sentiments. I’ve been trying to focus on a book project all week, and as soon as I saw it, I knew…there goes another day where I won’t get it done.

This is one of those crappy issues I hate to comment on, because it’s ridiculous and small, and also because in eight years of blogging I have made a point of not speaking of other bloggers/new media folk unless I could do so positively. I’m not into intra-blog smackdowns because I think people are entitled to their work, and their opinions, and besides, no one has appointed me to be a new-media scold-unto-others.

My fear is that giving this subject exposure will ultimately be destructive to the very good momentum the church is gathering within new media, and the excellent work being done by so many for the New Evangelization. But if people stop donating to helpful Catholic sites because they’ve suddenly taken umbrage at the idea — the Christ-quoted idea — that the worker is worthy of his wages (Luke 10-7), we will see a collapse of sound Catholic media, and that is a loss the world cannot afford. Father Paul Scalia (no relation) says it well, here: fighting for the faith can destroy charity.

So, all that said, this video seems intemperate and uncharitable to me, and while I am uncomfortable speculating about motivations the whole thing feels flinty and small-spirited. The first half of it is the usual rant against the bishops (apparently, even the “well-thought of, orthodox and conservative” ones are no good and retaliate when kicked, go figure), and the second sneers at all the professional Catholics getting rich with filthy lucre off the church.

Really? Even the “good” bishops are no good if they don’t fall in line with the Church Militant as embodied in this one operation? I can’t help noting the irony of Voris kicking back in retaliation at someone kicking back in retaliation at his kicking! As though that’s not human nature, and the church isn’t full of humans.

Really? We’re going to huff and puff because professional, trained media people — lay men and women using their skills and (quite often) their vast expertise to spread the gospel, teach the truth of Catholicism, and be visible, credible, approachable faces and voices of the Catholic Church — are being paid enough to support their families?

Again, Really?

Gasp! EWTN’s Raymond Arroyo, a husband and father with little kids, makes $100,000 a year! So? He’s using his skills in the Catholic market, because he loves the church, when he could likely earn a great deal more than that in secular media, and this is a scandal?

Gasp! Radio Host Al Kresta makes $115,000 a year! So? Al Kresta is a writer and a media professional, and a guy in a wheelchair who needs an assistant to help him travel and meet up with interesting Catholics in interesting venues for the edification (and entertainment) of the listening faithful. We’re going to begrudge him a living when his health may not hold out?

Gasp! Some of these people actually have retirement packages! Oh, stop the world, it’s too much! I’m plotzing! Retirement packages! Why that’s just Un-American and Un-Godly! What a freaking scandal! Oh, wait — even priests and religious get to retire.

Gasp! Jimmy Akin, who knows more about most things biblical and liturgical than most of us ever will, makes “over $100,000!” That’s it! I’m going to die! I’m going to have a heart-attack and die right now, from this shock! Obviously, none of these people are worth this much money! Why, Catholics who work in media, and who put 40-60 hours a week of their life into that work ought to be barely subsisting! They should be wearing rags, and using food stamps and that would make their work most edifying and pleasing to the Lord!

This notion that “good” Catholics who want to work for the sake of the church must put their stuff out for free (or earn near-peanuts) else stand accused of “getting rich” off the church is one that can only be detrimental to the growth of sound Catholic media. First of all, no one gets rich by working for the church. Karl Keating “pulls down a cool quarter-million”? Well, I admit, that sounds like pretty good sugar to me, but he’s a really credible voice of Catholic education, is he not? What is that credibility worth? What is his education, experience and commitment worth? How much of that comes from book royalties and speaking fees? What are his expenses? What sort of people does he have to meet-and-greet and entertain in order to keep the ship afloat? And what is it all worth to you, and to me? I am grateful for these people, so I think they’re worth a lot.

Let’s be realistic: high-quality Catholic media requires high-quality staff to put out a high-quality product that will attract people to the Church and its teachings. That takes money, because when talented folk go to school or become trained in media, and they decide that they want to work for the church, they bring both their expertise and their expenses into the equation. They need to be able to pay off student loans. They need to be able to feed, clothe, educate and shelter their families (and yes, sock a little away, if possible, for the time when they can no longer work); they need to be able to buy presentable clothing because if they’re even moderately successful, they’re going to be meeting people and networking for the ultimate good of the church. If they’re meeting people outside the church, they need to look presentable — not glamorous, but professional — not everyone can get away with being a ragamuffin, like me. They need to be able to support their local parishes, too. I don’t know about other big-city markets, but I can tell you that in New York, or Atlanta, a family of four making $100,000 is not “living large”, especially if has kids who want to go to college. People who can afford to go on “prayer cruises” probably actually do realize that.

Earlier this year I participated in a panel of bloggers discussing digital media, and at one point someone asked about competition among bloggers. I can’t remember my whole response, but I know I repeated my opinion that in Catholic New Media the notion of “competition” seemed nebulous to me — that when something good happens in one area of Catholic New Media, it is a boon to everyone — “a rising tide lifts all boats” — because it enlarges the way in which the Holy Spirit can move and work. There should be no denigration of the success of others, and certainly there should never be a sense of competition about who in new media is holier, or more faithful, or more sincere, or even more humble. The truth is we cannot gauge one another’s humility, and we can’t stand around like Pharisees thanking God that we’re not like that other blogger who is just not as pure as we’d like to believe we are, ourselves. I do not for a moment doubt Michael Voris’ sincere love of the faith and his desire to serve it. His methods may not be mine, but they needn’t be. We’re all one body, different parts.

Speaking of Michael Voris who, like the people his is criticizing, makes his living from the donations of the faithful: he makes a point of announcing that his salary is $40,000 a year. I have no idea if he makes more from speaking fees, marketing, cruise ship appearances, or whatever, and I’m really not interested. For an unmarried man, living in the American Midwest, $40,000 seems like a solidly middle-class salary, and most folk in Catholic New Media would be happy to make as much. In the same way $100,000 for a family in a larger market seems like middle-class money, too. And why in heaven’s name wouldn’t any entity that can offer 401k’s to their staff not do so, for the sake of justice? I would hope that were Church Militant to grow to the point where they could afford it, they’d do the same for their folk.

Here’s Saint Paul, on the subject:

Don’t we have the right to eat and drink? Don’t we have the right to be accompanied by a Christian wife like the other apostles, the Lord’s brothers, and Cephas? Or do Barnabas and I alone have no right to refrain from working? Who ever goes to war at his own expense? Who plants a vineyard and does not eat its fruit? Or who shepherds a flock and does not drink the milk from the flock? Am I saying this from a human perspective? Doesn’t the law also say the same thing? For it is written in the law of Moses, Do not muzzle an ox while it treads out grain. Is God really concerned with oxen? Or isn’t He really saying it for us? Yes, this is written for us, because he who plows ought to plow in hope, and he who threshes should do so in hope of sharing the crop. If we have sown spiritual things for you, is it too much if we reap material benefits from you? If others have this right to receive benefits from you, don’t we even more?

However, we have not made use of this right; instead we endure everything so that we will not hinder the gospel of Christ. Don’t you know that those who perform the temple services eat the food from the temple, and those who serve at the altar share in the offerings of the altar? In the same way, the Lord has commanded that those who preach the gospel should earn their living by the gospel. – 1 Corinthians 9:4-14

So, what’s the problem?

I’m not sure there is a problem, here, except for the one that could develop if the people (like you and me) who support and encourage Catholic new media because they see how urgently it needs to be present within a culture gone increasingly mad, begin to feel that they’re being taken for a ride by those “rich fat cats” at ETWN, and Catholic Answers and Relevant Radio, who apparently have no right to earn their livings while bringing faith-related issues, information and entertainment to a world starving for it.

UPDATE:
Mr. Voris has released a new video, clarifying his meaning. I think about it outloud, here

About Elizabeth Scalia
  • Laura Lowder

    Excellent! Thank you.

    Sadly, there are too many pathetic people who will insist on eating at the pots Voris stirs, rejecting any other (and far superior) sustenance. And that feeds Voris. It’s a nasty cycle.

  • Ron Turner

    Q: “Who ever goes to war at his own expense?”
    A: none of the cowardly leaders we have now

  • Phil

    And imagine what happens when young, intelligent, well-spoken Catholics learn that they too can make a good living using their talents to serve the Church! Some of them might forgo positions in the secular world too, which will further close the gap between the overall quality of Catholic media and secular media. Sounds terrible!! We must put a wage ceiling on Catholic media to keep competition and quality down!

  • stefanie

    +Amen, Elizabeth!

    the amount of hours it takes to produce what can be read or listen to in less than 15 minutes is enormous. My salary at the parish does not anywhere-near reflect the amount of hours I put into research, writing, and pondering what I will teach at the four weekly classes I lead. Ask anyone who ‘works for the Church’ — volunteers AND paid staff — and you’ll find a genuine sacrificial heart. We cut corners at home in order to buy things for our classes; we are very mindful that our salaries come from the goodness of another. Their sacrifice makes us want to sacrifice, too.
    My salary is now 1/3 what it was when I worked in a non-religious setting, but I never worked so hard in my life…and I was no slacker before.

    99% of those who choose to set aside secular careers in order to be available to serve God are stellar folks. there will always be those who take advantage of a situation. They will then have to answer to our Lord as in Matthew 25.

  • Terry Carroll

    I left this comment on Fr. L. post but he chose not to post it. I suppose you won’t either, but at least you won’t be able to say you didn’t hear “an alternative interpretation” of what you saw yesterday. I’m an Executive Producer with CMTV and, per Fr. L’s advice, you can feel free to contact me at terrycarroll@churchmilitant.tv any time you like.

    Here is the response we have been emailing to folks today.

    You completely missed the point of this episode of the Vortex. Go back and watch it again.

    The narrative sequence of this episode SHOULD have made it clear that we were not trying to define what is or is not an appropriate living wage for anyone but, rather, to suggest that when one’s livelihood is at least substantial and your job is to do Catholic news and commentary, fear of losing that livelihood and other perks of your job may cloud one’s judgment about what should be reported as news or be the subject of editorial commentary. There has to be a reason when the obvious devastation all around us is never reported and there is no attempt to identify the cause. Perhaps these news figures don’t really see the situation as a “crisis.” That, and not the threat of losing their jobs, would also explain their failure to report on the “elephant in the room” that is the crisis of the contemporary Church today. But, if these are truly competent journalists, it’s difficult to conclude that they just don’t see what is obvious to ourselves and so many others.

    Human nature being what it is, the temptation to rationalize our bad judgments and behaviors in our own favor is a strong one,and that goes for us as well as anyone else. We began yesterday’s episode of the Vortex with two examples of how the Church of Nice responds when it is crossed, in each case not content to get mad but clearly anxious to get even. With that as background and context, we reported the salaries of major figures in Catholic news and commentary as possible explanations for why they don’t address the crisis in the Church and, in so doing, make themselves part of the problem. EWTN was once shut out of covering one of the bishops meetings because they had crossed the line with one or more bishops. EWTN and Catholic talk show hosts are dependent on the good graces of bishops for appearances as guests and as sources of news. How much money each of these individuals make is not the story: the story is whether their incomes affect their news judgment and editorial commentary. I think facts speak for themselves. There is an obvious crisis in the Church. They won’t talk about or, if they do, it’s to deny it.

    Be sure to watch today’s Vortex where we attempt to make clearer what may have been less clear yesterday.

  • Christine Niles

    I hope I’m not among those “pathetic people,” Laura.

  • http://philadelphiacatholicoutsider.blogspot.com/ Roger Conley

    Very well put in every way.

  • http://philadelphiacatholicoutsider.blogspot.com/ Roger Conley

    This is very well put in every way. I don’t want to know what other people make. I’m better off not knowing. I was afraid, though, that I’d be shocked at the high salaries. I think the column makes the point very well that the “high” salaries are not that high, and that the “low” salary is not that low. The whole “controversy” does not reflect very well on Mr. Voris at all.

  • Jennifer Hannah

    THANK YOU for writing this. Your thoughts are well-written and solid. And when you mentioned the salaries of all the people he’s pointing fingers at, my first thought was, “REALLY? You’re getting excited over that???” I thought these guys were millionaires or something. Not that THAT even matters, but this is just beyond ridiculous.

  • PeonyMoss

    My dad once remarked, “A critic is someone who comes out when the battle is done and shoots the survivors.”

  • Romulus

    I listen to Catholic Answers frequently — but usually not for long stretches, because I can bear only so much happy talk and cheerleading. Frankly, those guys do not perform at the six-figure level. Neither does the ridiculous Raymond Arroyo. The weirdness of Catholic Answers wrt matters traddy is troubling for cultural reasons: no one is asking for the show to be produced in Latin, but when one’s spirituality is completely untouched (and therefore unformed) by the ancient and venerable tradition, traditionalism inevitably comes off as “the other”. Yes, I am a little tired of the tame, suburban, Americanized image they present.

    I completely agree that it costs money to attract talented people. My worry is that many of the talented ones are still on the outside trying to figure out how to get in.

    Voris makes a darn good point about the pettiness and unforgiving ways of certain clergy when turf and especially money are concerned. The CCHD is a “disgrace” (I hesitate to employ the saltier term I believe it deserves), and has been for years.

  • Christine Niles

    Voris did a follow-up Vortex today clarifying.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=kkE-H5PaHBQ

  • DN

    An ill-defined “crisis in the Church” may fuel you, but the fruits of your labor are bitter, recklessly denunciatory, and calumnious.

  • prayerisouronlyhope

    Wow! I do not visit your site often, so maybe this is not the way you usually write, or respond, but I found your comments to be very sarcastic and arrogant.

    I watched Voris’ episode, and the salaries mentioned did not concern me – what concerns me is that people are being silenced by the Church hierarchy for speaking out about the problems in the Church. What concerns me is that Catholic organizations are contributing to other organizations that promote/condone contraception and abortion, and this needs to be made known. Maybe I watched a different episode than you? All this conversation about salaries – I really don’t think that was the point of the piece.

  • Maggie Sullivan

    So why do you want to keep hidden what Catholic leaders make who work for groups that take donations.
    Are you so afraid people will know the truth?

  • http://a-star-of-hope.blogspot.com/ JoAnna Wahlund

    Voris seems very ignorant about the cost of living in California, especially the urban areas. It costs more rent a 1-bedroom apartment with very few amenities in an iffy part of town than it does for the mortgage payment on my 4-bedroom house in Arizona. A $100,000 salary in California does not go NEARLY as far as it would in other parts of the country, especially if you have a large family (Tim Staples has a wife and 5 kids, for example).

  • http://ashesfromburntroses.blogspot.com/ Manny

    Normally I get a good number of down arrows, but over at Fr. Longenecker’s post on this I can’t believe how many up arrows I got. My comment must have resonated. And it’s in agreement with what you say here Anchoress. Everyone is entitled to earn a living as long as it’s not hypocritical or fraudulent. And you make a good point that everyone of those Catholics would probably be earning a higher pay in the corresponding secular world for the same job. This is typical Michael Voris obnoxious outrage fishing.

  • John

    I think it’s a tad dishonest to attack Catholic Answers, EWTN, and other trailblazing organizations as being milquetoast. These people cut their teeth making waves and changing the face of the Church, forging ahead during the times when the Church in America was in much, much worse shape than it is now. What Church Militant is doing is coasting in the tailwinds of organizations like them, and snapping at their heels for petty issues.

    You can insist that there is a huge crisis in the Church today. But compared with the 70s and the 80s and the 90s, there’s no comparison. We’ve got a much better crew of bishops, and influx of new, solid vocations, and a rising generation of orthodox young people who hunger to spread the faith. Spending your time trying to tear down the very people who built up this infrastructure is grossly misguided.

  • ModerateMom17

    It’s nothing more than Michael Voris whining about how much money he, the really real, really serious Catholic makes as compared to those he deems inferior.

  • Chesire11

    Sorry, but that is just plain dishonest.

    In the first place, you did not report peoples’ salaries as “possible” explanations for the content of their reporting. At roughly the 9:30 mark, Mr. Voris attributes their complicity in the “lack luster efforts” of the bishops directly to their pay. He doesn’t say it could be one explanation, or question whether it could be the explanation, he explicitly says that it is all because they run large operations that need the bishops’ support to keep their seats at the table “AND TO KEEP THEIR PAYCHECKS.”

    That is direct accusation, as opposed to the mere speculative gossip you offer as a defense.

    All in all, a rather nasty, snide piece of work.

  • Win Nelson

    It is probably a bad thing to know what someone else earns. It is also not good to pay too much attention to someone else’s career path.

  • http://blog.goliard.us/ Blog Goliard

    “Ridiculous”? There are approximately 47,328 people on television who are more ridiculous than Raymond Arroyo.

  • MeanLizzie

    Maggie, what a strange comment, seemingly based on nothing? Please point to the part of my post where I said I want to hide what people make? What people working for non-profits make is a matter of public record and is not hidden, nor should it be. I simply argue that the laborer is worth his wages. Which is what Jesus said, and Saint Paul. And Pope Leo XIII in Rerum Novarum. And the Catechism 2434.

  • http://rosarynovice.stblogs.com/ Augustine

    As a professional in
    the IT industry, $100,000 salaries are a little above starter
    engineering salaries in some markets. So the fact that people with a lot of education and experience under their belts make more than this figure makes me even more confident that CA, EWTN and RR use my meager donations
    judiciously, not to further personal fortunes, but their ministries.

    PS: do show this post to your children to encourage them to improve their Math skills; it pays to have them.

  • Chesire11

    Actually, Mr. Voris’ little homily was chock full of innuendo, and gossip, and not much else. He correlated events and inferred that they were related, but offered no evidence to prove his accusations.

  • tobin nieto

    once again people are missing the point – If your not willing to upset the bishops or priest because your livelihood comes from their good graces, you might not be as apt to speak out about problems in the hierarchy.

    Remember ” the road to hell is paved with the skulls of bishops and priests” – St. John Chrysostom

  • Chesire11

    BTW, to what race does Paul Brown belong? Just curious, since Mr. Voris was kind enough to tell us from which race Saul Alinsky descends.

  • Chesire11

    Not “might”…the accusation was direct, and explicit.

  • Win Nelson

    Thanks for that link. After watching only a third of it (sorry, that is all of the high moral dudgeon I could stand after having watched most of the first one), I was struck by something that Elizabeth pointed out in her book, Strange Gods. She’d cited Anne Lamott before, but this quote works so well here:

    “You can safely assume you’ve created God in your own image when it turns out that God hates all the same people you do.”


    Anne Lamott

  • http://www.thepracticingcatholic.com/ Lisa Schmidt

    One of my favorite quotes from the book, too!

  • http://www.subcreators.com/blog Lori Pieper

    And let’s not forget also that Mr. Voris’ whole salary depends on what he’s doing being popular and bringing in the viewers and money. He makes his living trumpeting — often even exaggerating — the crisis in the Church, and setting himself up as the pot-stirrer. He foments division in the the Church for his wages. Does he rest easy at night knowing this?

  • milk steak

    Jesus saith to him: If thou wilt be perfect, go sell what thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come follow me.

    22 – And when the young man had heard this word, he went away sad: for he had great possessions.

    23 – Then Jesus said to his disciples: Amen, I say to you, that a rich man shall hardly enter into the kingdom of heaven.

  • chasso

    Did any of you discussing the salaries even watch the video? He doesn’t care about their salaries. His point was that one organization is begging for money due to their dire financial straights while the leader pulls in $250k. Instead of guilting those earning much less into donations, maybe he ought to take a pay cut. His other point was about places like EWTN having blinders on about the reality of the state of the church because of the tendency of some bishops being vindictive with those who cross them or criticize them.

  • Russ

    Thanks Ms. Scalia for this excellent post. Let us hope and pray that others will think twice before aligning themselves with a small movement that seeks to denigrate and divide the Church. Why do Catholics need to condemn other Catholics who are sowing the seeds and helping grow the Church?

  • MeanLizzie

    Yes, that is the story of the rich man, who had a great many things. Are you suggesting that people making enough to support themselves and their families are making themselves unfit for heaven?

  • CT Catholic Corner

    So are all the Catholic laity who commented on Kathy Schiffer’s blog (where the hornets nest was stirred) wrong for what they said? http://connecticutcatholiccorner.blogspot.com/2013/08/frlongnecker-vs-michael-voris.html

  • MeanLizzie

    Have no idea. It’s pretty busy around here, and I have no time to read the comboxes of all of the bloggers on Patheos. I would imagine that Fr. Dwight only became aware of any of this after the Voris video. I only became aware of any of it after Fr. Dwight’s piece.

  • Karl Keating

    1. I’m proud of the Catholic Answers staff. We have top-notch people who easily could be making as much or more elsewhere. In the past we lost a few great people because we couldn’t, in those years, afford to pay them competitive salaries. Thanks to our generous donors, for a good while we have been able to pay salaries that meet the Church’s social teachings.

    2. Years ago I learned what EWTN was paying its higher-level employees, and I was appalled at how low the salaries were. I’m pleased to learn, from Michael Voris’s video, that they now make acceptable salaries. I still think they’re underpaid, but their pay no longer is outright unfair.

    3. Terry Carroll, in his post in this thread, says “Catholic talk show hosts are dependent on the good graces of bishops for appearances as guests and as sources of news.” This is nonsense. Bishops represent only a tiny proportion of the guests on “Catholic Answers Live,” and I don’t think any bishop ever has been a source of news for us.
    4. If people such as Mr. Carroll had listened attentively over the years, they would have heard that on our radio program and at our lectures we have discussed nearly all the problems they say we shy away from. The difference is that we choose not to discuss them in a hectoring, histrionic way, and we discuss many more issues that the very few that form the limit repertoire of our critics.

  • CT Catholic Corner

    It’s too bad FrLongenecker didn’t do his homework better- now there are Catholics fighting all over the place because of his post. Sad. Father’s shouldn’t start such strife among the laity.

  • http://philadelphiacatholicoutsider.blogspot.com/ Roger Conley

    Then why did you choose the photographs that showed people shocked and outraged at the salaries? If this comment describes the message that Mr. Voris intended to send, then it’s very clear that he utterly failed. He is a professional communicator, is he not?

  • http://philadelphiacatholicoutsider.blogspot.com/ Roger Conley

    I really don’t think Father started this. I think somebody else did.

  • NotEnoughFlair

    I find myself wanting to look at Michael Voris and repeat one of my very favorite lines from the old TV show ‘Friends’: “Hello, Pot, this is Kettle …” If he hasn’t noticed, he’s being paid by being a “Professional Catholic”. The only reason his salary is so low is because he’s ticked off so many bishops that he can’t go on speaking tours like other professional Catholics because bishops don’t want him in their diocese. And if he doesn’t believe he’s a Professional Catholic, he only needs to watch the first 30 seconds of his videos and the information about the Church Militant TV Cruise to be reminded otherwise.

    The saddest part is that he used to make some really, really good arguments for the importance of Catholics growing in holiness and being truly and faithfully Catholic. But as of late, his videos have turned into bitter parodies of the type of vitriol he so loudly claims to rail against. What is going to save more souls, the love of Christ such as that shared by Pope Francis or the acid that spews onto the computer screen from him?

  • Eileen D’A

    Elizabeth, it’s a pity anyone even had to dignify this rant with a response. No one has to justify their income to anyone. It’s an abuse of language. If something doesn’t need to be said it should be left unsaid. “It’s an ill bird that befouls its own nest.” Are we not all in the same nest, Michael Voris? Why are you attacking your own? I don’t get this guy.

  • http://rosarynovice.stblogs.com/ Augustine

    You don’t know the history of EWTN, whose own former bishop was miffed at and which was the target of a “hostile takeover” by the USCCB. So, to say that EWTN is a pussycat around bishops would be laughable if not malicious.

  • CT Catholic Corner

    Well said and I understood the episode perfectly. I am truly amazed others were so confused and lost by it.

  • Michael J. Lichens

    I can’t tell you how many good, talented Catholics I’ve met who work for free for Catholic media and charities, putting in anywhere between 20-50 hours a week for no pay or pay so low that it feels insulting. This is on top of many of these talented folks having sizable student loans and wanting to start a family. Bluntly, these charities and other Catholic works will burn through talent at a rate of two years per person and then wonder why they can’t keep anyone.

  • milk steak

    No, im just saying that even great saints gave up $$ to truely follow Christ and that the love of $$ is the root of all evil….there is nothing wrong with earning a paycheck especially if supporting a family….just ppl should be careful how attached they get to “stuff” and be careful when presuming about other ppls stuff…….there is this debate on here now about other ppls paychecks and maybe we all need to reread the gospel and the lives of saints b4 we throw our 2cents in ya know?

  • milk steak

    I think its him showing that when u protect the errors of the church u get paid, and when u speak the truth u get beans. Those that make the big bucks tend to shy away from hot button issues and voris is free to call it as he sees it ‘cuz when ya got nothin’ u got nothin’ to lose.

  • orthros

    Augustine, your analysis is inaccurate. Let’s do some real math.

    Median HOUSEHOLD income, not individual income, is $51K in this country as of 2011. I doubt it has gotten much better in the current marketplace.

    The average information tech salary out of school is about $52K. The only salary approaching $100K is petroleum engineering, a wildly volatile and niche major, whose average salary is $79K.

    As a 20 year veteran of the Fortune 500, I can confidently tell you that almost no one below the Vice President level at those organizations pulls down $300K, and that a fair number of VPs don’t either.

    Karl Keating’s total compensation package puts him in the top 2% of all wage earners, public and private.

    His organization, Catholic Answers, takes in a modest $6M or so. If you donate $100 to CA, $6 is going to Karl’s salary. Alone.

    By contrast, Food for the Poor’s President makes about $400K, but his organization takes in $1.1 billion, so a $100 donation has 6 cents going to Robin Mahfood, its president.

    People don’t like these facts, but there they are. I was a frequent contributor to CA in the past, but facts are facts, and between this and the traditionalist attacks (disclosure: not a Latin Mass nor Novus Ordo Catholic) I highly encourage folks to contribute to other organizations… and yes, Food for the Poor is a great place to start.

  • chasso

    You are right – I don’t know the story of EWTN. However, Mr. Voris himself even talks about the how great EWTN was in the day of Mother Angelica and wishes they would return to they way they were in her time.


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