Last Updated: Friday - 09/24/2010
Week of October 28, 2002
Bishops unfazed by $38M WYD deficit
By ART BABYCH
"We weren't spending like drunken sailors."
- Archbishop Anthony Meagher
He told the CCCB plenary assembly Oct. 18, "This was not a case of WYD under Father Rosica going off and spending all kinds of money and then finding out that we'd overspent. Spending was actually well less than budget but the income didn't materialize that we thought would come in."
A total of 187,000 registered youth attended but the last budget for the event was based on 350,000 registrations. Meagher said the operations budget had been set at $57.3 million but that only $43.4 million was spent.
As well, only $7 million of the transportation budget of $42.9 million was required, he said. The reason was that by April "we cut everybody back and decided we won't have all these feeding stations all around Toronto and would centralize everything at the waterfront, which saved huge sums of money," said the archbishop. The budget for security was also chopped from $10.7 million to $1.6 million.
Meagher, 61, also praised Rosica for doing an "outstanding job" with the Toronto media which, he said, "certainly have never been pro-Church." The support of the media was "absolutely phenomenal."
The vice chair of the WYD committee, Bishop Francois Lapierre of Saint-Hyacinthe, Que., said the deficit "is not a catastrophe" and that the spiritual fruit of WYD is already evident in the dioceses.
"I feel there is a new communion between the Church and youth," Lapierre observed. However, he added, "The challenge is the follow-up."
Our mission: To serve our readers by bringing the Gospel to bear on current issues in the Church and in secular culture through accurate news coverage and reflective commentary.