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Posts Tagged / Roger Playwin

  • Apr 23 / 2009
  • 1



“Transparency instills a spirit of trust, ownership and accountability. Ways of fostering transparency include having open meetings, offering complete financial disclosure, and making audits and reports available to all participants.” — Gene Smith

How about an honest, independent audit of the finances, operations, and personnel at the national office? How can you recommend transparency to others when you yourself operate under cover of darkness?

  • Apr 19 / 2009
  • 0

Say It Ain’t So, Joe!

An update on the allegations of impropriety at the National Office relative to contracts was presented. [NAME], former National President, and [NAME], both attorneys, were asked to lead the investigation. They looked at the allegations, collected documents, interviewed people and sent the summary of that information to [NAME], CPA, Chair of the Audit Committee. The results were presented to the Board of Directors. The Board voted that there was no merit to the allegations.

Why choose a former national president to investigate problems that may have originated under his tenure?

  • Apr 18 / 2009
  • 3

Genuine Transparency

Smile on me.
Help me set
The captives free.

When I was fired from the national office of the Society of St. Vincent de Paul last summer, I considered myself the lucky one. I used to tell my friends there that the only thing worse than being fired was being kept on. Truly and without exaggeration, that office was the most dysfunctional, dishonest, and hostile place I’ve ever worked in my life — and I’ve worked in some pretty substandard places. That’s why I devoted my first “Rosalie” (above) to the co-workers I’d left behind — the poor slobs who are still subject to the abuse of a trio of incompetent and corrupt managers. My last “Rosalie” (below) I wrote on the eve of the national meeting that I hoped would address the problem openly and honestly. Alas, instead of candor and correction, there was cover-up and denial.

Let there be

There’s another national meeting this coming week. Will justice and charity prevail this time? Probably not, but I’m still invoking Rosalie and hoping for the best.

Read More Rosalies

The Blue Nun

  • Apr 05 / 2009
  • 2

Blue Nun


What is he
Who exploits
A charity?

Some months before I was fired as the director of membership and technology services at the national office of the Society of St. Vincent de Paul, I was working on an image of Blessed Rosalie Rendu in a graphics program so that I could post it on our website. I diverted my attention to something else for a moment — a phone call, a co-worker with a question — and, when I turned back to my computer screen, she was blue. Entirely blue! I hadn’t done anything to make the image blue, and it took me hours to figure out how to do so. She had turned blue on her own.

For someone like me who likes things to make sense, this was pretty disturbing. But it wasn’t my first unsettling encounter with Rosalie. At a meeting months previous, the staff had watched the Society’s introductory video, which includes images of the founders and patrons. When the static image of Rosalie appeared on the screen, it winked at me. I say at me, because, when I looked around, it was clear that none of the other staff members had noticed it.

Why had Rosalie winked at me? Was it just to be friendly? To acknowledge that we had something in common or shared some secret? Was it an affirmation of my efforts to improve the Society’s public image, or my struggle to change the culture of incompetence and corruption at the national office? I had no idea what it signified, other than some sort of approval.

And what did her turning blue mean? Sadness at the unjust and uncharitable behavior of senior staff members? Awareness of my coming termination? All I knew for sure was that she was trying to communicate with me, that we had a bond of some sort, and that maybe she wanted me to do something for her.

Eventually, I found myself in a position in which I had to blow the whistle on egregious misbehavior — and I did so, through the proper channels, and was summarily dismissed (in violation of the Society’s own whistleblower policy). At that point, I made a determined effort to bring the matter to the attention of the board and the national council, which resulted in a bogus investigation and a brazen cover-up at the Society’s national meeting last September.

During the months leading up to that meeting, I created a new verse form: the Rosalie, four dimeter lines rhyming aaba (the first consisting of the name Rosalie, the next two replicating the meter of the name, and the last alone iambic) invoking Rosalie Rendu, the spiritual advisor of Blessed Frederick Ozanam, to intercede on behalf of the organization he founded and rid it of the rats infesting it. Above¬† is one of the last of my 60+ “Rosalies.” I have reason to believe that Rosalie has heard my petitions and that the rats will soon be leaving. For this, and for the trust Rosalie placed in me, I am truly grateful.

Read More Rosalies

Genuine Transparency

  • Apr 04 / 2009
  • 1

Marxist Vincentians

There seems to be a law of the universe that states that any so-called independent organization whose existence can be used to attack capitalism will be eventually captured by the left and put to that purpose. The Catholic Society of St Vincent de Paul seems to be striking proof of the existence of this law. . . . — Gerard Jackson, BrookesNews.com

The Australian and European National Councils of the Society of St. Vincent de Paul may be more radicalized than the American, but ours is not far behind, is striving to catch up, and may soon be just as ignorant and subversive. Where in the writings of Vincent and Frederick is there any warrant for lying and thievery in the name of charity?


  • Mar 08 / 2009
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Cracking Down on Catholic Charities

Last October, Bishop Robert Hermann, acting leader of the St. Louis Archdiocese, sent Catholic Charities board members a memo saying the organization had been allowed “to drift in a direction that began to work contrary to the desires” of previous archbishops. He informed them that the relationship between the archdiocese and Catholic Charities was “at an impasse.” — St. Louis Post-Dispatch

In a 1998 “Behind The Headlines” commentary, I summarized a recent issue of Alternatives in Philanthropy, published by the Capital Research Center, describing Catholic Charities’ increasing reliance on government handouts and its concomitant secularization. The commentary concluded as follows:

Didn’t Jesus say something rather pithy about the folly of a man gaining the world and losing his soul? What are we to think of a religious organization that seems willing to make a similarly shortsighted bargain? Where is the charity in distributing funds forcefully extracted from the taxpayer? Where is the charity in depriving productive citizens of the resources they might have used to make voluntary contributions of their own? Where is the charity in undermining the incentive for self-improvement of the destitute and debauched? Where is the faith of the determined little do-gooders who dare not rely on true charity to fund their efforts? If they had faith, and their good works were demonstrably good, God and their fellow man would ensure their success.

In recent years, Catholic Charities has embraced a leftwing agenda under the false banner of “social justice” — and, even more recently, has used its increasingly close ties with the Society of St. Vincent de Paul, to divert that organization from its true mission as well. A crackdown by the Church is long overdue, and most welcome.

  • Jan 20 / 2009
  • 1

The Poverty Scam

Two things hold true about the U.S. poverty standard. First, if policymakers agree that living standards have improved since the 1960s, as the evidence shows, that should be reflected in a lower poverty rate. Second, relative poverty thresholds distort the true number of people in absolute deprivation. — National Center for Policy Analysis

People in need deserve help, but exaggerating the level of poverty in this country and lobbying for socialistic government programs do not help the poor. Leaders of “charitable” organizations that engage in these tactics are nothing but liars and thieves.

  • Jan 19 / 2009
  • 1

A Demurral

Can someone please explain to me . . . why on Sunday the Archdiocese of St. Louis sponsored and celebrated its annual Mass in commemoration of non-Catholic, Baptist preacher and political activist Martin Luther King, Jr.? — St. Louis Catholic

At their annual midyear meeting in St. Louis, the leaders of the Society of St. Vincent de Paul process down the aisle at the Old Cathedral carrying icons of saints. Included with Sts. Vincent de Paul and Louise de Marillac, Blesseds Frederic Ozanam and Rosalie Rendu, are Sts. Dorothy Day, MLK, and Gandhi — purchased from Trinity Stores. When I pointed out that Dorothy Day had not yet been beatified, and that King and Gandhi were not even Catholic, the persons responsible for this travesty either were, or pretended to be, unable to see the relevance.

  • Jan 05 / 2009
  • 1

Diversity & Social Justice

. . . Northerners can be forgiven for not realizing where this road will lead, but Southerners have no excuse, for they have seen the future and should know that the Reconstruction planned for America as a whole will bear a striking resemblance to the barbarism visited upon the South. . . . — “Tomorrow Is Another Day,” F.R. Duplantier

Diversity and social justice, properly defined, are good things. It is simply a matter of charity and courtesy to accept natural differences and try to get along with others, to identify genuine injustices and use honest means to rectify them. Accommodating contrived differences and bewailing imaginary grievances, however, are abuses of charity and courtesy. As false banners for a radical left-wing agenda and weapons for demonizing decent, good-hearted people, “diversity” and “social justice” are consummate evils. Beware of people who invoke these seemingly innocent terms to justify their proposals or to stifle the dissent of their opponents; there’s a good chance they’re up to no good and are seeking neither diversity nor social justice, but the power to enslave us all.

  • Dec 15 / 2008
  • 0

“Social Justice” Masquerade

It is clear that “social justice teaching” does not mean justice as most Americans understand the term. Those who speak of “social justice” mean the United States is an unjust and oppressive society and the solution is for government to “spread the wealth around.” Activists who favor this solution know that influencing public school teachers, who can then influence the rising generation, is the most effective way to disseminate ideas they hope will soon become majority opinion. — Phyllis Schlafly, Education Reporter

I’ve fought for social justice, properly defined, all my life — as did my parents, and grandparents, before me. Nowadays, however, “social justice” has become a euphemism for socialism, concealing its radical, destructive agenda. While most Americans naturally find socialism repugnant, it can be difficult to resist when it masquerades as something noble and compassionate. Oppose any program or proposal that purports to help the poor, or children, and see how quickly you are dismissed as an uncaring ogre. Can you explain how said program or proposal will actually hurt its alleged beneficiaries? It doesn’t matter. You’ve already been demonized and everyone’s stopped listening.

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