Support Local Journalism. Join the Cleveland Scene Press Club.

Friday, March 9, 2007

Pilla Does Poverty

Posted By on Fri, Mar 9, 2007 at 3:02 PM

In a heartwarming tribute to youthful idealism, more than 1,000 local Catholic high school students gathered this week for a poverty summit. They discussed such pressing issues as homelessness, education, and workers' rights. Punch is certain that every single one of the youngsters was motivated by a sense of moral obligation, and not at all by the chance to skip class on a Friday. Unfortunately, they didn't have the best role model for the cause. The keynote speaker was retired Bishop Anthony Pilla. Apparently, the good bishop's idea of fighting poverty involved letting high-ranking officials steal at least $784,000 from the Cleveland diocese ("Crimes Against Catholics" Sept. 6, 2006). His former chief financial officer, Joseph Smith, and ex-employee Anton Zgoznik have been indicted in an elaborate kickback scheme that involved funneling church money to their companies. Yet their lawyers allege that Pilla not only knew about the scam—which included a secret bank account for Smith -- but also benefited from his own numbers game. Some money from a secret account was used to fix up Pilla's vacation home in Geauga County, the lawyers say. The diocese, of course, has denied all allegations. But the scandal still begs the question: What kind of wisdom can Pilla impart to these students, aside from holding a workshop on how to evade the IRS. — Lisa Rab

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Cleveland Scene. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Cleveland Scene, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at [email protected].

Support Local Journalism.
Join the Cleveland Scene Press Club


Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state. Our readers helped us continue this coverage in 2020, and we are so grateful for the support.


Help us keep this coverage going in 2021. Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing membership pledge, your support goes to local-based reporting from our small but mighty team.


Join the Cleveland Scene Press Club for as little as $5 a month.

Read the Digital Print Issue

January 26, 2022

View more issues

Newsletters

Never miss a beat

Sign Up Now

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.

Calendar

© 2022 Cleveland Scene: 737 Bolivar Rd., Suite 4100, Cleveland, OH 44115, (216) 505-8199
Logos and trademarks on this site are property of their respective owners.


Website powered by Foundation