Bishop John Arnold uses Gospel Values to justify 6 CAFOD employees receiving together £390,000 a year

Bishop John Arnold, auxiliary bishop of Westminster and chairman of the Bishop’s Conference agency the Catholic Fund for Overseas Development (CAFOD), uses Gospel Values to justify 6 CAFOD employees receiving together £390,000 a year. Chris Bain, CAFOD’s Chief executive, receives a salary of £90,000. Bishop John Arnold writes in The Tablet blog:

‘As a board of trustees, and personally as chairman of that board, we all take our responsibility in setting this salary very seriously and have independent, expert advice when reviewing it. As a board, we are fortunate to have a director of such high calibre and experience who is motivated and lives out his faith. I feel privileged to be associated with Cafod because I believe that it speaks very clearly of Gospel values, challenging us all in questions of justice and compassion. I have no doubt that Cafod’s director is largely responsible for sustaining Cafod’s energy and success, particularly in the present, difficult economic climate.’

Michael Phelan, a charity expert and former finance director in the Diocese of Northampton, challenged the fairness of paying Chris Bain £90,000 compared to the average salary of Diocesan financial directors. He told The Tablet, ‘the salaries of chief executives at leading Christian aid agencies were high. He said that financial directors of dioceses, with an estimated mean salary of £50,000 - £60,000, had jobs with comparable levels of responsibility. “They are often responsible for problems that arise out of abuse crises and property and staff,” he added.

Protect the Pope comment: During the Ethiopian Famine in 1984 a family in England sold their home and gave the proceeds to CAFOD as a donation. And a man in Liverpool gave a weekly donation to CAFOD from his meager social security benefits. These actions truly express the justice that manifests the Kingdom of God. Enough said.




22 comments to Bishop John Arnold uses Gospel Values to justify 6 CAFOD employees receiving together £390,000 a year

  • Rifleman819

    CAFOD-an organisation that rouses very mixed feelings with Catholic parishes.

  • Nicolas Bellord

    “Independent expert advice”. And just what is that? We all know that in the financial world it just means “you scratch my back, and I will scratch yours”. They just bid each other up. Is it not about time that we distinguished between real charities and financial charities. Examples of the former are those were the workers just received bed and board e.g. numerous orders of sisters.

    • Rob

      “Independent expert advice”. And just what is that?

      - I guess it means finding out what other charities (and perhaps non-charities) pay people for comparable work so as to get an idea of what they might need to offer to attract the right people

  • Michael Petek

    I think what CAFOD has in mind in terms of Gospel values is: “To him that hath shall be given.”

  • Gpa No Name

    Not only is Cafod operating in a difficult economic climate it is also operating in a competitive market situation in attracting donations to sustain its work. In these circumstances I would suggest Cafod requires highly skilled and competent people to lead it in a complex and complicated world. Cafod will need to pay these people appropriately and I am sure it is doing just that.

  • Lynda

    There is a great onus on Catholic charities to spend money requested in donations with great care, not spending any of it on that which is not necessary to do that which the donors have given in support of.

  • Mr Grumpy

    I’m disappointed that you’ve taken this as an opportunity to write a bash-the-Tabletistas post, not least because it will surely rebound on you.

    There are certainly legitimate questions to be asked about CAFOD’s top salaries. However, on the one hand Chris Bain’s £90,000 is significantly less than his opposite numbers in comparable secular charities (also Christian Aid) get. And on the other hand the top job in Aid to the Church in Need, a charity which is a fraction of the size of CAFOD, pays over £90,000. As a regular ACN donor I’d very much like to know why, and I would hope that you would too. What’s sauce for the goose…

  • Genty

    Aren’t charities supposed to be the counterweight to market forces? I keep hearing that to attract the best people and to reward high rollers who want to give something back to the community you have to dole out bucketloads of cash.
    Apart from the first argument being completely bogus, wouldn’t the latter predicate taking a bit of a cut in salary?

  • [...] Chairman.  And IF we can get 390 people to give a pound a week for a thousand weeks, we could fund six top CAFOD employees for the year.  Come on people, dig deep.  Those condoms won’t just give out [...]

  • Michael Jarmulowicz

    Let us put this in perspective. Cafod’s recently published accounts shows that last year they were responsible for spending £51 million. The last accounts I saw for Westminster diocese (2011) shows that one employee (I assume financial director) was paid between £70-80K, and 3 between £60-70K, and that was for Westminster diocese’s spend of £33 million.
    Responsibility for that amount of money requires professional governance and we need to attract the right calibre of person to take that responsibility.
    I can imagine the outcry if CAFOD or similar Catholic or Church charity mismanaged its funds because it was run by well meaning but amateur individuals.

  • A&B

    Choose your own Charity to support, with less overheads. There is a certain Scottish one feeding school children!

  • Pat

    I’m sorry that these people were duped, but the information about CAFOD being dodgy has been in the public domain for many years. Contributing to CAFOD is a sin.

    • Sonja

      Pat — that was an amazing rant against CAFOD in 2005. I have not yet read it all — but get the gist. It made me do a quick google search to try and find out who runs CAFOD today, it seems at the ecclesiastic level the same people are on the board of trustees.
      I didn’t find the current CEO — but I did find a grumble about CAFOD admin in 2010 (they ruffled the feathers of a Telegraph journo):

      The discussions it inspired was more interesting than the admin blunder highlighted in the blog, Again feeding on the remuneration paid to the Charity sector. I happen to agree with the entry below. — the numbers are getting bigger but the core debate is the same. Hopefully Pope Francis evident humility starts rubbing off elsewhere — such as CAFOD and the clerics who support it.

      3 years ago
      Charities have become an “industry” in Britain – it is actually a career path for ambitious people who would like to earn 2, 3, or 4 times the national average salary. I doubt CAFOD actually tells people “the first £13 million will be spent on ourselves, and then we will spend £1.5m on consultancies, and only if we actually raise more than £15m will any charitable work at all be done”. It is very far from being part of the “voluntary sector”. Oatsy, you suggest that unless the salary were above £70K, no one could be found to be director of CAFOD. What about a volunteer? What about pro bono work? What about a competent person doing a few years work for minimal pay in order to make a contribution? Actually, I think you are wrong: it would be possible to build a charity that was run other than for personal profit. Orders of monks down through the century have done charitable works without demanding to be paid hugely inflated amounts. Actually, Oatsy, read the Gospels. Jesus railed against the Pharisees – and they correspond well to people who make money out of other people’s charitable feelings.

  • freboniusthe2

    How can one expect that the bishops crack down on the pill, when they are contributing to their blog!!!!!

  • ms Catholic state

    I never give to CAFOD….and I resent the way they have collared Catholic parishes and Catholic schools to raise funds for them. The only thing I see that is Catholic about CAFOD….is their target supporters, who are Catholics.

    I wish all parishes would support the Little Way Association and Aid to the Church in Need instead. These charities not only feed the body….but also the soul, and help in missionary work and spreading the Faith.

    • Rob

      The Little Way association is a great charity. They make no deduction for administration meaning all your donations go to help the poor.

      ACN. I am not so sure. As Mr Grumpy says their boss gets £90k+

  • Michael B Rooke

    The high levels of remuneration of chief executives may stem from umbrella organisations such as Association of Chief Executives of Voluntary Organisations (ACEVO).

    Subscription fees might be gauged when it is considered that stated membership is over 2000 “We have over 2000 members” and “Full time staff: 20; Paid staff: 20”

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