37 Cath. Law. 117 (1996-1997)
Diocesan Asset Managment Strategies: The Civil Law Perspective

handle is hein.journals/cathl37 and id is 127 raw text is: DIOCESAN ASSET MANAGEMENT
STRATEGIES: THE CIVIL LAW
PERSPECTIVE
WILLIAM F. MCCARTHY*
The assessment of risk and return reminds me of a story
told by the late Cardinal O'Fiach, Primate of Ireland. The story
was about an old fisherman from the Arran Islands who came
into Galway to go to confession. The fisherman said to the
priest, Bless me father for I have sinned. It has been three
years since my last confession. The priest responded, My good
man, you can't wait three years to go to confession. You have an
obligation to make your Easter duty once a year. The fisherman
replied, Father, I'm out there in the Arran Islands and I came in
here to Galway to find a priest. I've got to get into my little boat
and I've got to row all the way across the water and the winds
blow and it's awful. The priest, in turn, said, But now there's
an airplane that comes in twice a week. A little airplane that
comes in and lands in Galway. You can get on that airplane and
come in here and go to confession. With that, the fisherman
replied, Father, I can't use that airplane to come in here to go to
confession. For venial sins it's too expensive and for mortal sins
it's too dangerous!
Just like the old fisherman, business corporations constantly
reconcile risk and expense. Indeed, business corporations regu-
larly question whether they should incorporate some portion of
their enterprise into a separate entity to insulate the remaining
. Member of the Massachusetts Bar. Partner in Ropes & Gray, Boston, Massa-
chusetts. A.B. cum laude, College of the Holy Cross, 1967; J.D. cum laude, Harvard
Law School, 1970.

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