Archive for category Catholic Church Finances

Study ranks dioceses’ online financial transparency; Sacramento on top / National Catholic Reporter

Transparency in diocesan financial statements is a means to keep dioceses accountable while also encouraging donations, Margaret Roylance, a member of the Voice of the Faithful committee that put together the study, told NCR. (National Catholic Reporter)

Separated by a continent, the dioceses of Sacramento, California, and Camden, New Jersey, are also divided by degrees of financial transparency.

“Parishioners in Sacramento can find out where their donations go with the click of a button on the diocesan website. Those in the Diocese of Camden, which covers southern New Jersey, will have a more difficult time.

“That is a takeaway from a study on financial transparency undertaken recently by Voice of the Faithful, a church watchdog group. The study surveyed dioceses and archdioceses across the country, rating them from most transparent to most opaque. The study was based on how much financial information is accessible on diocesan websites.”

Peter Feuerherd, Naitonal Catholic Reporter — Read more …

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Archdiocese of New York priests receive biting letter on finances from Cardinal Dolan, while Hoboken parish kicks through veil of financial secrecy

Cardinal Dolan contemplates selling NY chancery in biting letter to priests
By Joshua J. McElwee, National Catholic Reporter

New York Cardinal Timothy Dolan has informed his clergy he is considering moving his archdiocese’s headquarters out of the building it now occupies in midtown Manhattan in a bid to save money and to correct what he says is an ‘unfair and inaccurate perception of the archdiocese as some bloated, money-grabbing corporation.’ The cardinal revealed the possible move in a highly charged letter to his priests and deacons in late November in which he also takes the clergy to task for complaining about how the archdiocese collects money from its parishes and exhorts them to challenge parishioners to donate more frequently and abundantly.”

Hoboken parish kicks through veil of financial secrecy
By Peter Feuerherd, National Catholic Reporter

Every year, the people of Ss. Peter and Paul parish here are presented with an annual report that spells out, in clear language and inviting format, an inventory of how their church is doing. The graphics are sparkling, but there are few pious sentiments. Lots of facts and figures. It’s more like a report to corporate shareholders than to a typical Catholic parish congregation. That is deliberate, says Msgr. Robert S. Meyer, pastor of the Catholic Community of Ss. Peter and Paul, located in the middle of a square-mile urban enclave on the Hudson River, just minutes from lower Manhattan via train. The city of 50,000 has boomed over the past few decades, in the process emerging as the dictionary definition of gentrification.”

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Twin Cities archdiocese puts forth amended bankruptcy plan / National Catholic Reporter

An amended bankruptcy plan for the St. Paul-Minneapolis archdiocese would potentially double the funds set aside for its creditors to the tune of as much as $133 million. Despite that increase, attorneys representing the 440 claimants say that the archdiocese’s contribution to the trust falls well short of its total assets, what they estimate above $1 billion, as does the per-person payout when compared to past similar settlements …

“While ‘at first blush’ the new proposal seems like a lot of money, it ‘falls so far short’ when compared to settlements in other dioceses, Jeff Anderson, an attorney for the creditors, said at a press conference Tuesday (Nov. 15) afternoon outside the federal courthouse in Minneapolis.

“‘This is a sham. It is deficient, and it’s misleading, and so we really have to call it out for what it is,’ he said.”

By Brian Roewe, National Catholic Reporter — Click here to read the rest of this story.

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Judge rejects bid to tap parishes, schools in archdiocese bankruptcy / Star Tribune

Catholic parishes, schools and other church properties cannot be included among the assets in the bankruptcy of the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis, a federal judge ruled Thursday (Jul. 28).

“U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Robert Kressel denied the request by a committee representing clergy abuse victims to consolidate the assets of various entities linked to the archdiocese, which would have increased funds available to settle victims’ claims.

“The decision was met with relief by Catholic parishes and a pledge to appeal the ruling by the victims’ committee.

“Archbishop Bernard Hebda said he was pleased with the decision.”

By Jean Hopfensperger, Star Tribune — Click here to read the rest of this story.

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Bookkeeper denies theft as U.S. church struggles with money controls / Associated Press on Cruxnow.com

A bookkeeper has pleaded not guilty to charges that she stole nearly $200,000 from a Catholic church and school in Albert Lea, marking the latest incident suggesting to some observers a problem with lax financial controls in American Catholicism …

“The latest charge of shoddy financial controls comes against the backdrop of a 2006 study by Villanova University, which found that 85 percent of dioceses in the United States had experienced some form of embezzlement within the previous five years, mostly at the parish level …

“A retired U.S. Postal Service inspector and lifelong Catholic named Michael W. Ryan has examined money management in the Church in the United States. His estimate is that Catholic parishes in the the country may lose as much as $90 million annually due to inadequate controls over the collection plate.”

By Associated Press on Cruxnow.com — Click here to read the rest of this story.

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Pulling the plug on audit means gut-check for Vatican reform / Cruxnow.com

When Pope Francis’ landmark project of financial reform was announced two years ago, one lynch-pin was the idea that the world would no longer just to have to take the Vatican’s word for it in terms of how much money it has and where it’s going.

“Instead there would be a credible audit carried out according to generally accepted business standards in the 21st century. That step, officials said, would represent a revolution in the direction of transparency and accountability.

As it turns out, it’s now a revolution delayed.

Crux has learned that on April 12, Italian Archbishop Giovanni Angelo Becciu sent a letter to all Vatican entities informing them that an audit being performed by the global firm Pricewaterhouse Coopers (PwC) has been ‘suspended immediately,’ and that any letters of authorization those entities have already issued to permit the transmission of financial data to PwC are to be revoked.”

By John L. Allen, Jr., Cruxnow.com — Click here to read the rest of this article.

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Vatican probes funding of cardinal’s lavish apartment / Religion News Service

The Vatican has launched an official investigation into the funding of the restoration of the apartment of the former secretary of state, Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone.

“The investigation involves two executives from Rome’s Bambini Gesu Children’s Hospital — former chairman Giuseppe Profiti and former treasurer Massimo Spina – who are being investigated for allegedly misappropriating hospital funds to pay for the restoration.

“Greg Burke, deputy director of the Vatican press office, confirmed the probe Thursday. He said Bertone was not under investigation.”

By Josephine McKenna, Religion News Service — Click here to read the rest of this story.

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