January 25, 2006

Faith leaders ally against financial disclosure bill


By Michael Paulson, Globe Staff | January 25, 2006

The legislative battle over a proposed requirement that religious denominations and congregations publicly disclose their finances has provoked an unusual development in interfaith relations, with non-Catholic religious leaders expressing public sympathy for Catholics critical of the Archdiocese of Boston even as they find themselves allied with archdiocesan officials on Beacon Hill.

In multiple interviews this week, religious leaders said that they understand why Roman Catholics are frustrated with archdiocesan leadership and that religious institutions, including the archdiocese, should disclose their finances.

But the religious leaders said they will fight in the Legislature, and, if necessary, in the courts against any effort by government to require such disclosure.

''We understand the frustration and the anger of the supporters of the bill and certainly support their efforts to accomplish what they want to accomplish," said Bishop Roy ''Bud" Cederholm Jr. of the Episcopal Diocese of Massachusetts. ''The bill asks something that the archdiocese needs to do. But people need to work within their own denomination and not look to the government to resolve their own internal issues."

Posted by kshaw at January 25, 2006 02:10 PM