April 21, 2006

Shining a spotlight on church finances

Boston Herald

By Boston Herald editorial staff
Friday, April 21, 2006 - Updated: 12:24 AM EST

By opening its books to parishioners and the public this week, the Archdiocese of Boston has finally thrown open the windows to let the breeze blow through. For a church accustomed to concealing its ledgers behind heavy wooden doors, it was long overdue.

Had the church been this forthcoming in the past, this willing to allow the faithful (the very people who finance the operation) to see the business end of things, the situation might never have grown so dire.

As Cardinal Sean O’Malley promised (and without needing a new state law) the news is now there for all to see - and it is bad, indeed. “I think it’s quite obvious that our situation is urgent, is dire,” O’Malley said.

The archdiocese is $46 million in the red, perhaps the largest deficit of any diocese ever. Dwindling donations in the wake of the sexual abuse crisis and declining attendance; pension and health care; and maintaining aging buildings have cost the church dearly.

Posted by kshaw at April 21, 2006 08:26 AM