April 22, 2006

OUR VIEW: Cardinal O’Malley and transparency

The Patriot Ledger

The disclosure Wednesday by Cardinal Sean O’Malley of the Archdiocese of Boston’s finances was remarkable by any standard.

A church’s finances - any church’s books - are not subject to public disclosure laws. And an attempt to force religious institutions to open their books was wisely rejected by the Legislature earlier this year.

The subject of church finances has become entwined with the years-long scandal over sex abuse of children by Catholic priests in the Boston Archdiocese. The Catholic Church had seen the numbers in the pews dwindle for decades, which resulted in sliding revenues for operating expenses. Then came the scandal and the archdiocese was sued for hundreds of millions of dollars, which had a devastating effect on church revenue. Catholics infuriated by the scandal and the reaction by Cardinal Bernard Law began boycotting the Cardinal’s Appeal, the annual fundraiser for the archdiocese.

Posted by kshaw at April 22, 2006 07:00 AM