Boston’s financial disclosure

Boston’s financial disclosure

The Archdiocese of Boston has released its Financial Transparency report, a very large and comprehensive set of documents on the financial status of the archdiocese. Some are saying that this is the most revealing look ever given by a diocese into its financial situation. With a quick glimpse through it, some things jump out. First, that there’s a $46.3 million deficit. Also that since 2003 the archdiocese has spent $150 million on Scandal-related expenses, $127 million of it in settlements.

Cardinal O’Malley’s letter notes that money alone does not define the Church or her mission, although to hear some politicians and some Catholic groups (“cough, cough… Voice of the Faithful ... cough, cough”), you’d think that the Church is simply a money-processing machine. The cardinal notes that it isn’t just anger over the Scandal that has hurt fundraising but also the generation-long abandonment of the Church by many Catholics.

Regarding that $150 million in abuse-related spending, the archdiocese once again says that no money from parish closings or the general operating budget of the archdiocese were used to pay for it. Instead, it was funded by sale of archdiocesan real estate—mainly the chancery grounds and cardinal’s residence, insurance funds, and donations specific to the purpose. But really let’s acknowledge that money is fungible and if they didn’t have to use the tens of millions of dollars from the sale of the chancery on the Scandal, they could have used it for the deficit.

Parish closing funds

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1 comment
  • I spend some time reviewing dioceses financials as part of my job of insuring them. Based upon my review of the audited financials, I would say that in my professional opinion, from what I can see in these reports, that the archdiocese of Boston is doing a very good job of managing and financing its various risks, including clerical liability.