O’Malley answers demands for transparency

O’Malley answers demands for transparency

Sometimes it’s never enough. The calls for financial transparency from the Church (and isn’t finances usually the big one they ask for) grew so loud and so Archbishop Sean O’Malley of Boston has pledged to release details of the complete financial picture of the archdiocese. But that doesn’t satisfy those making the calls for transparency.

See, they don’t want voluntary compliance. They want control.

‘‘A voluntary policy can be changed by anyone, this year or next year or anytime,” said Walsh, a West Roxbury Democrat. ‘‘We want to make sure the taxpayers and donors are protected in statute.”

That’s state Sen. Marian Walsh, the once solidly pro-life Catholic senator who put her finger to the political winds, saw which way they were blowing, and decided to back same-sex marriage and put the screws to the Church.

Walsh’s legislation, which would require all religious organizations to file annual financial reports and a list of real estate holdings with the attorney general, is widely viewed as a test of how much clout the Catholic Church retains with the state’s political establishment.

It’s not about doing the right thing or meeting a need. It’s about testing the Church’s clout. Oh so sorry for all the non-Catholic churches that will now be burdened by this law.

Quite honestly, the state of the Church’s finances is fairly low on my list of priorities. I’m suspicious of those who’s primary complaint is that they don’t know where the Church spends its money. Don’t get me wrong; good financial stewardship is important, as evidenced by Jesus’ repeated mention of it in parables.

But the biggest problems facing the Church are not financial, they are spiritual and theological. How we are spending the treasury and how many buildings the Church owns and operates are less important to me than the fact that pews are empty, many Masses bear little resemblance to authentic Catholic liturgy, and we have too many bishops acting like managers and not like shepherds.

It’s not just the clergy who need to get their priorities straight. A whole lot of laypeople do too.

1 comment
  • “See, they donso, but I seriously folks….

    I pray it turns out to be verifiable. The positive impact this can have on the Diocese…plus the publicity would make the Anglicans / Episcopalians sit up and take notice, especially those considering making the jump to Rome.