A recently completed study reveals a wide disparity in online financial transparency for U.S. Roman Catholic dioceses. The study was conducted by the Finance Working Group of Voice of the Faithful®.
The working group’s review of all 177 U.S. diocesan websites shows a level of openness well below what could be reasonably expected of an organization anywhere near the size of the U.S. Catholic Church: 61 dioceses posted no financial data to their websites, and 75 dioceses did not post parish financial guidelines.
Overall, scores ranged from 10 to 59 out of a possible 60. The average overall score for all U.S. dioceses is 36 (60% if scoring were on a percentage basis). If the purpose of the study had been to measure the dioceses on a pass/fail basis, the overall score would mean that half of the dioceses failed to achieve a passing grade.
Click here to receive a link to the entire report, which includes exhibits detailing scores for each of the questions researchers used to judge degree of financial transparency.)