SCRANTON – A lay organization of faithful Catholics has named the Diocese of Scranton as being one of the most financially transparent dioceses in the United States.
For five years, Voice of the Faithful has reviewed all U.S. Catholic dioceses’ online financial transparency. The group’s 2021 report identifies the Diocese of Scranton as one of only four dioceses to receive an overall score of 100% in regards to transparency. This year’s other top-scoring dioceses included Bridgeport, Charleston and Orlando.
The Voice of the Faithful’s fifth annual review of all dioceses was conducted between June 1 and Aug. 31 by three independent reviewers and their report, “Measuring and Ranking Diocesan Online Financial Transparency: 2021 Report,” was released on Nov. 12, 2021.
The Diocese of Scranton’s score increased from 90% in 2020 to 100% during this year’s review.
“Financial transparency is extremely important because it not only fosters trust among the faithful but also helps to protect against fraud and ensures that funds donated for the Church actually go to those purposes for which they are intended,” Most Reverend Joseph C. Bambera, Bishop of Scranton, said.
In its report, Voice of the Faithful noted that Scranton is one of the six dioceses covered in the 2018 Pennsylvania grand jury report.
“Some of the six have worked hard to improve transparency. Scranton is clearly one of them,” the report noted.
Voice of the Faithful scores dioceses’ financial transparency practices on a scale from zero to 100. The organization awards each diocese points for publishing a variety of financial documents, including audited financial reports, information about the diocese’s cathedraticum (tax collected from individual parishes) and a current list of members on the diocesan finance council.
Information on the Diocese of Scranton’s financial policies and guidelines, audited financial reports and finance council members can be found at dioceseofscranton.org/directory/offices/financial-services.
The Voice of the Faithful’s 2021 report shows that overall, diocesan online financial transparency scores increased from 65% in 2020 to 69% in 2021.
Voice of the Faithful 2021 reviewers concluded that, “Although significant progress has been achieved in the last decade, and in particular during the last three years, members of the church in the U.S. must be vigilant if they wish to prevent financial mismanagement and abuse.”