Manchester Diocese Delays Release of Financial Statement
Manchester, N.H. (AP) - The Diocese of Manchester Has Delayed Releasing Its Audited Financial Statement by Months to Make It More Complete
Foster's Daily Democrat [Manchester NH]
Downloaded May 2, 2003
Bishop John McCormack announced in February the diocese would release the statement by the end of March, but spokesman Pat McGee said Thursday it now will be within the next few months.
McCormack wants auditors to present a clear and comprehensive picture of diocesan finances, and they needed more time, McGee said.
"Rather than try to have it out now, we want to have it more complete," McGee said. "The bishop does want it done as soon as possible."
During an address in Concord in February, McCormack disclosed a plan to strengthen the Catholic Church in New Hampshire, including a vow to include the laity more in diocesan affairs. At the time, critics wondered how dioceses were allocating parishioner donations, and the financial statement likely would attempt to show how the Manchester diocese reached fiscal agreements with people sexually abused by priests.
The diocese has settled with many individual plaintiffs, and last year made two group civil settlements exceeding $6 million. The diocese has not used parish funds to settle civil litigation, including any money from the diocesan central fund, McGee said.
Parishes place money into the central fund and then borrow, at a rate lower than rates offered commercially, for the construction or repair of buildings.
The diocese has announced program cuts and layoffs and considered the sale of property, including the bishop's residence and a youth ministry retreat.
McGee said the diocese also lost revenue with its endowed funds because of the falling stock market.
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