KANSAS CITY (MO)
National Catholic Reporter
Oct. 28, 2019
By Peter Feuerherd
Catholics in the icy north of Anchorage, Alaska, know the warmth of financial transparency in their local church, while Catholics in tropical St. Thomas, Virgin Islands, are getting the cold shoulder.
Those two dioceses represent the polar opposites of this year’s financial transparency survey of American dioceses compiled by Voice of the Faithful. The Anchorage Archdiocese rated a perfect 100 score, while the St. Thomas Diocese rated the lowest, at 14 points. A total of 177 dioceses were rated.
This is the third year of studies on financial transparency compiled by Voice of the Faithful, which was founded in 2002 as a lay organization devoted to monitoring church management on sex abuse and finances.
“It’s a tale of two churches,” said Margaret Roylance, a Voice of the Faithful trustee and chair of the organization’s Finance Working Group, announcing the results of this year’s survey at the group’s annual conference here Oct. 19.
There have been measureable improvements in a number of dioceses, she said, particularly in Pennsylvania, where scores for the dioceses of Harrisburg and Scranton rose considerably, while the Philadelphia Archdiocese rated at the top, garnering a perfect score alongside Anchorage.
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