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WASHINGTON—U.S. bishops will vote during their Nov. 14-16 annual fall meeting in Baltimore to renew a resolution to support yearly voluntary financial reporting by a diocesan bishop to the archbishop who heads his ecclesiastical province.
The resolution has been proposed by the Committee on Canonical Affairs and Church Governance of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), chaired by Bishop Thomas John Paprocki of Springfield, Illinois. The resolution would be in effect from January 2012 through November 2016. The first such resolution was passed by the bishops in 2000. It was renewed by the bishops in 2004 and again in 2006.
The proposed resolution differs moderately from earlier versions approved by the bishops in that the preamble is more succinct, and the resolution requests “a statement that the finance council was consulted in accord with the prescriptions of canon law.” The substance of the proposed text remains the same as that of the current resolution.
According to the proposal, the resolution “acknowledges the legitimate rights of the diocesan bishop to administer the material resources of the diocese” yet “provides a vehicle for fraternal cooperation and support among all bishops of the province and assists the metropolitan archbishop in his own special solicitude for the suffragen dioceses.”
The resolution states that annually, at the end of the fiscal year, the diocesan bishop is to send a letter to his archbishop containing:
1.Names and professional titles of members of the diocesan finance council.
2.Dates on which the finance council met during the preceding fiscal year and since the end of that fiscal year.
3.A statement signed by finance council members and the finance officer stating that they have met, reviewed and discussed the (audited) financial statements of the diocese and the management letter, if any, for the fiscal year and have reviewed the management letter and recommendations made by the auditors.
4.A statement that the finance council was consulted in accord with the prescriptions of canon law.
The resolution requests that the metropolitan archbishop provide the same letter to the senior diocesan bishop in the province.
Canon law requires a diocesan bishop to consult his finance council on such matters as selecting and removing the diocesan finance officer and determining appropriate investment strategies for the endowments of pious foundations.
He must receive the consent of the finance council on such matters as undertaking non-routine activity that may have significant financial consequences for the diocese, and selling diocesan properties whose appraised value is over the minimum amount determined by the conference of bishops.
Coverage of the bishops’ meeting is open to credentialed media. Sessions open to media will be Monday, November14, and Tuesday, November 15. Media conferences will follow open sessions of the meeting. Reporters seeking to cover the meeting can download a credential application form at www.usccb.org/about/media-relations/upload/application-news-media-credentials.pdf and submit it by November 4 to firstname.lastname@example.org, fax to (202)541-3173, or mail to
Keywords: bishops, Catholic, United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, canon law, USCCB, finance
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