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6.1 Overview

"The Church is responsible for the financial resources which have been entrusted to it. This responsibility includes safeguarding Church assets, exercising prudence in financial matters, accountability to those who provide monetary support to the Church and to regulatory authorities, and compliance with all civil regulations. As such, the Church is committed to the highest standards of fiscal integrity and accountability. Strong systems of internal controls are needed to safeguard assets by reducing the risk of fraud, misuse, waste or embezzlement. It is important that all diocesan officials and all employees within a diocese be sure that best financial practices are being followed. Best financial practices dictate that diocesan organizations review their policies and procedures in light of . . . continuing . . . and . . . recent developments" (Diocesan Financial Issues, p. I-1).

Temporal goods enable the archdiocese to fulfill the duty owed to the faithful in carrying out the ministries of the Church. Consequently, acquiring and administering parish, school, and other archdiocesan assets are part of daily reality in the life and operation of the archdiocese. Judicious, responsible, and efficient management that respects the essentially spiritual dimensions of Church ministry as well as the secular laws that apply to such matters are fundamental to this reality. To assist in the administration of temporal goods, the archdiocese has developed policies and procedures that reflect the principles of good stewardship articulated by the Gospels, canon law, and civil society.

This chapter is particularly focused on:

The chapter emphasizes the details and resources available for these matters, outlines policies and practical expectations, and emphasizes that every person, whether lay or clergy, paid or volunteer, has an essential duty to manage, protect, and enhance the goods and patrimony of the Church. This includes all locations and is intended to reflect the duties and policies inherent in both canon and civil law. The chapter reminds everyone that violations of or a disregard for these parameters is an affront to our faith and our community and may result, when appropriate, in discipline, removal, or a referral for civil, criminal, or canonical law sanctions or prosecution.

In this chapter, references to pastor include priest administrators and parish life directors or deacons who are the designated administrators for all matters not reserved to an ordained priest. Numerous resources in this chapter are available directly through links in the chapter; certain resources are available in password-protected format to designated persons. Questions concerning that site or any other matters in the chapter as well as suggestions and comments can be referred to the Financial Services Help Desk at 213-637-7500 or


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