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 Management: A Guide to Best Practices, p. 1).Temporal goods are defined as all property both movable and immovable that is owned by the Church. Temporal goods enable the archdiocese to carry out the ministries of the Church for the benefit of the faithful. 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:
Revenue and income
Expenses and disbursements
Accounting and reporting
Asset and investment management (loans)
All locations and every person, whether lay or clergy, paid or volunteer, have an essential duty to manage, protect, and enhance the goods and patrimony of the Church. Violations of or a disregard for the duty of faithful, honest, accountable stewardship 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 password-protected 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 email@example.com.