BALTIMORE (CNS) — As apostolic administrator of the Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston, West Virginia, Baltimore Archbishop William E. Lori announced July 17 that in working with the diocese’s finance council, he has directed a number of steps to strengthen financial stewardship and ensure proper checks and balances are enforced.
Some of these are underway, have been approved to begin or are completed. They include:
— Implementation of third-party reporting system for allegations against bishops (underway).
— The hiring of a new external auditing firm and publishing of the annual audit report (approved.
— Review and strengthening of diocesan finance policies (underway).
— Expanding the diocesan finance council, more than doubling its previous number, and increasing its meeting frequency to monthly (completed).
— Expanding the College of Consultors and increasing its meeting frequency to monthly (completed).
— The filing of papers with the state to dissolve “The Bishop’s Fund,” the discretionary fund established by the former bishop, Bishop Michael J. Bransfield (completed).
— More transparent review of all capital projects (completed).
— Rebalancing the distribution of resources in the diocese so that greater resources will remain with parishes (underway).
— Restructuring the diocesan school board (underway).
— Enhancing the training of advisory bodies (underway).
— Reviewing the administration of Wheeling Hospital and Wheeling Jesuit University (underway).
— Entering into a contract of sale for the former bishop’s home at 52 Elmwood Place in Wheeling (completed).
Archbishop Lori outlined the steps in a letter sent July 17 to Catholics in the diocese, which encompasses the whole state of West Virginia.
A new audit firm has been selected for the diocese: CLA (CliftonLarsonAllen) LLP — a national financial auditing firm that serves more than 30 dioceses across the country. This decision was made in coordination with the diocesan finance council.
The diocese also is reviewing the assessment formula for parishes.
“A number of changes have already been made to the assessment model of the diocese, used to fund parishes and missions throughout the state which cannot sufficiently provide for their own support. The new model benefits parishes, particularly those which support Catholic schools as well as smaller parishes in debt,” said a news release.
Gunty is associate publisher/editor of Catholic Review Media, the media arm of the Archdiocese of Baltimore.
In a time of crisis CatholicPhilly.com keeps the information flowing
During the current coronavirus crisis, you can help CatholicPhilly.com deliver the kind of news people need to know about the Catholic Church, especially in the Philadelphia region, and the world in which we live ― every day.
Budgets are tight at this time, and CatholicPhilly's is no different than those of most families. We make sure your donation in any amount will go a long way toward continuing our mission to inform, form in the Catholic faith and inspire the thousands of readers who visit every month.
Here is how you can help:
- A $100 gift allows us to present award-winning photos of Catholic life in our neighborhoods.
- A $50 gift enables us to cover a news event in a local parish, school or Catholic institution.
- A $20 gift lets us obtain solid faith formation resources that can deepen your spirituality and knowledge of the faith.
- A small, automated monthly donation means you can support us continually and easily.
Won't you consider making a gift today?
Please join in the church's vital mission of communications by offering a gift in whatever amount that you can ― a single gift of $40, $50, $100, or more, or a monthly donation. Your gift will strengthen the fabric of our entire Catholic community.
Make your donation by credit card here:
Or make your donation by check:
222 N. 17th Street
Philadelphia, PA 19103