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Church finances in US: for 'deep pockets,' look to schools, health-care agencies

August 17, 2012

John Allen of the National Catholic Reporter analyzes the finances of the Catholic Church in the US, and finds that although it is commonly believed that bishops control most of the funds, the reality is more complicated.

Most contributions to the church flow through the parishes, Allen observes, and for most parishes, expenses run close to the level of revenues. Diocesan offices do have considerable funds at their disposals, but Catholic universities, hospital systems, and charitable agencies have even more money to spend.


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  • Posted by: lauriem5377 - Aug. 17, 2012 9:38 PM ET USA

    Don't parishes have to send a certain % of the annual parish income to the diocese for support of the Bishop (the cathedraticum)? It doesn't seem unusual for the largest % of monies to be where services are being provided (hospitals, schools, and charities). The only issue I see is to be sure that where Catholic dollars are flowing, it be to entities that are faithful to Catholic doctrine. On-going revelations about how money has been spent in certain cases shows much care needs to be taken.