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Title: ArchdiocesanFinancial Transparency and Accountability

The Council accepted this proposal on June 5, 2012! 

Type of proposal: Recommendation
Date of submission: 4/13/12

Date of initial Council decision:  June 5, 2012
Initial Council decision: Approved

Date of Hearing on Transparency and Accountability in this Archdiocese: November 15, 2012; Royal Cliff, 2280 Cliff Road, Eagan, 7:00 p.m.

Date of Approval for Publication:  April 2, 2013

Current status: Published--See Publications


Proponents:CCCR Resource Team on Financial Transparency and Accountability

Members: Bob Beutel, Bruce Carlson, Frank Goetz (dec.) George Kohler, Bernie Rodel, Eileen Rodel, Paula Ruddy, Benton Randolph, Dave Gibson, Mary Woida


We recommend that the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis, its parishes and subordinate entities, adopt and embrace the Standards for Excellence promulgated by the National Leadership Roundtable on Church Management (NLRCM).

We propose that the Council hold a community hearing to discern the sense of the faithful with regard to financial transparency and accountability in this Archdiocese.  The data gathered at the hearing will be used in the position paper justifying this recommendation.

We make this recommendation for the following reasons:The institutional church is a means to the end of uniting the church community in carrying out the mission of Jesus--to manifest God’s love for the world. The health of the church of the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis is dependent upon the faithful and productive stewardship of the contributions of the people and the archdiocesan assets. Good stewardship can best be accomplished through an open process of decision-making and thorough, transparent reporting. The Church’s mission is jeopardized when there is Archdiocesan secrecy, refusal to answer questions, and over-generalized reporting of income and expense in the financial arena, the unjust treatment of employees in the human services arena, and failure to communicate with laity in the general management of the archdiocese. These are all detrimental to the trust that must exist between the Vatican-appointed bishop of a U.S. diocese and the people whose contributions support him.   The US Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) issued a pastoral letter in 1992, Stewardship: A Disciple’s Response, on which the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis relies to remind Catholics of their duty to support not only their parishes but the Archdiocese as well:

Diocese: The diocese is not merely an administrative structure but instead joins communities called parishes into a ‘local church’ and unites its people in faith, worship, and service. The same spirit of personal responsibility in which a Catholic approaches his or her parish should extend to the diocese and be expressed in essentially the same ways: generous material support and self-giving.

Though not quoted in the summary available on the internet, the pastoral letter also calls upon dioceses themselves to be good stewards, calling for sound business practice as a fundamental of good stewardship as well as adherence to the “most stringent ethical, legal and fiscal standards.”

           The National Leadership Roundtable and the Standards of Excellence:

The Leadership Roundtable is a national organization initiated by laypeople in the fields of business management to assist parishes, dioceses, and Catholic non-profits in implementing standards of excellence in management practices

Founded in March 2005 and headquartered in Washington D.C., NLRCM has partnered with the Standards for Excellence Institute to certify a parish, a diocese or a Catholic non-profit corporation that joins the Partners in Excellence Program and fully implements the standards. The NLRCM provides resources-- materials, assessment tools, advice, and networking-- for its Partners program.

There are 55 standards, based on 8 principles. Each parish or diocese or non-profit is asked to analyze its own operation and address a limited number of standards at a time. The standards apply to all three areas of fiscal accountability, human resources, and general management.

The code on which the program is based highlights “fundamental values—such as honesty, integrity, fairness, respect, trust, compassion, responsibility, and accountability.” It is “fully compliant with canon law and prescribes a set of best practices for the well-managed parish, diocese, and Catholic non-profit”.

           The 8 principles underlying the Standards of Excellence for a diocese are as follows:

Dioceses are established to continue the mission of the Catholic Church in particular geographic locations and carry out this mission through specific ministry program activities. Dioceses should have well-defined and locally adapted mission statements, and their ministry programs should effectively and efficiently work toward achieving these mission statements. Dioceses have an obligation to ensure ministry program effectiveness and to devote their resources to achieving its stated purpose.

Dioceses are governed by the bishop who is required by canon law to establish certain advisory councils. The college of consultors, finance council and presbyteral (priests) council are all required by canon law. Canon law further encourages the establishment of a pastoral council. In some matters of major import, the bishop requires the consent of the finance council and the college of consultors. Effective diocesan advisory bodies should serve to further the mission of the diocese, establish management policies and procedures, ensure that adequate human resources (volunteer and/or paid staff) and financial resources (earned income, grants, and charitable contributions) are available, and actively monitor the diocese’s financial and programmatic performance.

Both clergy and laity who serve on diocesan staff, either in paid positions or as volunteers, should act in the best interest of the diocese, rather than in furtherance of personal interests or the interests of third parties. Dioceses should have policies in place, and should routinely and systematically implement those policies, to prevent actual, potential, or perceived conflicts of interest.

A diocese’s relationship to its ministerial personnel, both clergy and lay, both paid and volunteer, is fundamental to its ability to achieve its mission. The roles and responsibilities for bishops and priests are contained within canon law. Volunteers occupy a special place in dioceses, serving in governance, administrative and programmatic capacities. Diocesan human resource policies should address both clergy and laity, paid staff and volunteers, and should be fair, establish clear expectations, and provide for meaningful and effective performance evaluation.

Dioceses must practice sound financial management and comply with a diverse array of legal and regulatory requirements, including those of canon law. Financial systems should assure that accurate financial records are kept and that the organization’s financial resources are used in furtherance of its religious mission. Dioceses should conduct periodic reviews to address regulatory and liability concerns.

Although dioceses are private entities, they operate in the name of the Church in service to members and the community at large, with support from the faithful and the general public. As such, all dioceses should provide the faithful and the public with information about their mission, ministry program activities, and finances. A diocese should also be accessible and responsive to members of the faithful and members of the public who express interest in their affairs.

Dioceses depend on charitable fundraising for the support of their work. All fundraising activities should be conducted on a foundation of truthfulness and responsible stewardship. Diocesan fundraising policies should be consistent with its mission, compatible with its organizational capacity, respectful of the interests and intentions of donors and prospective donors, and in compliance with applicable canon law.

Dioceses provide an important vehicle through which individuals may chose to organize and work together to improve their communities. Therefore they should represent Catholic Social Teaching and the interests of the people they serve through public education and public policy advocacy, as well as by encouraging clergy, staff, volunteers and the faithful to participate in the public life of the community.

The Standards for Excellence can be found at

In the interests of full disclosure, Catholic Coalition for Church Reform (CCCR) has signed on to implement the Standards in its own organization as a Catholic non-profit. Another Catholic reform organization, FutureChurch, endorses the NLRCM in the following words: “Encourage your parish, diocese or Catholic non-profit organization to become a “Partner in Excellence” with the National Leadership Roundtable. Catholic entities commit to implementing Standards for Excellence, which describe how Catholic dioceses, parishes and nonprofits should act to be ethical and accountable in their program operations, governance, human resources, financial management and fundraising. The dioceses of Gary, Indiana, Anchorage, Alaska, and many parishes, and non-profit organizations have already become “Partners in Excellence. The Leadership Roundtable does not charge for these services."  See

Date of initial Council decision:  June 5, 2012
Initial Council decision: Approved

Date of Hearing on Transparency and Accountability in this Archdiocese: November 15, 2012; Royal Cliff, 2280 Cliff Road, Eagan, 7:00 p.m.


What: Hearing on the need for financial transparency and accountability in our Archdiocese
When: November 15, 2012, 7:00 p.m.
Where: Royal Cliff, 2280 Cliff Road, Eagan.
(Highway 77 to Cliff Road, West one block to Slater, South on Slater one block; turn West to Royal Cliff. Entrance on the West side of the building.)
Introduction: Jim Moudry, CCCR Board
Testimony: You and other Catholics who want to be heard,
One Step Forward: Jim Lundholm-Eades, National
Leadership Roundtable on Church Management
Cost: Free will offering
Sponsored by: Council of the Baptized and Catholic Coalition for Church Reform (CCCR)
Come and invite your fellow Catholics
Council Council of the of the Baptized Baptized
20 2nd ST. NE, Suite 2304, Minneapolis, MN 55413
Serving Catholics in the Archdiocese of St. Paul/Minneapolis

Follow the Money -Do you know where your  money goes in our Archdiocese?
Vatican II Catholics call for openness, transparency, and accountability.
This is your opportunity to speak up. Are you joyfully giving your share to the financial needs of your parish and your Archdiocese? If not, how do you think and feel about it?
Catholic Coalition for Church Reform (CCCR) hears many laments of people struggling with their consciences over their duty of stewardship. On the 50th anniversary of the opening of the Second Vatican Council, we have asked our Council of the Baptized, the collegial voice for Catholics in the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis, to hold a formal hearing.
We want to gather the sense of the faithful on the need for financial transparency and accountability in local church management. The Council will bring the data we gather at the hearing to the attention of the Archbishop, who is not only the CEO of all Archdiocesan corporations, but also our spiritual leader.
We see this hearing as Vatican II in action.


Council of the Baptized, Research/Drafting Committee


Recommendation to the Archdiocese to join the National Leadership Roundtable on Church Management


For 4 years now, concerned Catholics have been meeting together, listening to each other and trying to put their fingers on the main issues causing lay alienation from the Archdiocese, people leaving the Catholic Church, and financial contributions going down. Sponsored by the Catholic Coalition for Church Reform (CCCR), the Resource Team on Archdiocesan Financial Transparency and Accountability brought its concern to the Council of the Baptized in April, 2012.The Council accepted the proposal to recommend to the Archdiocese that it join the National Leadership Roundtable on Church Management.


The Roundtable advocates standards of excellence for dioceses, parishes, and Catholic non-profits.It provides resources and assessment tools for its members to develop best practices in financial transparency as well as openness in other management areas.Several dioceses in the U.S. and several parishes in the St. Paul and Minneapolis Archdiocese belong to the NLRCM as does CCCR. For further information, please go to


To assess the concerns of the faithful about supporting their parishes and the Archdiocese financially, the Council’s Research/Drafting Committee held a hearing November 15, 2012, 7-9 p.m., 2280 Cliff Road in Eagan, MN.Approximately 100 people from 23 parishes attended this session.


Coming as it did right after the hotly contested election which saw controversial Archdiocesan efforts for the Marriage Amendment, there were of course many sad or angry comments about the use of Archdiocesan funds in that political campaign and about personal agonies in response to certain actions and words of Church leaders about gay people. Those concerns will be addressed to the Archbishop in other communications.


There were, however, significant concerns expressed about


Archdiocesan finances, as voiced in their answers to a 14-question survey, open-ended written questions, and an “open mike” session in which 15 people stood and voiced their thoughts and feelings. Here are the main issues surfaced:

1) 98% (85 of 87) want the Archdiocese to commit to the well-tested standards of excellence in openness and transparency represented by active membership in the National Leadership Roundtable on Church Management

2) 89% (77 of 87) would attend a question and answer session with the Archdiocesan CFO or his representatives

3) 95% (83 of 87) want their parishes to be financially secure, but 81% (72 of 87) are “conflicted” that part of their financial contribution goes to the Archdiocese. This seems to be a matter of lack of openness and completeness in how the Archdiocese communicates its financial status and actual expenditures to the people.

4) There is confusion and anger among those whose parishes have been directed not to do fund-raising for parish capital improvements because the Archdiocese has priority fund-raising now.

5) One person, concerned about parish budget shortfalls, counted and reported that of 72 parishes reporting their YTD budgets in their bulletins, 71% (55 of 72) reported being behind budget, to a total of $1,194,000. He raised the question, “How do such parish shortfalls get resolved?”

6) Reacting to the Archdiocesan financial report published online, several voiced concern about the percentage spent on administration vs. the “preferential option for the poor.”

7)A deep concern was voiced over pension funding for priests and the pension plan change for lay employees in the Archdiocese.

8)Finally, the well-publicized $1 million spent by the Archbishop on the marriage amendment political campaign has resulted in a widespread resentment and distrust of how Archdiocesan funds are spent, and a reluctance to support Archdiocesan financial appeals.

This is a due process issue for an organization based on voluntary financial support. As one person put it, “If we had transparency, accountability and accessibility in financial matters, it will help to rebuild the trust that was lostand squandered over the use of Archdiocesan funds for political causes and the problem of sexual abuse payouts….” Clearly, there is an opportunity here, as we say in the Mass, “…for our good and the good of all God’s church.”



People in attendance:approximately 100


People responding to survey: 87


Commitment to Roman Catholicism

Strong commitment  51

Somewhat committed 20

Less and lesscommitted 10

Not Roman Catholic 2

No answer 4


People registered in an archdiocesan parish:  74


This is significant because for those in non-juridical parishes the contribution to the archdiocese does not apply.


Of the 74 people registered in an Archdiocesan parish:

withholding funds  9

considering withholding funds  3

contributing to their parish general collections   62


Of the 62 contributing regularly to the general parish collection:

“I want my parish to be financialy secure enough to continue operating at its current level.”

Very much   54

Somewhat   7

Doesn’t particularly matter   1

“I don’t want to contribute to the Archdiocese through the parish assessment”  27


“I feel conflicted that part of my financial contribution to my parish goes to support the archdiocese.”

Very much conflicted   26

Somewhat conflicted   29

Not at all conflicted  6

No Answer  1


“I value the archdiocesan role in ordaining and assigning priests to preside at the parish Eucharist.”

Very much  9

Somewhat  23

Not at all     15

Not sure it is necessary  12

No answer   3


“I value the services other than assigning sacramental ministers that the Archdiocese provides for my parish.”

Very much  6

Somewhat  21

Not at all   17

Not aware of them  18


“I value the archdiocesan role in unifying the church community in this 12 county area.”

(no distinction between role and current archbishop’s performance)

Very much  5

Somewhat  20

Not at all    25

Never thought about it  12

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Council of the Baptized Open Forum, May 8, 2018


The Open Forum is held at Gloria Dei Lutheran Church, 700 S. Snelling Avenue in St. Paul. 

Continuing our discussion of Vatican II spirituality on May 8,  Nancy Gotto and Bonnie Strand, Council of the Baptized members, with Catherine Michaud, C.S.J., will be discussing the People of God: Sharing in the roles of Jesus, Priest, Prophet, and King.

What does Vatican II say about the shared mission of Christ? 
Does Baptism really establish us as a royal priesthood? 
Have you embraced your anointed prophet yet?   

Please join us.

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CCCR/Council of the Baptized Lay Network

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for a strong lay voice on matters of concern in our Archdiocese. 


Please register your name, email address, home address, and parish (if any). 

We need your home address to place you geographically in the Archdiocese.  Thanks..