Wednesday, March 03, 2004

Financial stewardship

Commonweal has a fine article expressing the need for greater financial disclosure in diocesan and parochial institutions. But David Gibson seems too sanguine in his belief that "Opening the church’s books involves no change in doctrine or theology, and the bishop or pastor would still have the final say on how diocesan or parish funds are spent." Nearly every diocese has its clerical despots who will fight any encroachment on their authority tooth and nail. Nearly every diocese has its Voice of the Faithful types who will take it as an opportunity to expand their agenda into every corner of the Church. It's the byproduct of teaching the "seamless garment" ideal. What Gibson recommends, however necessary, won't pass without a significant rumble in the ecclesiological jungle.