The audit, which
covered the 2004 and 2005 fiscal years, also shows assets of nearly
$330 million, but most of the money is restricted or earmarked for
According to the audit, the annual appeal donations that totaled $15.5 million in 2001 dropped to $11.6 million in 2005.
The decrease in
revenue over previous years puts Catholic programs and ministries at
risk “have never been more needed,” wrote Cardinal Sean O'Malley in a
letter to parishioners that accompanies the 1,000-page audit report.
the decrease to “the anger over the sexual abuse crisis and the closing
of parishes” and said the community must focus “on the long process of
healing” ahead. He also referred to the drop in mass attendance, the
low numbers of priests and fewer students at Catholic school. He said
the trends must be reversed to create new Catholic leaders in the
church and society at large.
The audit was
conducted in part because critics had demanded more information about
the archdiocese's finances after a massive settlement in 2003 for more
than 550 people who were sexually abused by priests.
The audit also
follows through on a promise Cardinal O'Malley made for better
financial disclosure last fall, when the state Legislature was debating
a bill that would have required all religious organizations to file
annual financial reports with the state. The bill was defeated in the
House in January.
Archdiocese of Boston released a two-year audit Wednesday that showed
it running a $46.3-million deficit, largely caused by the massive
sexual abuse scandal which erupted there in the early 2000’s.