Church disclosure bill clears Massachusetts Senate

.- The Massachusetts Senate overwhelmingly approved a bill that would require religious organizations to disclose their financial records annually, like all other nonprofit and charitable groups.

The Senate approved the bill 33-4, reported the Associated Press. Supporters of the bill have said the lack of transparency helped the Church in Massachusetts hide the sex abuse scandal from the public, and one way to prevent a repeat is to make all financial records public.

The bill will now head to the House.

Catholic dioceses and other religious organizations have voiced their opposition to the bill.

Last month, Archbishop Sean O'Malley of Boston pledged full disclosure of the archdiocese's finances, including the sources of all clergy sex abuse payments and the fiscal health of every parish, but supporters of the bill were not satisfied by the diocese’s plan.

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