Keep the Faith, Change the Church.

Lay Involvement in Church Governance Mini-Synod

It's vital to governance and stewardship of the secular goods of the Church.

Join us to discuss "Lay Involvement in Church Governance by and through the Diocesal Finance Council" at this Voice of the Faithful mini-synod.

The importance of lay involvement in Church finances cannot be overstated. If the laity had known about the secret "hush money" paid to clergy sexual abuse victims as early as 1985, when widespread abuse was first reported, much of the suffering of the scandal and cover up might have been avoided.

To explore this important topic, VOTF is holding a Zoom Mini-Synod with opening remarks by John W. O'Malley, S.J., a Georgetown University Professor, author, and Church historian expert in Church councils and governance. (See Who Governs the Catholic Church? It's an Open Question. in America magazine)

"Lay Involvement in Church Governance by and through the Diocesan Finance Council Mini-Synod"

Saturday, May 15, 2021, 10 a.m. EDT.


Some areas we will discuss

  • Were you aware that Canon Law requires every diocese to have a Diocesan Finance Council? Does your diocese have one?
  • Were you aware that under Canon Law the DFC must give or withhold consent to the bishop on certain important financial matters?
  • Is a DFC charter/by-laws publicly available on your diocesan website?
  • Does your diocese provide public information on the membership of the DFC?
  • Would DFC members have a duty under Canon Law to disclose financial malfeasance to the diocesan faithful? If malfeasance exists within their diocese, how might they discover it? To whom should they report it?

Click here for excerpts from Canon Law pertaining to DFCs.

Click here for excerpts from USCCB Diocesan Finance Management Guide.

VOTF Church Governance Initiative

This fall VOTF will conduct its first review of U.S. diocesan websites to find out what Catholics can learn about the operation of their Diocesan Finance Council and the level of lay involvement in diocesan finances. Click here to read the VOTF's worksheet that will be used for this review.

Please consider inviting members of your Parish and Diocesan Finance Councils and your friends to join us for this Zoom conversation.