Parish Finances

What safeguards are in place to prevent embezzlement situations from arising in parishes?

The Detroit Archdiocese encourages and facilitates the reporting of suspicions of misuse of Church funds or property. Pastors, parishioners, and members of parish councils share in this responsibility, while parish finance councils are charged with monitoring parish accounts, policies and procedures to ensure they are in place to minimize opportunities for inappropriate use of parish funds. For example, offertory collections should be transferred from Mass by two parishioners to a secure room and counted in the presence of at least two parishioners, then immediately transferred by two parishioners to the parish safe or deposited in the parish’s bank. The collection count should match the amount deposited in the parish bank account and the amount shown on the deposit slip. In addition, no parish checks are to be issued to “cash.” Details are specified in The Policy and Procedures Manual for Parishes in the Archdiocese of Detroit.

The Archdiocese encourages any staff member, volunteer, or parishioner to report possible financial misconduct. The Archdiocese uses EthicsPoint, an independent third party company, to administer the archdiocesan financial misconduct hotline. Reports may be filed electronically or by phone at 855-234-9774. In the words of Archbishop Vigneron:

“We are grateful for your willingness to work with us to ensure the highest ethical and professional standards in all of our ministries as we are committed to being accountable to members of the Catholic community. The parishes, schools, and other entities of the Archdiocese of Detroit are dedicated to practicing sound stewardship with the gifts that are shared with us. All members of the church are responsible for ensuring that the funds we receive are used for the benefit of people we serve and for protecting our financial and physical assets from theft or misuse. The financial misconduct hotline is yet another way to ensure responsible stewardship. The hotline makes it easier for employees, parishioners, volunteers, vendors, and other parties to confidentially report any concerns related to financial matters. Neither the Archdiocese of Detroit, nor any affiliated entity, will retaliate or take any action against a person who makes a report. Every effort will be made to protect his or her identity and interests.”