Roman Catholics who suspect financial irregularities in their parishes now have a place to go to report it. The Diocese of Providence has retained an Oregon company to operate a toll-free number people can call to report suspected financial impropriety.
Diocesan chief financial officer Michael Sabatino says the goal is transparency. "Our goal is to give the opportunity to folks who may see something out there at a parish, or a school or one of our agencies … our downtown offices… that they see that there may be some financial impropriety to give them the opportunity to report it to us."
Church officials say this action was not taken as the result of a recent or particular incident.
Sabatino says it just made sense to add another layer to their annual audits. "No, no particular incidents here. No, just again going to annual conferences with other dioceses throughout the United States was something that has been discussed and we brought it back here and it was something the bishop thought was an excellent idea."
The financial accountability hotline will be monitored by an independent third party.
The Diocesan website states: "Those with concerns relative to financial misconduct at a Catholic parish, school or at the diocesan level may call toll free 1.888.581.2145, to share details of potentially improper activities. Individuals may also share information online at http://dioceseofprovidence.ethicspoint.com."
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