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The Diocese of Cleveland provides pastoral and temporal services for people, parishes and institutions in the Diocese, and represents the Faithful in the Diocese in the worldwide church.
Funding to help support the work of the Diocese is primarily provided through an assessment that is paid by each parish. The Code of Canon Law, Canon 1263, provides that “after the Diocesan Bishop has heard the Finance Council and the Presbyteral Council, he has the right to impose a moderate tax for the needs of the Diocese.” This Canon further states that the tax is to be proportionate to income. The current assessment rate in the Diocese of Cleveland is 16.5% of offertory, reduced to 11.5% for parishes with schools. Each parish is expected to remit their assessment to the Diocese in a timely fashion over the course of the fiscal year.
Globally, the Diocese of Cleveland is part of the universal church, and is asked to remit Diocesan resources to several organizations on a per capita basis. The Diocese supports the work of the Bishops in the United States through the work of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. The Catholic Conference of Ohio Bishops represents the Catholic Church on public matters throughout the state, such as ensuring the receipt of government funding for education including textbooks and vouchers for students enrolled in our Catholic schools. Lastly, each Diocese throughout the world is asked to support the work of the Holy Father in his ministry. Funds are requested by the Holy Father to demonstrate our fraternal support for the work he undertakes to meet the needs of the Church on a global basis. Funding provided by the Diocese of Cleveland to these various state, national, and global ministries approaches $500,000 annually.
On a local level, the Diocese serves people, parishes and institutions in temporal and pastoral matters largely by administering and funding the Bishop’s ministries that are best accomplished at the Diocesan level, ministries that the parishes cannot do on their own, and ministries that complement all the work that is done at the parishes and other institutions. These Diocesan ministries include the works of the Secretariats for Clergy and Religious, Education and Catechesis, and Parish Life, as well as the Chancery, Diocese of Cleveland Facilities Services, and the ministry support work of the Catholic Community Foundation. Parish assessments specifically help support these works, which include:
- Formation of priests, deacons and pastoral ministers (including Borromeo and St. Mary’s seminaries)
- Vocations and continuing education for clergy, religious and lay ministers
- Care and services for clergy and religious, including senior and infirmed priests
- Administration of and resources for Catholic schools, including the ongoing development and training related to the religious education curriculum
- Catechetical services for religious education and adult faith formation
- Campus ministry at the universities located in the eight county Diocese
- Ethnic ministries, special apostolates and evangelization
- Parish life services
- Ministries for the disadvantaged, the poor, immigrants (including targeted nationality-based services) and the incarcerated
- Maintenance of the Diocesan archives
- Operation of the Diocesan Tribunal
- Cathedral support and Diocesan liturgies
- Consultation on the maintenance of Parish and Diocesan facilities
- Fundraising and development for these and many other ministries
Other services provided by the Diocese related to temporal matters and the basic administration of the Diocese are accomplished through the Legal Office, the Finance Office, the Bishops’ offices and certain other functions within the above Secretariat ministry offices such as clergy personnel management, communications and media relations, Diocesan benefits and insurance, and the official canonical duties and responsibilities of the Bishop’s Office and the Chancery Office.
The Diocese also has responsibility for periodic and ongoing major initiatives such as the program for the safety of children (“Virtus”).
The Diocese sponsors the Catholic Cemeteries Association (CCA), which encompasses eighteen cemeteries across the eight-county geography and Catholic Charities. Both of these organizations are operated as independent civil entities and are not presently subsidized with Diocesan funds.
In all cases, the resources provided by the parish assessments are carefully used to further the mission of the Church. These resources are under the discipline of an annual budget process, an annual independent audit, and the advice and oversight of the Bishop’s Finance Council. Further, the Diocese publishes an annual accounting of its utilization of these resources in its annual Report to the Community.
Although a specific parish or institution may not use all of the services that the Diocesan Offices provide, the services of all these Offices are used frequently in most parishes in the Diocese.