Table for Transparency Scores of Dioceses in 2020

Diocese of Ossory is top of the Table for Transparency Scores in 2020

Revised: Armagh were incorrectly reported and their revised score is now 30.

Congratulations to the diocese of Ossory who have retaken the top spot from the diocese of Ferns at the top of the Transparency Table!

[pdf-embedder url=”” title=”Diocese Transparency Scores 2020R”]


The two largest dioceses (Dublin and Down & Connor) are near the top of the table. Smaller dioceses like Ferns and Elphin have performed well and are keeping their websites updated. Most disappointing of all is the fact that 2 dioceses make no financial information available on their websites or on the Charity Regulator websites (Kerry and Killaloe).

Despite legislation requiring charities to report to the Charity Regulator being a legal requirement since 2014 only 10 of our 26 Dioceses include their Annual Accounts on their Diocesan websites. Of course they are not required by law to include their Accounts on their websites. But today most people seek information online and expect it to be provided in an open and transparent manner.

While lay men and women are increasingly involved on diocesan Finance Committees, sadly this is not reflected in the numbers of diocesan trustees. Only 6% of the 148 trustees of the 26 Diocese in Ireland are lay persons, with clerics making up 94% of the trustees.

Table 2: Analysis of the trustees of Ireland’s 26 dioceses:            

Number Percentage
Clerics 139 94%
Lay Men 5 3%
Women 4 3%
Total 148 100%


The Transperancy Scores are calculated based on 10 criteria developed by Voice of the Faithful in the USA. The criteria include the availability on websites of Annual Accounts; details of the Finance Committee; Search functions to quickly find information; financial guidelines.

In the USA 65% of Catholic dioceses include their Audited Accounts on their websites. In Ireland only 38% of our Catholic dioceses include their Audited Accounts on their websites.

Colm Holmes
We Are Church Ireland

19 June 2020



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  1. Eddie Finnegan says:

    ‘Scores of Dioceses in 2020’?
    Surely not. One score and three-tenths is more than enough, and decreasing.

  2. Eddie Finnegan says:

    Are these transparency Scores for 2019/20 Financial Year?
    I cannot find the Table for 2018 mentioned in the final column.

    Without the original model on which these tables are based, they do not make much sense to the casual reader here, or to parish priests or to a bishop who may be curious as to his diocesan transparency compared to the other 25.

    The US Voice of the Faithful model might be helpful:

    The VoTF’s revised scale of 0-100 allows greater differentiation for dioceses nearer the top. I mean, are Armagh, Dublin, Elphin and K&L all equally transparent as their scores of 30/60 suggest?

  3. Tom Hayes says:

    The annual accounts of the Diocese of Cork and Ross have been published on the diocesan website since 2002 – when the website was launched. See
    They are published annually once the auditor’s report has been received. This year, due to Covid19, the audit of the 2019 accounts is not yet complete.
    The accounts can be found under Our Diocese —> The Bishop’s Office –> Finance/Stewardship

  4. Colm Holmes says:

    Dear Tom Hayes @ #4,

    I agree that Cork & Ross diocese are excellent at publishing their Annual Accounts on their website.

    However when I visited their website early in June they had not posted their 2018 Accounts. I contacted Cork & Ross and Fr Michael Keohane replied on 16 June 2020 advising that the 2018 Accounts had not been published for an administrative reason and would be published on the diocesan website soon.

    Unfortunately I had completed the survey at that time and hence in the Transparency Table Cork & Ross were marked as not publishing current accounts.

    I am delighted to see that the 2018 Accounts have now been published on the Cork & Ross diocesan website.

    Cork & Ross are still in second place in the table thanks to their excellent website.

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