Philadelphia Archdiocese cutting jobs to trim $17 million deficit

June 21, 2012 2:57:36 PM PDT
The Philadelphia Archdiocese said it is cutting jobs to help trim a $17 million deficit for the fiscal year beginning July 1, 2012.

In a statement issued Thursday afternoon, the archdiocese said it has operated with significant deficits for many years.

The archdiocese said the restructuring, approved by Archbishop Charles Chaput, includes a staff reduction involving 45 positions, the merging and consolidation of 19 offices and/or ministries, the ceasing of The Catholic Standard & Times and the suspension of Phaith Magazine.

The Archdiocese is also planning no raises for remaining staff in the next fiscal year.

The statement went on to say that the legal and professional costs of the past 16 months played "little role" in the decision.

The archdiocese went on to say:

-All employees released in the staff reduction will receive 60 days of pay in lieu of notice and full-time employees will be eligible for one week of severance pay for each year of completed service.

-All affected employees will also be paid for accrued and unused vacation time. In addition to severance, the Archdiocese will also provide medical coverage through September 30 and departing employees will be eligible for a COBRA-like benefit for the six months following.

-The Archdiocese of Philadelphia will also contract with a third party firm to provide job counseling and career services, and protocols are in place to match displaced employees' skills with openings in other offices, including Catholic Social Services and Catholic Healthcare Services, which were not impacted by this restructuring and maintain separate budgets.

This comes as a Philadelphia jury weighs criminal charges against a priest and a church supervisor, the first U.S. church official charged over his handling of abuse complaints.

Monsignor William Lynn is charged with conspiracy and child endangerment for allegedly helping the church cover up abuse complaints within the Philadelphia archdiocese from 1992 to 2004.

The Rev. James Brennan is charged with trying to rape a 14-year-old boy.

The jury resumes deliberations on Friday.