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Boston archdiocese weighs radical reorganization plan

Catholic World News - June 03, 2011

The Archdiocese of Boston is weighing plans to ease “a spiral of financial distress” by group its 291 parishes into clusters, sharing priests and resources, AP reports.

Citing an internal archdiocesan memo, AP said that the plan under consideration would send up anywhere from 80 to 120 clusters of existing parishes. These clusters would then be charged with handling their own practical affairs. The scheme appears to be designed to relieve the archdiocese of the decision of closing parishes.

The AP story indicates that Cardinal Sean O’Malley regrets the confrontations that occurred in 2004, when the Boston archdiocese announced plans to close 66 parishes in a bid to ease budget pressures. “Obviously, we learned some lessons with reconfiguration,” one archdiocesan official writes in the internal memo setting forth the new plan.

The Boston archdiocese has been dogged by persistent financial problems and a growing shortage of priests. This year 40% of the parishes in the archdiocese will be unable to meet their own expenses, the AP story reports. With the the priests of the archdiocese growing older, and fewer young men replace them, the number of active priests in parish ministry is expected to be cut nearly in half in the coming decade.

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Show 2 Comments? (Hidden)Hide Comments
  • Posted by: Steve214 - Jun. 04, 2011 9:43 AM ET USA

    Of course, there is a possible solution to all of this: orthodoxy and integrity.

  • Posted by: unum - Jun. 04, 2011 6:25 AM ET USA

    Any other institution that had to reorganize and put caretakers in charge of its retail outlets instead of competent managers would be considered a failure by Wall Street. Investors would reason that there must be something very wrong with an organization that could not recruit qualified managers. The investors would be right.

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