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Philadelphia archdiocesan reports show huge financial deficits

Catholic World News - July 03, 2013

The Philadelphia archdiocese has revealed that it faces $350 million in long-term debt, aggravated by annual budget deficits.

Releasing audited financial statements for the first time, the archdiocese showed a $39.2 million deficit for the fiscal year ending in June 2012. Although that year’s financial reports included some special expenses, such as the costs of sex-abuse litigation, even without those expenses the budget showed a deficit of more than $17 million.

The deficit for the most recent fiscal year was $6 million, reported Timothy O’Shaugnessy, who was appointed last year as the top financial officer for the archdiocese. The next year’s deficit should be under $5 million, he said. But he acknowledged that the archdiocese must find ways to eliminate the deficits entirely.

The long-term obligations of the archdiocese include an $82 million debt to a trust fund that holds deposits from parishes, O’Shaughnessy reported. In past years the archdiocese withdrew money from that fund to pay for archdiocesan programs—a practice that was stopped after Archbishop Charles Chaput took over leadership of the archdiocese in 2011.

There are also major shortfalls in a self-insurance fund and in pension accounts for clergy and for lay employees, O’Shaughnessy said. “This is a serious issue, a very serious issue, that I believe the Church is taking more seriously now,” he said.

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  • Posted by: jeremiahjj - Jul. 04, 2013 9:05 AM ET USA

    I pray for my friend Archbishop Chaput of Denver. He is such a good man and to have willingly accepted the transfer to such a debt-ridden archdiocese must have been a heavy burden. Nevertheless, he will do what is necessary to put the diocese back on a sound footing. It will be painful for all concerned and might even leave him a broken man, but he will accept the cross the Holy Father asked him to bear. I urge people to pray for him.

  • Posted by: opraem - Jul. 03, 2013 5:51 PM ET USA

    rigali should answer for his grossly inept financial mismanagement.

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