Philadelphia Archdiocese selling top properties to cut deficit
The financially strapped Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Philadelphia said on Monday it will proceed with plans to sell major facilities in an effort to close a multimillion-dollar budget deficit.
The sale includes the archbishop’s residence in Philadelphia, a rural Pennsylvania retreat center and a 19-room beachfront mansion in Ventnor, New Jersey, used by vacationing elderly priests, the Church said.
The archdiocese faces a budget gap estimated at $6 million, a spokeswoman said. It also faces legal costs stemming from a pedophilia scandal estimated at more than $11 million.
“To address the cash flow challenges caused by the deficits, the church is faced with hard decisions,” said Archbishop Charles Chaput in a statement. “It’s similar to what families have to do when their expenses are greater than income.”
Chaput said the archdiocese has been running a deficit for years.
The archdiocese was involved in the high-profile trial of Monsignor William Lynn, who was found guilty in June of covering up child sex abuse, and it faces the possibility of dozens of civil suits in the priest pedophilia scandal.
The spokeswoman for the archdiocese said the legal costs are separate from the budget deficit.
The proposed sales of the archbishop’s residence and the New Jersey shore villa had been announced earlier but were confirmed on Monday. [more]