Layoffs in Boston chancery

Layoffs in Boston chancery

Cardinal Sean O’Malley had promised 50 layoffs and that’s what we got today. When he was announcing the Archdiocese of Boston’s multimillion dollar deficit and efforts at financial transparency, one of the remedies mentioned was layoffs of a certain number of chancery staff. As I alluded to yesterday, that’s now happened. In fact, only about half of the people actually got pink slips. The other 25 are either priests who will be reassigned to parishes, religious who will be reassigned by their orders, people transferred to open parish jobs or other Church-run institutions, and by not filling open positions. This brings overall chancery staff reductions to 30 percent since 2002.

The layoffs are accompanied by some mergers of offices, although we don’t know exactly which ones yet. In fact, the announcement is very skimpy on details. Hopefully, I will get some more information soon from those who have the details.

Meanwhile, the archdiocese is also completing the sale of the archdiocesan tribunal building on the grounds of the chancery to Boston College. Already the tribunal has transferred to space at St. Theresa of Avila in West Roxbury (after an ill-advised attempt to move into the hotly contested Our Lady of the Presentation School in Brighton; not a good PR move).

Moving priests into parishes

I’ve long been an advocate of moving priests out of the chancery and into parishes. As the number of priests declines in the short term, we need priests in the trenches doing pastoral ministry. The Church needs to hire professional lay people (and by that I don’t mean the typical VOTF-types who often seem to populate Church jobs; but people with real-world business experience) and use their skills. Priests don’t go through seminary and become ordained in order to become paper-pushers and clerks (although it’s often what happens to pastors), so let’s give them the chance to do what the became priests to do.

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Written by
Domenico Bettinelli