The Archdiocese of Boston has announced that it will be suppressing parishes rather than merging them, which means that all assets and liabilities will go to the archdiocese. Typically, the government officials quoted in the article mistake “resources” for money, when what Archbishop O’Malley was saying is that having fewer parishes in some areas will allow individual congregations to be larger, concentrating spiritual and physical resources in one parish when they have been spread out until now.
I have no problem with the plan. The current debt of the archdiocese has nothing to do with Scandal settlements (those are paid off from sale of archdiocesan property), but are the result of less money being donated. Granted people are giving less because (a) people are still mad at the archdiocese and (b) fewer people are going to Mass for various reasons. Still, the debts of the archdiocese must still be paid. I feel better about knowing that the archdiocesean institution is undergoing belt-tightening too. If we weren’t selling the archbishop’s residence, I might feel differently.