While some people clamor unrealistically for their closed parishes to be re-opened, Archdiocese of Boston officials are warning that if things don’t turn around even more parishes could close. At this rate, in a couple of years the archdiocese will consist of three parishes east of Worcester, including the cathedral. It reminds me of corporate downsizing: It results in a better bottom line for a while, but eventually you’ve cut so much that further cuts don’t have the same salubrious effect any more.
The chancellor also repeats Archbishop O’Malley’s information that donations to the main archdiocesan fundraising appeal have plummeted 50 percent since 2001. As I’ve said before, if people want to withhold donations to the archdiocese as some kind of punishment or leverage, that’s their perogative, but they have to realize then that their actions have consequences including the closing of parishes.
Finally, the city of Boston, the liberal tightwads they are, want the archdiocese to sell them back certain properties for a dollar. All these years, the Church has provided services to the poor and to the city at large that the city didn’t have to pay for and now is afraid of losing.