Milwaukee Catholic Archdiocese Eliminates 23 Administrative Jobs

Associated Press, carried in Milwaukee Journal Sentinel [Milwaukee WI]
May 20, 2004

MILWAUKEE - Milwaukee Archbishop Timothy M. Dolan has eliminated 23 jobs in his central administration offices for the fiscal year beginning July 1 as he faces an expected $1 million deficit.

Dolan revealed the deficit in his weekly e-mail to archdiocesan, parish and school leaders, and cited the rocky economy, a decline in investment income and rising health care costs as some of the reasons for it.

"But, I also owe you candor," the Roman Catholic archbishop said. "The major reason for our shortfall has been the anticipated costs associated with the clergy sexual abuse crisis."

The archbishop said costs included the VIRTUS Program to prevent sexual abuse, which has been used to train 13,000 people; mediation for and outreach to people who were sexually abused by priests as minors; hiring attorneys defend lawsuits; providing therapy, counseling and support services for victims; and complying with church requirements that offending priests removed from active ministry be provided with at least minimal support.

Among those whose jobs are being cut are the archdiocesan directors of information services, social concerns, Department for Parishes and Office for Women.

Peter Isely, a regional spokesman for the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, said Wednesday the news was horrible for those getting laid off.

"And it's unfortunate that the archbishop blames everybody and everything for it other than those who are responsible, namely (former) Archbishop (Rembert) Weakland and (Auxiliary) Bishop (Richard) Sklba, who have brought the situation to where it is."

Isely said they should have "taken the path of reconciliation years ago instead of hardball legal tactics."

Dolan succeeded Weakland in August 2002.

The archdiocese projected in early 2003 a $2 million deficit in the 2003-04 fiscal year budget if changes were not made. It cut four jobs and trimmed services, but Dolan's said in his e-mail his lay Finance Council discovered this year that those moves were "not severe enough."


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