Pittsburgh Catholic Diocese Prepares For Layoffs

Aug 21, 2012

Faced with a two to two-and-a-half million dollar deficit for 2012-13, the Catholic Diocese of Pittsburgh is making cuts in programs and getting ready to layoff some of its 180 employees at its offices.

Diocesan spokesman Reverend Ron Lengwin says the 2011-12 budget was 23.2 million dollars but the 2012-13 spending plan is 21 million.  Lengwin said they began trimming costs earlier this year, "but we've reached the point now that in order to balance our budget it will be necessary to reduce from our excellent workforce."  

Decisions on layoffs, which Lengwin calls "very difficult,"  won't be final until the budget is formally approved September 6.  Lengwin says the economic troubles are due to the economy and demographics.  "We're an older people on fixed income and all the support for the diocesan programs comes through what we call Parish Share Programs where a parish raises a certain amount of funds [for the diocese] based on the money they raise each year to support diocesan programs that no one parish alone could support," Lengwin said.

The diocesan spokesman said giving has been "flat" but people don't have the means to contribute more, "but we're facing a significant rise in costs in health care insurance and other supplies that are needed to carry out programs."