Magazine article National Catholic Reporter

San Francisco's Quinn Cuts Expenses to Balance Budget

Magazine article National Catholic Reporter

San Francisco's Quinn Cuts Expenses to Balance Budget

Article excerpt

SAN FRANCISCO -- Archbishop John R. Quinn recently announced substantial cuts in staff and a restructuring of archdiocesan service programs in response to "severe budget restraints."

In a letter dated March 12, Quinn said the reduction of 20 full- and part-time positions -- almost one-fifth of the staff -- is necessary to continue operating with a balanced budget. He cited a decrease in funding from local parishes, the cost of maintaining older buildings and previous underfunding of the priests' retirement fund as pressures on the coming budget.

"I have always said that the budget of the archdiocese must be balanced and that I would not permit deficit spending," Quinn said.

An enormous financial strain comes from a city earthquake ordinance, passed in June, requiring retrofitting of unreinforced masonry on public buildings within three years. The archdiocese has 11 such buildings and the cost of the repairs is $60 million. The entire operating budget of the archdiocese, not including the parish budgets, is $4 million.

The archdiocese's financial difficulties can also be attributed to a decrease in church membership over the past decades even as the demand for its community services -- such as AIDS education and outreach, social justice and ethnic ministries -- has soared.

The archdiocese's primary funding tool is an annual appeal made through the parishes. In 1961, and average Sunday Mass attendance in the San Francisco archdiocese was 206,780, compared to 113,305 last year. …

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