To continue its charitable and pastoral mission throughout its five counties while freeing up funds to compensate victims of clergy sexual abuse, the Diocese of Allentown has cut operating costs and is reducing its office work force by 24 percent.
Most of the employment reduction occurred through attrition, including a voluntary retirement program.
The Diocese also has reviewed business processes and restructured some departments. In addition, it implemented a pay freeze for employees as well as clergy in administrative roles.
When the Independent Reconciliation and Compensation Program was announced, the Diocese said funding it would place diocesan operations under severe financial stress. As a result, cash reserves are no longer available to cover budget deficits. Therefore, cost reductions were necessary to enable charitable and pastoral programs to continue.
No parish or school assets, no money donated to the Bishop’s Annual Appeal, and no future collections at parish Masses are being used to fund the Independent Reconciliation and Compensation Program.
The Diocese of Allentown and its ministries touch the lives of hundreds of thousands of people, Catholics and non-Catholics alike, throughout Berks, Carbon, Lehigh, Northampton, and Schuylkill counties. While many of these programs are supported by donations, additional financial and staff support is provided by the Diocese.
The cost-cutting actions took place in diocesan administrative offices, where 96 people worked before the reductions. Operations at parishes were not affected. Diocesan officials expressed gratitude to affected employees for their years of dedicated service and offered them prayerful best wishes in future endeavors.