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The State of the Archdiocese

The Chicago Archdiocese’s expenses have been rising faster than revenues, in part due to fewer faithful …
Percentage drop since 1980:
People attending weekly Mass1
41%
People attending Catholic grade school2
55%
… at the same time its inexpensive workforce is shrinking …
Number of Nuns:
In 1980
5,040
In 2014
1,676
33% are retired or otherwise inactive
Number of Priests:
In 1980
2,414
In 2014
1,445
21% are retired or otherwise inactive
… and it’s paying huge sums to victims of pedophile priests.
$130,000,000
Total paid to settle cases3
The result: Years of red ink.
Archdiocese’s Balance Sheet4
2013 deficit 2014 projected deficit
$42 million $16 million
Luckily for the archdiocese, it’s probably5 the richest in America.
Net assets by archdiocese6
Chicago
$1.811 billion
Boston
 
$603 million
New York
 
$196 million
Los Angeles
 
$4 million

The archdiocese’s 2013 financial statement lists $2.79 billion worth of real estate7 (less $1.37 billion in accumulated depreciation). But its holdings are surely worth vastly more, given that the archdiocese lists the properties at their value when it acquired them—some more than a century ago. A spokeswoman says that the archdiocese does not know the current value of its real estate because a parcel is appraised only if it is going to be sold.

NOTES: 1.This is a national figure. 2. In the Archdiocese of Chicago’s territory (Cook and Lake Counties). 3. Since 2000, not including legal fees. 4. From its “consolidated” financials, which include parishes, parish schools, the archdiocese’s pastoral center, Catholic cemeteries, Catholic Charities and other charitable activities, and the Priests’ Retirement and Mutual Aid Association; does not include Catholic hospitals. 5. Because dioceses need not divulge their financials, another could theoretically be richer. 6. As of the fiscal year ended June 30, 2013, the most recent figures available at presstime. 7.Undeveloped realty, land, cemetery property, construction in progress, buildings, and equipment. SOURCES: Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate; Archdioceses of Chicago, Boston, New York, and Los Angeles.
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