Priests in the Archdiocese of Saint Paul and Minneapolis were informed this  morning that the Central Corporation reported an operating deficit of $9.1 million and a net loss of $8.9 million for the fiscal year that ended June 30, 2014. I have several comments to make about the deficit and the reasons given for it, which I will present in a later post. In the meantime, here is the announcement that pastors and parochial administrators received shortly before the information was posted on the archdiocesan website.

Subject: FY 2014 Chancery Corporation Financial Report Released Today

Dear Pastors and Parochial Administrators,

Today, the Archdiocese of Saint Paul and Minneapolis is releasing the full audited financial report for the Chancery Corporation for the fiscal year ended June 30, 2014. We will post the financial statements, footnotes to the statements, and the independent auditors’ report as one document on archspm.org at 10 a.m. today. You will find it on the Administration and Finance page of the website: http://www.archspm.org/departments/administration-finance/index.php.

Attached to this email you will find a PDF of the articles which will appear in today’s issue of The Catholic Spirit and be posted on http://thecatholicspirit.com/ at 10:00 a.m. today. I am sending this email to you now so that you are aware that this information will be posted later today. The Archdiocesan Update with links to all the online content will be sent at 10:00 a.m. to all clergy, parish business administrators, parish trustees, Catholic school principals and presidents, and other parish and school leaders who have signed up for the Archdiocesan Update enewsletter.

A few important points for you to know that may be helpful if you get questions from parishioners or others regarding the financial report release:

  • The Chancery Corporation financials cover the activities of the archdiocesan Chancery Corporation. Parishes and other Catholic entities are independently incorporated and report their own financial information.
  • The net assets of the archdiocesan Chancery Corporation were $32.5 million at June 30, 2014, the end of the last fiscal year. That is $8.9 million less than a year earlier.
  • The change in Chancery Corporation financial position is due primarily to three factors:
1.       Special issues expense for third party professional services primarily related to the review of priest files, investigation of insurance coverage and analysis of financial options: $4.2 million

2.       Catholic Services Appeal transition to an independent non-profit entity: $3.7 million

3.       Write off of software: nearly $1 million

  • Chancery Corporation FY 2014 operating activities resulted in a deficit of $9.1 million.
  • The Chancery Corporation is cutting its FY 2015 operating budget by 20%, with immediate and future expense reductions and the layoff of 11 employees last week.
  • The Chancery Corporation is considering all options, including reorganization under the bankruptcy code, in order to provide the most fair response to clergy sexual abuse claims against the archdiocese. At this point no decision has been made for or against reorganization. If the archdiocesan Chancery Corporation files for reorganization:
    1. The archdiocesan Chancery Corporation would expect the court’s permission to continue to function in the ordinary course while pursuing a reorganization, similar to other dioceses which have sought bankruptcy reorganization in recent years.
    2. Parishes are separately incorporated and would not be part of a Chancery Corporation filing for reorganization. Parishes in the archdiocese have been separately incorporated under a religious corporation statute dating back to the 1800s.
    3. Catholic schools are either ministries of a parish/parishes or are separately incorporated and would not be part of a Chancery Corporation filing for reorganization.
    4. It is premature to speculate on the potential impact of reorganization on 403(b), pension, medical or other employee or priest benefits were the archdiocesan Chancery Corporation to undergo reorganization. If reorganization is pursued, we would seek court approval to maintain such plans during the course of the reorganization. Such relief has been granted in other diocesan reorganizations.
If you have questions about the financial report or related documents, please contact Tom Mertens at 651-291-4400.

In this season of thanksgiving, I offer my gratitude to God for your ministry and countless good works.

Sincerely in Christ,

Very Rev. Charles V. Lachowitzer

Vicar General and Moderator of the Curia

 


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    Jennifer Haselberger is a canon lawyer who served as the Chancellor for Canonical Affairs in the Archdiocese of Saint Paul and Minneapolis until April of 2013, when she resigned in protest of the Archdiocese's handling of sexual misconduct by clergy.

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