BUFFALO, N.Y. — Financial struggles brought on by the priest sex abuse crisis forced the Diocese of Buffalo to file for bankruptcy last month. Now the coronavirus pandemic is adding to those financial challenges.
The global pandemic, which has required social distancing, means masses and other liturgical celebrations have been temporarily discontinued.
The Diocese announced Thursday that 24 employees at its Catholic Center on Main St. downtown are being impacted. Three full-time positions are being made part-time and another 21 are being eliminated.
“While we deeply regret the very personal impact that this process of realignment will have on dedicated employees of the Catholic Center, we must assess how best to deploy the resources of the Diocese in ways that reflect responsible stewardship and which offer the greatest benefit for our parishes,” said Fr. Peter Karalus, Vicar General and Moderator of the Curia.
“We anticipate that the ongoing coronavirus pandemic will exacerbate the financial challenges that the Diocese is already confronting. This is why we are accelerating our plans to better align the functions of the Catholic Center with the needs of our parishes. The Catholic Center exists to serve our parishes and ensure that they have the resources they need to sustain their outreach and ministries to their parishioners. Where and how we can provide administrative support and advance the work of evangelization carried out at the parish level, must be our priority.”
A process that began in the spring of 2019 will continue aimed at identifying efficiencies that can be shared among parishes and core tasks in areas such as finance and human resources that can be shared more broadly for the benefit of parishes.