Dublin archdiocese seeks lay redundancies as donations fall 80%
Catholic Church donations have plummeted in Dublin during the Covid-19 outbreak, falling by as much as 80 per cent.
The Dublin Archdiocese said the need to close churches had “resulted in very serious consequences” for its income.
A restructuring strategy to address “this urgent situation” is under way to reduce costs, it said. This is expected to take some months to complete.
Two donation streams – the “common fund” collection for priests and the “support for share” fund – have dropped by 70 and 80 per cent respectively between March and June compared with the same period last year. Priests have agreed to a decrease of 25 per cent in their support, or personal income.
A voluntary redundancy scheme has also been extended to all staff members in the diocesan support services and to parish pastoral workers.
The archdiocese said it had the capacity to reduce staffing levels by a third, depending on the level of take-up, from the current number of 82 people.
“Each staff member is being offered support and advice mechanisms . . . paid for by the diocese. The process is ongoing. Diocesan staff are in receipt of the Temporary Wage Subsidy Scheme.”
Separately, a spokesman for the Irish Catholic Bishops’ Conference said “lay and clerical pay has been reduced across the country, with lay redundancies also in play. This reduced pay/wages is expected to continue into 2021.”
Yesterday, Archbishop of Dublin Diarmuid Martin welcomed new guidance issued by the Government’s Cabinet committee regarding safe activity in places of worship and said parishes would work to observe the “new norms”.
An assessment can be carried out for each premises to determine how many can attend while still maintaining social distancing. Face coverings are “strongly recommended”.