Catholic Diocese of Wilmington announces layoffs

A $77-million settlement related to priest sex abuse cases triggers layoffs for the Catholic Diocese of Wilmington. 

19 full-time employees of the Diocese are losing their jobs, as well as three part-timers.

Several of those affected work for The Dialog, the diocesan newspaper.  The Dialog is reporting on its own demise this week. It “will be phased out sometime this fall.”

Bishop Fran Malooly also announced the cutbacks in a letter to parishoners this week.  He says he was “pained by the loss of jobs by our dedicated hard-working members of the diocesan family.  They and all of our employees have been and are faithful friends and partners in ministry who loyally serve the mission of the church.”

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CDOW spokesman Bob Krebs says most of the positions will be eliminated as of July 1st.

Areas affected by the layoffs include the office of the chancery, the Hispanic ministry office, human resources, Catholic Youth Ministry, religious education and marriage tribunal.

In February, the Diocese agreed to a settlement of $77-million with nearly 150 alleged victims of priest sexual abuse.  The Diocese and its parishes were to be released from future legal claims involving priest sex abuse, but would surrender documents detailing its actions in suspected cases.  The Diocese filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in the fall of 2009.

The Diocese is hopeful these are the only layoffs that have to be made related to the settlement.

“We are fairly confident that with these layoffs and cutbacks, we’ll be able to continue our charitable, educational and spiritual mission of the Diocese,” Krebs says.

The Dialog began publishing in 1965 and currently has 55,000 subscribers.  Krebs says other methods of informing and communicating with parishoners are being considered.

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