Newly released financial statements show the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Philadelphia had a whopping $39 million deficit last year.
However, church officials say their fiscal situation has improved dramatically since then. A spokesman for the archdiocese says the current deficit is about $6 million.
The church released full audited financial reports for the first time on Wednesday. Previously, the archdiocese had released only informal statements.
Archbishop Charles Chaput (SHAP’-yoo) wrote in his column last week that the fiscal problems stem mostly from years of overspending, not fraud or the priest sex-abuse scandal.
He also noted that a new financial team is now in place.
Church spokesman Kenneth Gavin says officials hope the deficit will dip below $5 million in the coming year.