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Philly archdiocese had $39M deficit last year

 The sun sets behind the cross atop the dome of the Basilica of St. Peter and St. Paul. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

The sun sets behind the cross atop the dome of the Basilica of St. Peter and St. Paul. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

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.

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