Philly archdiocese sells properties for $56M

The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Philadelphia has sold three land parcels for more than $56 million to shore up its finances.

Officials said Thursday the transactions involve about 700 acres. Most proceeds will go toward a parish trust and loan fund. About $3.7 million will go to the priests’ pension fund.

A 200-acre tract in Delaware County had been home to church facilities serving dozens of men with disabilities. Those residents are being relocated to make way for commercial and residential development.

Officials say buyers’ plans are unclear for a 54-acre parcel in Chester County and a 454-acre lot in Northampton County that housed a defunct spiritual retreat.

The archdiocese says its operating deficit has shrunk from $39 million to $5 million, but significant pension and insurance liabilities remain.

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