Sarah Mac Donald Irish Independent
June 12 2020
A third of staff working for the archdiocese of Dublin are to lose their jobs as it grapples with the financial cost of the Covid-19 pandemic.
The Irish Independent has learned the diocese, Ireland’s largest, is working on details of a voluntary redundancy scheme which it will offer its 82 staff.
A spokesperson for Archbishop Diarmuid Martin confirmed the proposed job cuts and said a restructuring process is expected to take some months to complete. “Staffing levels could be reduced by one third,” she said.
That would mean job losses for as many as 28 of the 82 staff employed by the diocese.
Staff are to be offered support and advice mechanisms which will be paid for by the diocese.
The jobs affected are believed to be in the areas of parish pastoral workers, finance, human resources, communications and the diocese’s chancery office.
One Dublin priest who wished to remain anonymous, told the Irish Independent he was “gutted” for the diocese’s pastoral staff with whom he has worked. “We could not have got through the pandemic without our lay parish colleagues and then just when parishes are about to reopen, our diocese chooses to do this,” he said.
The diocese said that like many organisations it is facing increasing financial difficulties as a result of the pandemic and the closure of churches for public worship for almost three months.
The current crisis had compounded the sustained fall in financial support in Dublin for over a decade as congregations have become smaller, the diocese said.
Dr Martin’s office told the Irish Independent that the closure of churches for Masses since March had seen support for Share, the second collection at Masses, drop by 80pc between March and May this year compared with the same period last year.
The Share collection is used to support poorer parishes and Central Services in the diocese.
Last month, Archbishop Martin announced that priests in Dublin had agreed to a 25pc cut to their incomes.
“A restructuring strategy to address this urgent situation is under way in an effort to reduce costs and plan for a sustainable future,” the diocese stated.
The spokesperson said the voluntary redundancy scheme is part of an overall restructuring plan but stressed it would be attentive to the needs of all involved.
This, of course, is very bad news for the 28 people who will lose their jobs and for their families.
Hopefully they will get as generous a redundancy payment as DM and his associates can muster.
Hopefully they will find new jobs asap.
But, I feel this downsizing is a thing the RCC are going to have to get used to.
Fewer people attending church.
Fewer priests available.
Less and less money coming in.
Personally, I view this decline as a very good thing and in fact the work of the Holy Spirit.
The RCC has become an evil organisation and empire.
It will shrink and shrink and in time have as much influence, hopefully as a local social club.
I have never lost my faith in Jesus thank God.
But I have lost all faith in the RCC.
That second faith was pulverised out of me by the hideous priests and bishops I have met over the past 44 years.