Sad news in Ohio:
The Diocese of Toledo said Monday that all five members of its staff on the Catholic Chronicle would be laid off because the diocese is facing a $1.3 million deficit. The publication would cease operations, effective Friday, closing both the monthly printed newspaper and the publication’s website. “The diocesan website, together with the diocesan social media, will really be our primary medium going forward for sharing news of the diocese,” said Zachary Silka, senior director of communications for the Roman Catholic diocese. “It really has been for some time now,” he added. “We notified staff later [Monday] afternoon and so wanted to be sure everybody was notified before we sent out anything to the media,” Mr. Silka said. The move is part of an effort to address financial challenges that Bishop Daniel Thomas announced in November, when he said the diocese would restructure its finances, eliminate programs that are not sustainable, and sell some assets. In a “Letter to the Faithful Announcing Steps to Begin to Address Financial Challenges” that was released Monday, Bishop Thomas wrote that it was “determined, if we do nothing, that we are facing a $1.3 million budget shortfall at the administrative offices of the Diocese for the upcoming 2017 fiscal year (July 1, 2016-June 30, 2017). That is simply not acceptable.” A loss for the current fiscal year was also predicted. The changes were made in consultation with “more than 200 priests, deacons, consecrated religious and lay faithful” all over diocese, the bishop wrote.
Read Bishop Thomas’s letter here.