Louisville, Ky., Archdiocese Freezes Wages, Cuts Budget

San Francisco [Louisville KY]
March 10, 2003

Facing more than 200 sex-abuse lawsuits, the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Louisville says it will freeze employee wages and try to cut more than $1 million from its budget.

"There's no inexpensive way to address those cases," said Brian Reynolds, chancellor and chief administrative officer of the archdiocese.

The archdiocese faces 214 lawsuits alleging sexual abuse by priests and other church employees. The church has settled three additional suits for undisclosed amounts.

Job cuts are almost certain, Reynolds said. The archdiocese employs nearly 250 people but imposed a hiring freeze Jan. 1.

"This will certainly require difficult decisions," Reynolds wrote to employees in a Feb. 28 memo. "It will be most painful to those who will lose their positions."

More than 100 Louisville priests have volunteered to take salary freezes, even though most are paid out of parish budgets rather than by the archdiocese directly.

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