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Dutch dioceses trying to restore financial health

Tags: Excerpts from the Windmill

ROERMOND A third Dutch diocese has revealed its long-range plans aiming for viability with a made-to-measure approach to local realities. The Roermond diocese which covers the province of Limburg, hopes to keep village parishes open based on the local situation, and to keep the church as close as possible to its parishioners. The report acknowledges that the diocese largely operates (67 percent) on funding generated from the annual door-to-door Kerkbalans campaign. The other 33 percent is derived from diocese holdings. The budget deficit runs about one million euros. Explaining expenses, it was noted that heating a medium sized church building quickly can run up to 80 euros an hour. The next-door Den Bosch diocese seeks to restore its financial health by merging parishes to about one fifth of the current number, while the archdiocese has embarked on paring down staffing and shutting a costly seminary.