Msgr. Patrick Powers

CCCB to outsource publishing division

  • October 18, 2012

OTTAWA - The Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops (CCCB) will outsource its in-house publishing division and cut the position of senior advisor on social justice.

“No area of the conference is not affected by the effort to cut down expenses and maximize productivity,” said CCCB General Secretary Msgr. Patrick Powers. “We have had to rethink the way we do things, to do more and to cost less.

“For many y e a r s the bishops have been grappling with finances,” he said. “The dioceses cannot afford to pay the amount of money required to keep the conference running.”

The per capita rate charged each diocese based on Census data of baptized Catholics has remained unchanged this year, but some poorer dioceses are having trouble meeting their assessment, he said.

Powers said he has met with CCCB employees to explain the fact the conference does not have unrestricted funds and must rein in spending “or the bank will close our doors.”

“It’s always so difficult to see people lose their jobs,” he said. “The bishops don’t take that lightly.”

Details of the outsourcing will be revealed later next month after the arrangements are finalized, he said, noting eight to 10 jobs could be affected.

The bishops have been studying the issue of CCCB Publications for 15 years, Powers said. The key, however, was finding a reputable North American company with a reputation for treating its employees well, he said.

“It is a communications firm we have dealt with in the past,” he said.

The position occupied by Francois Poitras, the senior advisor for social justice, has also been eliminated, said Powers. Among his duties, Poitras occupied the position of secretary to the Justice and Peace Commission.

Powers said many aspects of the CCCB secretariat’s operation have needed updating, especially its technological infrastructure.

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