The Health measures to stop the spread of the new coronavirus is also impacting the finances of churches in Costa Rica.
As has happened in hundreds of companies, also in some parishes there have been cuts in the working hours of priests and other staff, in an attempt to cope with the significant drop in income.
The closing of the churches and the suspension of the masses with the presence of people also means no collections (donations in the collection baskets), that used to pay the salaries of priests, staff and other operating expenses of the parishes.
Priest Mauricio Granados, spokesman for the Episcopal Conference, acknowledged that “many parishes” face liquidity problems in the absence of ‘collections’.
“The situation of the vast majority of parishes is difficult, since the means of financing is mainly through collections, there are few parishes that have another source of income.”
Monsignor José Rafael Quirós, archbishop of San José, issued a circular to all priests (and other staff) on Tuesday, to accept the reduction in hours.
The priests’ salary, called subsidy, is ¢300,000 per month in the archdiocese of San José. However, that amount may vary in each diocese.
Some churches, like the Mercedes Norte de Heredia, are using social networks to collect funds to pay for things like keeping the lights on, water, staff, etc.
The Episcopal Conference of Costa Rica affirmed that to face this financial contingency, they will not be looking for a government bailout.