Washington National Cathedral has announced dramatic cuts to its budget, programs and staff as the faltering economy continues to affect religious institutions nationwide.
The landmark cathedral, which welcomes nearly 700,000 visitors a year and has hosted the state funerals of three presidents, will slash its budget by 40 percent next year, from $24 million to $14.4 million. More than 40 staffers will be laid off, retail operations at the cathedral’s gift shop will be outsourced and Cathedral College’s residential course offerings will cease as of March 31, 2009, according to the cathedral’s announcement November 19.
“Like many other institutions around the world,” said Samuel Lloyd III, the cathedral’s dean, “Washington National Cathedral has been affected by the serious downturn in the financial market.”
A. M. Stroud III, a former prosecutor in Louisiana, expresses regret for the role he played in sending Glenn Ford to death row in 1984. “I was 33 years old. I was arrogant, judgmental, narcissistic and very full of myself. I was not as interested in justice as I was in winning.” Stroud says he presented dubious evidence from a forensic pathologist, precluded black jurors from the trial (Ford, since exonerated, is black), and ignored the fact that the appointed defense attorney had never before tried a criminal or capital case. “I . . . hope that providence will have more mercy for me than I showed Glenn Ford,” Stroud said in a letter to the editor of the Times of Shreveport. “But, I’m also sobered by the realization that I certainly am not deserving of it” (ABA Journal, March 25).