The annual statistical summary published in the 2009 Official Catholic Directory, which we reported on here, shows an odd jump in the number of church-run residential homes for children, or orphanages — from 163 at the beginning of 2008 to 403 now. But the increase can be attributed to the Archdiocese of Seattle, which the directory lists as having 251 orphanages, when it had none the year before.
Greg J. Magnoni, director of the Seattle archdiocesan Office of Communications, says there are still no orphanages in the archdiocese. With an adjustment down to zero for Seattle, the number of Catholic-run residential homes for children actually declined by 11 to 152.
It’s a mystery where the error came from. An official with the directory said 251 was the number submitted by the Seattle Archdiocese. “We try to scrutinize everything that comes across our desk, but we cannot question them on everything they submit,” said publisher Jeanne Hanline in an e-mail to CNS.