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Parish Closing and Appeals News

St. Mary Jamesville, NY wins Signatura appeal
After a precedent-setting ruling by the Vatican’s highest court saying that St. Mary Church “must be maintained as a Catholic worship site,” Jamesville, NY parishioners are awaiting its reopening (Syracuse Post-Standard, 5/27/11).

Allentown Diocese drops appeals on six church closings
The Allentown diocese has dropped its appeal of a Vatican decree that said six churches shuttered three years ago should never have been closed. The diocese gave no indication of the fate of the buildings, which former parishioners insist should be reopened according to church law (The Morning Call, 5/5/11).

Boston Archdiocese may radically regroup parishes
The Boston Archdiocese is considering a radical reshuffling that would unite its 291 parishes into 80 to 120 groups so that each cluster could share resources and clergy, according to an internal memo obtained by The Associated Press.  ... The number of available priests will plummet from 316 today to 178 in a decade; only 17 percent of local Catholics now attend Mass (USA Today, 6/3/11).

Camden Mass attendance declines after mergers
Since Camden Bishop Joseph Galante began merging South Jersey parishes three years ago, Mass attendance has fallen substantially, according to data provided by the diocese (Philadelphia Inquirer, 4/11/11)

Peoria parishioners undaunted
The Congregation of Clergy in Rome upheld Peoria Bishop Daniel Jenky’s decree to merge Streator, IL parishes. According to Sean Peters, spokesman for Save the Catholic Parishes. “We expected the Congregation of Clergy to uphold this decision regarding the parishes, … a church and a parish are not the same thing...We are awaiting a decree from the bishop regarding a possible relegation of profane use for the churches” (The (Peoria) Times, 6/12/11).

Wilkes Barre parishioners prepare three more appeals
About 25 members of the Sacred Heart Wilkes-Barre Foundation, a group of church members fighting to keep their church open, rallied on the steps of the church before 4 p.m. Mass on May 22 after their most recent appeal was rejected. Noreen Foti said the foundation is now preparing three appeals: one to the Apostolic Signatura, the highest Roman Catholic judicial authority, one to current Bishop Joseph Bambera and an additional emergency filing to the Vatican high court (Wilkes Barre Times-Leader, 5/22/11).

Toledo ‘Roaming Catholics’ still struggle with parish closings from 2005
“A lot of people haven’t gone back. I haven’t really gone back anywhere. I just kind of float around,” said Rick Napierala (Toledo Blade, 4/10/11).

Focus on FutureChurch

Summer 2011


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