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Vatican overturns parish closings in Cleveland diocese

Catholic World News - March 07, 2012

The Vatican has reversed a decision by Bishop Richard Lennon to close 13 parishes in the Cleveland diocese, according to a lawyer representing parishioners.

The Congregation for the Clergy ruled that Bishop Lennon had not followed proper procedures in closing the parishes, reports Peter Borre, who has fought parish closings in dioceses all around the US. The 13 churches affected by the Vatican decision are among 50 that Bishop Lennon designated to be closed or merged with other parishes.

A spokesman for the Cleveland diocese declined to comment on Borre’s report , saying that the diocese had not yet received a judgment from Rome on the parish closings.

In past cases the Vatican has supported bishops’ authority to close parishes, although in several cases the Vatican has ruled that the church buildings should be preserved as housed of worship.

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