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Catholic World News

Vatican decision blocks closing of church in Ohio

August 17, 2012

The Vatican has overturned a decision by Bishop George Murry of Youngstown, Ohio, to close down a church, although the Vatican order does not require the bishop to reopen the parish.

The ruling from the Congregation for Clergy partially upheld an appeal by parishioners who sought to block the closing of Immaculate Conception church in Wellsville. Bishop Murry may appeal the decision.

In recent rulings on parish-closing decisions, the Vatican has issued several decisions ordering bishops not to close churches, without opposing the bishops’ decisions on parish configurations. In general the rulings have emphasized that while a parish may be closed or merged, the church should remain open for worship in the absence of a compelling reason to close it.


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