Challenge Grant: Our Boosters will match donations up to $45,000. We have $36,784 to go. Please donate!
Click here to advertise on CatholicCulture.org

Springfield diocese responds to Vatican decision on church closings

Catholic World News - February 17, 2011

The Diocese of Springfield, Massachusetts, has released a public statement responding to a Vatican decision that blocked the closing of three churches.

The diocesan statement noted that the Congregation for Clergy had upheld the decision to close 5 parishes, but had found that in 3 cases, “sufficiently grave reason was not provided to close each of these church buildings.” While the Vatican ruled that these churches should remain open, the diocese stressed, they will not be ordinary parish churches, and the bishop has the authority to determine how they should be used.

Bishop Timothy McDonnell is seeking clarification of the ruling, the diocese revealed, since the decision “seems to be undertaking a new application of church law.”

Earlier this week, members of the affected parishes announced the Vatican ruling, apparently catching diocesan officials unprepared. The February 17 statement from Springfield said:

Cardinal Mauro Piacenza, prefect for the congregation, has apologized to Springfield Bishop Timothy A. McDonnell for failing to present the decisions to the diocese before their public release.

Additional sources for this story
Some links will take you to other sites, in a new window.

An appeal from our founder, Dr. Jeffrey Mirus:

Dear reader: If you found the information on this page helpful in your pursuit of a better Catholic life, please support our work with a donation. Your donation will help us reach seven million Truth-seeking readers worldwide this year. Thank you!

Our Fall Campaign
Progress toward our year-end goal ($125,163 to go):
$150,000.00 $24,837.05
83% 17%
Sound Off! CatholicCulture.org supporters weigh in.

All comments are moderated. To lighten our editing burden, only current donors are allowed to Sound Off. If you are a donor, log in to see the comment form; otherwise please support our work, and Sound Off!

Show 2 Comments? (Hidden)Hide Comments
  • Posted by: lauriem5377 - Feb. 17, 2011 8:51 PM ET USA

    Since both the Bishop and the parishioners had interests in this case (unfortunately different interests), I think they should have been notified at the same time. I pray for Bishops and parishioners to be on the same page - our Lord's page - instead of jockeying for power..........

  • Posted by: stpetric - Feb. 17, 2011 6:46 PM ET USA

    Why is Rome micro-managing the affairs of a local diocese? Without even giving the bishop advance notice, it's hard to see how Rome isn't undercutting his authority.

Fall 2014 Campaign
Subscribe for free
Shop Amazon
Click here to advertise on CatholicCulture.org

Recent Catholic Commentary

The Church Moves On, Slowly 9 hours ago
Is Cardinal Kasper losing his grip? 14 hours ago
The Pope is not the problem October 23
Do not confuse sacramental discipline and Catholic doctrine. October 23
Ignatius Press into the Breach: Trumping the Kasper Proposal October 22

Top Catholic News

Most Important Stories of the Last 30 Days
Key synod report calls for 'gradualism' in Church response to irregular family situations CWN - October 13
As synod concludes, bishops issue message, approve document; Pope weighs in CWN - October 20
Cardinal Parolin: UN must protect innocents from Islamic State CWN - September 30
Synod of Bishops opens with Mass in St. Peter’s Basilica CWN - October 6