Cleveland Bishop Says Diocese Church Closings Mean 52 Fewer Parishes by 2010

By Associated Press
Fox 8
March 14, 2009,0,3612752.story

CLEVELAND (AP) Cleveland's Roman Catholic bishop has announced that a plan to downsize the diocese will mean 52 fewer parishes.

Bishop Richard Lennon says Saturday that the plan closes 29 parishes and requires another 41 to merge to create 18 new churches.

Lennon is not publicly releasing the names of the affected parishes until Sunday but the news is being delivered Saturday to priests around the diocese. Five churches in Akron will be closed under the plan.

Many old, inner-city parishes have shrunk as the population of Cleveland has decreased through flight to the suburbs. The diocese says 42 percent of parishes are operating in the red.

The diocese currently has 224 parishes serving about 766,000 Catholics in eight northeast Ohio counties.


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