Bishop Lennon comments on Vatican overturning church closings
In an open letter to be read Palm Sunday in the 174 churches of the Cleveland Catholic diocese, Bishop Richard Lennon, makes his first public comment on the recent Vatican rulings overturning the closing or merger of 14 parishes he ordered in 2009.
The former St. Mary parish, 309 Seventh St., Lorain, which was merged with Holy Trinity, 2428 Elyria Ave., and renamed Mary, Mother of God Church, won its appeal against the merger and the right to retain its original name of St. Mary. There are also 13 churches in the diocese that the Vatican ruled Lennon did not follow church law when he ordered them closed. In his Palm Sunday letter, Lennon said, “I know that many of you have questions about the recent decree from the Congregation of the Clergy in Rome (the so-called Supreme Court of the Vatican), regarding the closing of certain parishes … I want to provide an update on the prayerful and thoughtful process I am taking as your bishop to act in the interests of our church, our diocese and all of its people.”
Lennon went on to state, “This is a very complex matter with no easy or perfect solution. With the help of a number of advisors, including members of the clergy, laity and experts in church law, I am carefully studying and seeking to fully understand the decrees. I can assure you that this is not nearly as clear-cut as it may appear on the surface. Although the decrees are brief in length, they are deep in underlying meaning and I continue to receive significant input and clarification.”
If Lennon wishes to appeal the Vatican ruling, he has until May 14. [More]