300 parishioners sue diocese about merger

Almost 300 members of St. Vincent Pallotti parish in Haddon Township, N.J., have sued the Camden diocese, seeking the return of more than $1 million in donations made before the diocese announced a controversial merger plan for their parish.

The donations funded capital improvements that were dedicated in November 2007 -- four months before Bishop Joseph Galante revealed plans to merge St. Vincent Pallotti with St. Aloysius Parish in Oaklyn.

Under the plan, St. Aloysius would be the seat of the combined parish -- and Haddon Township parishioners contend that puts St. Vincent Pallotti's facilities at risk of closing.

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The suit asserts Galante approved the multi-year capital campaign at St. Vincent Pallotti, then did not tell parishioners that he intended to restructure the diocese, said John Wilson, a Collingswood attorney representing the parishioners."


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