Cleveland parishes granted stays

Three Cleveland parishes slated for closure have received temporary stays to give the Vatican's Congregation for the Clergy time to review their appeals. The technical jargon is that the parishes have received letters notifying them that their "administrative recourse appeals" against Bishop Richard Lennon of Cleveland have been accepted.

The parishes are: St. Patrick's in the West Park neighborhood, St. Peter's in downtown Cleveland, and St. Barbara on Denison Avenue.

Here's a local news report: 3 parishes continue fight after receiving letter from Vatican.

An e-mail alert about this from Sr. Chris Schenk of FutureChurch, which as a program to help parishes that want to fight closures, says:

Canonical experts tell us such letters are very rare and mean that the initial communication included issues that the Vatican considers troublesome. It is significant that the Vatican responded before the 90 day time limit to tell parishioners that their appeal has been accepted. It probably also means that the Vatican is in communication with Bishop Lennon requesting clarification from him about the issues parishioners brought to the Congregation. Indeed, I have been told that Bishop Lennon plans a "pilgrimage" to Rome in early October.

The FutureChurch e-mail also notes that "Since we believe at least another six parishes wrote appeals, there could soon be others. (stay tuned)"

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