No document on US dioceses reorganization, Vatican man says

by Dennis Coday

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The web-world is abuzz with talk about this article from the new site Vatican Insider, Vatican document on the reorganisation of U.S. dioceses, in which Italian Vaticanologist Marco Tosatti writes:

The Congregation for the Clergy in agreement with other departments has prepared a specific document, which will be released after the summer, possibly in October, that is specifically dedicated to the reorganization of American dioceses. The document is currently being examined by the Pontifical Council for Legislative Texts, chaired by Archbishop Francis Coccopalmerio. Obviously the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith is also interested in the matter. It will provide guidelines on how the U.S. Bishops’ Conference, and each individual diocese must act to rebuild its presence in their area.

But Catholic News Services today reports there ain’t no such document. John Thavis writes that “Vatican sources”:

The sources denied an Italian report that the document will issue instructions on the reorganization of U.S. dioceses that face financial pressures in the wake of the sex abuse scandals -- in particular regarding parish closings.

The Vatican is studying a possible document on the relationship of clergy and laity, which touches on the sensitive issue of the administration of the church’s goods, the Vatican said, but that document has been in the works for some time and is much broader than the United States.

Read the full CNS story here: Vatican prepares document on clergy-laity relationship.

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