Cleveland Parishes Still Empty, Diocese Leader Responds

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CLEVELAND — Several Catholic churches in our area are still empty nearly a month after the Vatican ruled they were wrongfully shutdown.

And now, the head of the Cleveland Diocese is speaking out for the first time.

Bishop Lennon did not speak on-camera, but sent out a letter addressing the latest decree from the Vatican on the closing of 13 parishes in our area.

In the letter, the Bishop Richard Lennon said he, members of the clergy and experts in church law are carefully looking into what he calls a “complex matter.”

But some members of St. Pat’s in Kamm’s Corner, one of the parishes shutdown two years ago, said it’s a shame the parishes will be closed on the holiest day of the year, Easter Sunday.

The bishop went on to say in the letter that he will, “….act full in accordance with the teachings of the Catholic church and with the utmost respect for its governance and authority.”

Parishioner Patricia Schulte-Singleton said it’s time for Bishop Lennon to obey Rome.

“What’s troubling is that there’s no decision.  Is he gong to obey Rome or is he not?  And that’s something that the Catholics of the Cleveland Diocese need to know as well as the decreed parishioners from the parishes,” said Schulte-Singleton.

Bishop Lennon did not mention a timetable for a decision or action.

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