Closed Parishes Expected to Reopen Late Summer

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CLEVELAND -- A spokesman for the Diocese of Cleveland says 11 churches that the Vatican ordered to be reopened should be operational by the end of summer.

"Hopefully, we can get most of the churches reopened in June," says Robert Tayek, the head of communications for the diocese.

Bishop Richard Lennon had closed 50 churches as part of a painful downsizing.

Twelve churches appealed to the Vatican.

In a stunning decision, the Vatican ordered the churches reopened.

The bishop has indicated that one of the parishes -- St. Mary's in Lorain -- he only has to restore the name. It was merged with another church under a different name at the site of what was St. Mary's.

Among the biggest decisions that must be made is who the pastors will be for the reopened parishes.

One parish, St. Patrick's in West Park, has filed another motion with the Vatican, asking that its parish be reopened within 15 days.

"We've been basically left in the dark," says Pat Schulte Singleton, a St. Patrick's member.

Tayek says the diocese is in the process of reaching out to parishioners in all the closed churches.

He indicated that the finances of the churches are "mixed" and says, long-term, the parishes must be able to stand on their own financially if they are to survive.