HomeUSSt. Louis parish appeals continue as Vatican upholds latest merger

St. Louis parish appeals continue as Vatican upholds latest merger

As the Vatican has considered the appeals, a few have been accepted, reversing Rozanski’s decisions. Under canon law, a diocesan bishop has the authority to alter parishes, but only for a just reason specific to each parish. Concern for souls must be the principal motivation for modifying a parish.

In May, the dicastery ordered that St. Angela Merici, St. Norbert, and Holy Name of Jesus parishes should not be merged into a single parish but rather can retain their status as separate parishes while under the care of the same pastor. In addition, the dicastery did not find just cause for St. Martin of Tours Parish in Lemay, Missouri, to be subsumed by St. Mark Parish. St. Richard Parish near Creve Coeur, Missouri, also had its closure decree overturned earlier this year.  

Other parishes that appealed, such as St. Roch Parish in St. Louis and St. Barnabas Parish in O’Fallon, have had their mergers upheld. 

Five parishes in the archdiocese — St. Bernadette, St. Agnes, St. Lawrence, St. Matthew, and Our Lady of Sorrows — still have outstanding appeals with the Vatican as of publication time. 

The St. Louis parishes’ appeals to the Vatican are not unprecedented in the United States. In dioceses such as Cleveland; Buffalo, New York; Boston; and Springfield, Massachusetts, parishioners have issued appeals to the Dicastery for the Clergy to save their parishes after their bishops ordered them closed.

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