Vatican investigates Cleveland closures

The Vatican is investigating Bishop Richard Lennon’s closings of churches in the Cleveland Diocese.

The report Friday in the Italian newspaper La Stampa by veteran Vatican journalist Marco Tosatti, said the Vatican has decided to send “an apostolic visit, or rather, an investigation” to look into Lennon’s decisions on the closings, the Plain Dealer reports.

Lennon, citing changes in Catholic demographics, a shortage of priests and dwindling Sunday cash collections, ordered the shuttering of 50 parishes, beginning in August 2009 and ending in June 2010.

More than a dozen Cleveland-area churches appealed their closings to the Holy See and are still waiting for decisions from the Congregation for the Clergy.

The report published in La Stampa’s “Vatican Insider” said, “… “The reasons that prompted the decision to close parishes in Cleveland have been the flow of population to outlying areas, the financial difficulties that have seen 42 percent of parish budgets finish in the red and the shortage of priests.

” . . . The apostolic visit will serve to ascertain the facts.”

The Italian paper said the Congregation for the Clergy is preparing guidelines on how “each individual diocese must act to rebuild its presence in their area.” The guidelines could be ready by October, the newspaper said.


Bishop Richard Lennon’s Cleveland Catholic Diocese church closings under investigation by Vatican, Italian newspaper reports (The Plain Dealer)

Vatican document on the reorganisation of U.S. dioceses (Vatican Insider)


First Friday Club of Cleveland – Bishop Richard Lennon (Cleveland Diocese/YouTube)