CLEVELAND, OH (WOIO) - Parishioners of various churches in the Cleveland Catholic Diocese took to the streets Saturday at 1 p.m. to peacefully march and pray from suppressed Historic St. Peter Church to the Cathedral of St. John the Evangelist.
The group called upon Bishop Richard G. Lennon to agree to mediation for those parishes who are appealing his decision to unjustly shutter their churches.
More appealing parishes are scheduled to close with St. Emeric being the last parish slated to close on Wednesday, June 30th. Many parishes (St. Casimir, St. Barbara, St. Wendelin, St. James, St. Patrick-West Park, St. Adalbert, St. Emeric, Historic St. Peter, St. Mary of Bedford, St. Mary of Akron) received a letter of extension from the Congregation for the Clergy (Vatican) dated March 25th, giving the Congregation until June 24th "in order to thoroughly study the matter."
The communication from the Congregation for the Clergy is unusual, since the Vatican letter also requests that parishes directly provide to the Congregation any "developments" that pertain to their respective parishes. Bishop Lennon is blatantly ignoring this communication from the Congregation for the Clergy, which is his hierarchical superior, and also disregarding Catholic Church law- Canon 1736.
Most recently, St. Casimir Church (suppressed) has been listed with CBRE/CB Richard Ellis for sale at $975,000 at the website of www.ccdsales.org. This parish property can't be sold until the administrative recourse of appeal is exhausted as Canon Law dictates for St. Casimir.
Selling St. Casimir would be changing the patrimony of this parish prior to hearing from the Congregation for the Clergy. Parishioners of St. Casimir and many Cleveland Catholics are outraged by this action from the Diocese and Bishop Lennon's lack of sensitivity for Cleveland Catholics.
The Endangered Catholics Coalition was formed in unity to oppose the unjust parish closings where parishioners stand in strong objection to the Bishop's actions.