Springfield, Mass., Feb 17, 2011 / 15:47 pm
While a decree from the Vatican held that three churches in the Diocese of Springfield should not be closed, a canon lawyer who analyzed the ruling said that the document leaves open the possibility that the churches can still be shut down if proper procedure is followed.
Bishop Timothy A. McDonnell of Springfield sought “immediate clarification” about the decree from Cardinal Mauro Piacenza of the Vatican’s Congregation for the Clergy, the diocese said on Feb. 16.
Officials at the congregation told CNA that they could not immediately respond to requests for comment on the case and that replies to inquiries would only come through official channels.
The congregation upheld the diocese’s decision to merge St. Stanislaus Kostka Parish in Adams, and two parishes in Chicopee, Mass.—St. George and St. Patrick—with other local parishes. However, the congregation said that sufficiently grave reason was not given to close each of the church buildings and they should be used in some manner as determined by the bishop.