Denver Newsroom, Oct 11, 2022 / 17:00 pm
Bishop Jeffrey Monforton of Steubenville, Ohio, announced in a message to the diocese on Tuesday that a merger of the local Church with the Diocese of Columbus seems to be the best response to the decline in the area’s population.
“It is with sadness of heart that I share with you the continued decline in the Ohio Valley population and how it adversely affects our future sustainability. Furthermore, we are all too aware how the population is aging as well, to our ministerial detriment,” Monforton wrote in a column for The Steubenville Register published Oct. 11.
“In my discussion with the Ohio bishops it appears a merging of the Diocese of Steubenville with the Diocese of Columbus would be the best solution,” the bishop explained.
The Steubenville diocese comprises 13 counties in southeastern Ohio, and the Columbus diocese, which borders it to the west, includes 23 counties in south-central Ohio. The Steubenville diocese was erected out of the territory of the Diocese of Columbus in 1944.