St. Louis, Mo., Oct 31, 2023 / 14:15 pm
The Vatican’s Dicastery for the Clergy has agreed to review the mergers of two Archdiocese of St. Louis parishes, which Archbishop Mitchell Rozanski had decreed in May as part of a major pastoral planning initiative affecting parishes and priests in the archdiocese.
Rozanski received correspondence this week informing him that the dicastery has accepted petitions for recourse against decrees related to two parishes: St. Elizabeth, Mother of John the Baptist Parish in St. Louis, and Sts. Philip and James Parish in River aux Vases, Missouri.
Both parishes had, at Rozanski’s direction, been subsumed into others in recent months, creating new parish groupings. Under Rozanski’s decree, St. Elizabeth had been grouped together with three other parishes, while Sts. Philip and James was subsumed into one other parish.
St. Elizabeth and Sts. Philip and James were just two of several parishes with parishioners who sought recourse from the Vatican against Rozanski’s decrees, beginning this summer. 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.