12 Boston-area parishes to close Sept. 1

June 10, 2004 at 9:16 AM

BOSTON, June 10 (UPI) -- Twelve Boston-area Roman Catholic parishes have been ordered to close by Sept. 1, the first wave of closures the archdiocese plans to cut costs.

The archdiocese last month announced plans to close 65 parishes by the end of the year. The list of the first 12 parishes to be closed was released Wednesday, the Boston Globe reported. Most of the of parishes listed have relatively small memberships and buildings in poor condition -- and two have not been used for some time because of deterioration, the newspaper said.

The parishes must choose a date to close, after which Archbishop Sean O'Malley will set a formal closing date. Parishioners may appeal to the archbishop and Pope John Paul II.

St. Peter Church in South Boston was one of those ordered to close by Sept. 1, but was given an extension, the Globe reported, so the Lithuanian parish could mark its centennial Sept. 12.

Citing declining attendance in some churches and a drop in collection-plate donations -- some of which may be related to the clergy-sex abuse scandal -- and a rapidly aging clergy, the Archdiocese of Boston announced March 25 it was closing more than five dozen parishes by the end of the year.

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