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Archbishop spares two Mass. parishes

Oct. 17, 2004 at 7:47 PM

BOSTON, Oct. 17 (UPI) -- Archbishop Sean O`Malley has announced two Massachusetts parishes scheduled to close this month will remain open, the Boston Herald reported Sunday.

The announcement spared Roxbury's Saint Mary of the Angels parish for two years. The bishop cited the continuing need for the church's work against neighborhood violence.

However, Newton's Saint Bernard parish, where members are moving towards a sit-in vigil, was spared only "until further notice."

"We really consider this to be insulting from the archdiocese," said John Mahoney of the group Friends of Saint Bernard. "This announcement from the archdiocese means very little to us, and we intend to go forward with our occupation next week."

Mahoney saw the move as a desperate attempt by church leaders to head off another embarrassing sit-in. Churches marked for closure in Weymouth, Sudbury, Salem and East Boston have all used the tactic to keep their doors open.

The archdiocese has announced plans to close 82 parishes amid a priest shortage and dwindling church attendance.

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