Church closures set off wedding scrambles

April 27, 2004 at 9:31 AM
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BOSTON, April 27 (UPI) -- The Archdiocese of Boston is looking into contingencies should parish closings result in scheduled weddings having to be moved to other churches.

Archbishop Sean O'Malley, the leader of the Roman Catholic community in Boston, next month is to announce a significant -- if as yet undetermined -- number of parishes will be closed because of sagging attendance at services and contributions to the church. The closings would take effect this summer and fall.

Priests have been asked for suggestions and reconfigurations of the 357 Boston-area parishes, including schedules of planned weddings and other important events, the Boston Globe reported Tuesday.

Since many parishes have a policy to schedule weddings at least six months in advance, many couples will likely be affected. How many is unclear, because which churches will be closed and the timing of the closures is still to be determined.

"If a bride calls wanting to get married here, I can't promise that there'll be church in the fall or next year, so I have to be fair to them," the Rev. Paul McDonald told the newspaper. "In one case, I suggested they might contact a neighboring parish to set a tentative date there."

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