Parishioners: Closed Ohio Church Spared By Vatican

By: Associated Press
By: Associated Press

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (AP) -- Parishioners say the Vatican has overruled a second Ohio bishop and ordered a church reopened.

Parishioners who appealed the closing of Immaculate Conception Church in Wellsville by the Youngstown Roman Catholic Diocese said Thursday they received word from the Vatican upholding their challenge.

They say the parish had 150 families, sound finances and its one Sunday Mass was crowded.

Youngstown Bishop George Murry must decide whether to abide by the ruling or appeal it.

Cleveland's bishop decided against appealing a similar directive that cleared the way for 11 closed churches to reopen. A 12th merged parish won back its original name.

Once a rarity, the Vatican has overturned at least 28 church closings in seven U.S. dioceses in recent years.

(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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