Parishioners Picket Ohio Church Closed 2 Years Ago

By: Associated Press
By: Associated Press
Church shut down as part of a plan to close or merge 50 parishes

Tina Brandenstein (right) and Tony Piurkowsky protest outside Saint John the Baptist Church on the two-year anniversary of the church's closing in Akron.

AKRON, Ohio (AP) -- Protesting parishioners have marked the
second anniversary of the closing of a Roman Catholic church in

The final Mass was celebrated at St. John the Baptist Church in Akron on Oct. 31, 2009.

The Akron Beacon Journal reports that about a dozen people picketed outside the empty church on Saturday, holding signs with
messages such as, "We Built Our Church. You Take It. Why?"

The church was shut down as part of a plan by the eight-county
Cleveland diocese to close or merge 50 parishes. Officials blamed
declining numbers of priests, parishioners and finances.

Protester Barb Piurkowsky maintains that the parish was financially solvent. She and others hope appeals to the Vatican will result in the church's reopening.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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