Cleveland Catholic Diocese Bishop Richard Lennon is meeting this week with parishioners from several closed churches ordered by the Vatican to be re-opened, including St. John The Baptist and St. Marys in Akron.
Diocese spokesman Bob Tayek tells AkronNewsNow the diocese is just beginning to plan for the reopening of the churches, many of which have been closed for at least two years. " The bishop's meeting with these folks basically in hopes in establishing first of all what did the parish look like when it was first closed, and what are they looking forward to, what do they think it will look like, and the issues that have to be contended with."
Tayek says the first issue that must be addressed is who will lead each church. " That's what is being dealt with now at the diocesan level, to establish those individuals, because that person really will become the leader of the parish," says Tayek.
Bob Tayek says in some cases the re-opened churches will have to share priests or administrators, due to a shortage of priests.
Tayek says Bishop Lennon also wants to know how the churches plan to resolve the issues that had them closed in the first place such as the size of the congregation and finances, will they be financially able to fund church activities.
Tayek says the diocese has set no firm timetable for re-reopening the churches, but indicates the process will be expedited to make the re-openings happen as soon as possible.