Congregation for the Clergy, Merger of parishes, 25 January 2011, Private.


Following a consultation for the realignment of parishes, the Diocesan Bishop, having consulted the Presbyteral Council, issued a decree of merger for the affected parishes. Members of the “closed” parish appealed to the Congregation for the Clergy. The response of the Congregation follows.




Congregatio Pro Clericis

Vatican City

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Prot. N. ______

Your Excellency,

This Congregation encloses, for Your Excellency’s information, its canonical response to the hierarchical recourse presented by ______ et al, against Your Excellency’s decree of 29 November, 2009 to “merge” (c. 515 §2) the parish of ______, ______.

I take this opportunity to renew my sentiments of esteem and with every best wish, I remain,

Yours Sincerely in Christ,

(Signed)

Mons. Celso Morga Iruzubieta

Titular Archbishop Elect of Alba marittima

Secretary




Congregatio Pro Clericis

Decree

Prot. N. ______

1. Whereas His Excellency, the Most Reverend ______, Bishop of the Diocese of ______, conducted a consultation process, beginning in 2004, regarding a realignment in the Diocese;

2. Whereas regional listening sessions were held to assist the “Director of Pastoral Planning” to make his decisions;

3. Whereas one of the parishes studied was that of ______, in the Diocese of ______, which was established as a personal parish for those of French ethnicity;

4. Whereas the Pastoral Planning Committee issued its Report and Recommendations, on 25th August, 2009, basing its recommendations for ______ “upon the quantitative data and the qualitative data collected by the Pastoral Planning Committee;”

5. Whereas general motivations given regarding the realignment were the declining number of clergy and an inadequate number of new vocations to repopulate the clergy;

6. Whereas the Diocese determined that the number of parishes within the town limits of ______ should be reduced from ten to five, because of financial considerations and following more effective models of ministry;

7. Whereas, on 11th August, 2009, the Ordinary consulted with the Presbyteral Council of the Diocese of ______, in conformity with canon 515 §2 of the Code of Canon Law; and the Presbyteral Council accepted the recommendation that ______ be merged with ______;

8. Whereas on 23rd November, 2009, the Most Reverend ______, Bishop of ______ issued a decree, to “merge” the parish of ______, simultaneously indicating that the Church building be used for the ministry of the adjacent Catholic High School, such decree to take effect before 29th November, 2009;

9. Whereas on 28th November, 2009, Mrs. ______ and other parishioners of Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary, wrote to the Bishop of ______, to appeal the “closing/merger/suppression of our parish;”

10. Whereas after a month’s silence, on 30 December, 2009, Mrs. ______ and other parishioners, presuming a negative response, and within acceptable time frames, wrote to the Congregation for the Clergy, requesting to take hierarchical recourse against the dispositions of the Bishop of ______ regarding the “closing/merger/suppression” of their parish;

11. The Congregation for the Clergy having examined the acta in regard to the procedures followed, and studying the Ordinary’s responses regarding his motivations for issuing the decree notes that with regard to the merger of the Parish of the ______, that although the decree of 23rd November 2009 provides no explicit motivation ad rem for the decision, this is, in a very summary fashion, provided for in the acts, in a fashion so as to sanate the lack of citation in the Decree. This Dicastery finds the reasoning consistent with the requirements of the law regarding the merger of the parishes.

Therefore, the Dicastery:

hereby decrees that this petition for recourse as presented, with regard to the merger of the parish (c. 515, 2) has no canonical basis in law and in fact and is hereby rejected both de procedendo and de decernendo.

Recourse against this Decree may be made before the supreme Tribunal of the Apostolic Signatura within the peremptory time limits established in the Apostolic Constitution Pastor Bonus, art. 123 §1.

Given at the Seat of the Congregation for the Clergy

25 January 2011

(Signed)

Mauro Cardinal Piacenza

Prefect

(Signed)

Mons. Celso Morga Iruzubieta

Titular Archbishop Elect of Alba marittima

Secretary




Congregation for the Clergy, Merger of parishes, 25 January 2011, Private, CLSA, Roman Replies and Advisory Opinions, 2011, 24-26.