New York archdiocese merges dozens of parishes

New York archdiocese has moved to merge more than 50 of its 368 parishes with neighbouring parishes.

In a column published online in Catholic New York, Cardinal Timothy Dolan said 14 per cent of the archdiocese’s 368 parishes would undergo a “purgatory” of sorts and be merged with neighbours.

“I wish it could be different. I’d rather be adding parishes, or expanding the ones we have,” Cardinal Dolan wrote.

The archdiocese, which covers the Bronx, Manhattan, Staten Island and parts of the Hudson Valley, can no longer fill the seats in all its parishes, he explained.

“In areas that used to have huge Catholic numbers . . . most of the people have since moved away.

“On Manhattan alone, for instance, we have 88 parishes, some only blocks apart. Do the math: We have about 25 per cent of our parishes in an area where less than 12 per cent of the 2.8 million Catholics of the archdiocese reside,” he said.

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