Seattle archdiocese asks pastors to resign ahead of parish consolidation

The Archdiocese of Seattle has requested that all parish pastors submit their resignations from office as part of a years-long parish consolidation process across the archdiocese, which is expected to reduce the number of parishes by more than half.

Archdiocesan officials say the move comes after considerable consultation with clergy and is meant to streamline a complicated process of joining parishes.

But some in the archdiocese have said the request was unsettling — and their concern points to the challenge of making diocesan changes amid dwindling clerical trust in diocesan bishops.

In an Aug 27 email, Seattle’s vicar for clergy notified priests that the archdiocesan parish consolidation project, called Partners in the Gospel, would require that all priests in parish ministry be formally reassigned next year — even those who will continue serving the same community in which they are presently assigned.

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