Wednesday, November 30, 2011


You can’t have a bishop who is not bishop of some place. That is, there are no bishops out there who are just roaming around with no diocese attached to their name. Therefore Bishop Pevec is the bishop of Mercia, Bishop Gries is the bishop of Presidio, and Bishop Quinn is the bishop of Socia.

Interestingly enough all these bishop are also auxiliary bishops of Cleveland. They live and minister right here in the Diocese of Cleveland. The places mentioned are their titular titles. The dioceses are no longer in existence. In fact, the bishops are forbidden to travel there because then they would be obliged to take control and claim the see of the diocese. Interesting reason to not be able to go some place – I wonder how many other similar situations there are like that in the world. . .

Now, admittedly it is a sad a tragic thing that 50 some odd parishes closed in the diocese of Cleveland, but it is not historically unique. Parishes and schools, convents and as seen above even dioceses have grown up and then disappeared. At times, the faith of an entire country can all but dissipate into thin air.

When I was a kid my parish school had already closed (this is the very early 1970s.) My sisters had attended that school but when my time came they were afraid to take me so they closed the school – or so my sisters explained it to me that way. The next parish over had closed their school too and one more on the far side of town would be closed within the next few years. There is still one open in town and doing its best to survive. It was simply a matter of big industry leaving town, the baby boom being over, the nuns pulling out (because they were already experiencing a shortage) and the increasing cost; factors not so different from today.

I still mourn the closing of the parishes and schools in Cleveland. I wish they could stay open forever – the communities, the architecture, the art, the history. . . But this sad state of affairs cannot be viewed, through the lens of history, as terribly unique or unprecedented – just sad. This is the constant state of the Church and will continue to be as long as this earth endures.


Father Gregory said...

Father, I hate to use this public way of contacting you, but would you please give me your email address? I need to talk to you about something.

Father Gregory A. Pilcher, OSB, KCHS, OT.

Anonymous said...

Father Valencheck, y6our blog issued today proves one thing . . . it is . . . . you are a realist

P.S. You were lucky . . . I never had sisters.


Susan said...

Hi Fr. V -

It is very sad to see all the parishes in our Diocese closing and merging. I must say, though, that I think my parish, St. Bernard-St. Mary, is far more than wonderful than what I prayed for. I would not give up one day at my new parish for 10 years at my old parish, which I loved very much. Without the merger, we would not have had the chance to be part of our beautiful new parish. I am forever grateful to Bishop Lennon for putting our two parishes together and selecting an exceptionally fine and well-qualified pastor for us.

Happy Advent from Downtown Akron

Anonymous said...

You are being an equivocator as an apologist for Lennon. Mercia still exists, England was once seven kingdoms. Those parishes were not suppressed when an united England was formed. There are more parishes in Britain now, than in the seventh century.

If one relied on canon law, tradition, and history; one would know a parish is created to be perpetual, and it takes one hundred years of inactivity for it to become extinct. The contemporary situation is the novel exercise of episcopal fiat.

The lennonist suppression program was done through mendacity, intimidation, and spite. The contradictions were plentiful, and anyone pointing any contradiction was either ignored, dismissed, insulted or slandered.

The majority of parishes targeted were personal parishes. This was done to cleanse the diocese of ethnicity. The majority of parishes were 'in the black'. Where there was 'debt' it was assured to be collected, some how from someone. Faith did not "dissipate", it was crushed. This crusher of faith, and destroyer of parishes was Richard Lennon.