Allentown Diocese closing dozens of parishes

June 1, 2008 1:08:02 PM PDT
The Roman Catholic Diocese of Allentown is closing dozens of parishes.

The diocese currently has 151 churches in Lehigh, Northampton, Berks, Carbon and Schuylkill counties. But declining membership and a shortage of priests have caused a squeeze on Roman Catholic dioceses throughout the nation.

Some small towns will be without a Catholic church, including Coaldale, which now has three. South Bethlehem, which now has five parishes, will have only one.

The consolidation plans were announced at Saturday night Masses, when priests read a letter from Bishop Edward Cullen. He wrote that feelings of disappointment or pain are understandable but said it's an opportunity for growth.

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Information from: The Morning Call,