Camden bishop reduces church consolidation

CAMDEN, N.J. (AP) - August 27, 2008 Bishop Joseph Galante says he'll keep intact two parishes that were scheduled for consolidation. Three others will remain auxiliary worship sites for merged parishes rather than being closed.

In April, the diocese announced it was planning to reduce the number of parishes to 66. It was one of the most ambitious church consolidation programs in the nation.

The diocese, which includes seven counties in southern New Jersey, says it's trying to serve a shifting Roman Catholic population.

But some parishioners talked of appealing to the Vatican and threatened legal action.

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