The Cleveland Diocese is planning to close 50 churches, leaving parishioners praying their spiritual home won’t be one of those that’s shuttered.
The diocese plans to close one-third of its churches. Most affected will be inner-city parishes in Cleveland, Akron and Elyria.
Membership in the catholic diocese reflects population patterns in Northeast Ohio and throughout the Rust Belt. Since 2006, the diocese’s membership has declined from 1 million to 800,000 and those that remain are more widely dispersed between the surrounding counties, The Plain Dealer reports.
“We’re just too big for the number of people that we have,” Bishop Richard Lennon said. “Something had to be done.”