A week after news broke about their content, the decrees from the Vatican's Congregation of the Clergy regarding appeals by 13 shuttered Cleveland parishes have arrived at the diocese and Bishop Richard G. Lennon has received them.
In a brief statement released Wednesday through the diocesan website, Lennon acknowledged receiving the decrees from the congregation and said he will now begin reviewing their rulings with his advisers.
Lennon has 60 days to determine if he wishes to appeal the congregation's decision to overrule his closing of 13 churches and suppressing their parishes. The appeal process would go through the Apostolic Signatura, the Vatican's Supreme Court.
Regardless of what Lennon decides to do, those sided with the parishes want Lennon to reopen their churches immediately, in accordance with the decrees.
"[An appeal is] within his right," said Peter Borre, an adviser to the parishes. "However, the status quo now canonically is that these 13 things are Catholic parishes, and the 13 padlocked buildings are parochial churches with full standing.