SPRINGFIELD, Mass. -- The Springfield Diocese has been informed that the Apostolic Signature, the Vatican's highest tribunal, has upheld the diocese's decision to suppress and close three parishes.
According to a Nov. 10 press release issued by the diocese, the upholding of the parish closings "is a definitive finding which supports the actions of the diocese, thus removing any possibility for their restoration as parishes."
The three parishes in the western Massachusetts diocese involved in the final ruling are: St. Stanislaus Kostka in Adams and St. George and St. Patrick in Chicopee. The decision affirmed merging St. Stanislaus Kostka with Pope John Paul the Great Parish, and St. George and St. Patrick with Holy Name of Jesus.
It also affirms a ruling made earlier this year by the Vatican Congregation for Clergy that upheld the parish mergers.
In the same action, the press release said, the Vatican court indicated the diocese had not yet provided sufficient cause to use the former churches for nonreligious uses, a similar point made by the Vatican Congregation for Clergy in its decision.