Shrinking attendance and shifting population led to the closures, which will leave the archdiocese with 219 parishes, down from 266 in 2010.
During the first day of their summer assembly, the U.S. bishops focused on issues of religious liberty, same-sex marriage, and participation in the U.S. political sphere.
The U.S. bishops will converge on New Orleans next week. Here's what they're set to talk about.
The 1996 Pennsylvania law that recognizes marriage between one man and one woman is unconstitutional, a federal judge ruled Tuesday, clearing the way for same-sex marriage in the state.
Reaction to the ruling in the Catholic community was swift and strong.
Archbishop Charles Chaput of Philadelphia in a statement called the decision by U.S. District Court Judge John E. Jones III to strike down Pennsylvania's Defense of Marriage Act "a mistake with long-term, negative consequences."
Pope Francis' compassion for the needs of people around the world "and his deep care for the institution of the family" were the inspiration for the theme.
The U.S. bishops, meeting June 11-13 in New Orleans, will discuss today's economy and its impact on marriages and evangelization. They will also review their efforts in preventing sexual abuse of children, strengthening marriage, helping typhoon victims and preparing for upcoming church-sponsored events on family life.
The bishops will hear presentations on "Marriage and the Economy" and "the New Evangelization and Poverty" on the second day of their gathering before they close for executive sessions.
After decades of often secretive financial management decisions, the Philadelphia archdiocese is making progress toward tackling a chronic operating deficit and meeting its financial obligations.
The world's bishops, priests and deacons need people's prayers and encouragement to continually deepen their relationship with Jesus and serve their community with love, Pope Francis said.
A minister of God who does not nourish his love for Christ, his church and his flock "inevitably ends up losing sight and an authentic sense of his service and the joy that comes from a deep communion with Jesus," he said.
Prayerfully and joyously welcomed into St. Patrick Cathedral for his installation Mass as the 11th bishop of the diocese of Harrisburg on Wednesday, Bishop Ronald Gainer held up St. Joseph -- whose feast the church celebrated that day -- as "a challenging example" for the members of the church.
Speaking of Joseph's designation as a "just man," Gainer said the description of the saint goes far beyond his decision to take Mary into his home, as was recounted in the day's Gospel.
The coalition contends that the mandate's requirement that its members provide health insurance coverage for contraceptive drugs is contrary to the First Amendment.