Bishop Answer Questions About Restructuring 4-19-2011 - WNEM TV 5

Bishop Answer Questions About Restructuring 4-19-2011

Following several interview requests about the letter recently sent to parish leaders in the Diocese of Saginaw, Bishop Joseph Cistone took questions from the media Tuesday afternoon.
In the letter, Cistone said the church must assess the viability of its 109 churches because of financial constraints and a shortage of clergy.
Cistone said the diocese faces increasing challenges because of the drop in the number of priests and the limited availability of administrators. The diocese serves about 132,000 Roman Catholics in 11 counties.
Next year, the diocese will have 57 active priests for its 109 churches, besides 26 active and senior priests who can provide some services.
On Tuesday, Cistone invited in the press to calm jitters and explain that the evaluation process is an ongoing on and that cutbacks won't take place until the issue is fully studied.
The priest shortage is a concern for the dioceses. They have talked to consultants about the shortage and what it could mean to the future of the diocese. Some worry that the shortage may lead to the consolidation of some parishes.
Father Ron Wagner told TV5's Brian Wood that about 50 percent of the priests are now doing double duty, tending to flocks at several churches.
Click the video below to watch Cistone's news conference:
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