News Home
Quick Bites
News Archive
News Channel
Special Features
On AirNewsClassical
School Closings
WKSU Support
Funding for WKSU is made possible in part through support from the following businesses and organizations.

Knight Foundation


Northeast Ohio Medical University

For more information on how your company or organization can support WKSU, download the WKSU Media Kit.

(WKSU Media Kit PDF icon )

Donate Your Vehicle to WKSU

Programs Schedule Make A Pledge Member BenefitsFAQ/HelpContact Us

Cleveland Catholic church closings help finances but still generate controversy
Millions of dollars distributed, new uses found for sold churches

Kevin Niedermier
Cleveland Catholic Diocese Bishop Richard Lennon discusses the financial impact of the church closings. He spoke at the Museum of Divine Statues, a closed church turned into a showplace for Catholic icons.
Courtesy of Kevin Niedermier
Download (WKSU Only)
In The Region:

The Cleveland Catholic Diocese is financially stronger after a controversial round of church closings and merger, and the bishop hints there could still be more to do. WKSU’s Kevin Niedermer has more from the press conference today  by Bishop Richard Lennon, and from critics of his closing of more than 50 churches.

Click to listen

Other options:
Windows Media / MP3 Download (2:41)

Lennon on new initiatives

Other options:
Windows Media / MP3 Download (0:16)

Lennon on responsibility

Other options:
Windows Media / MP3 Download (0:15)

(Click image for larger view.)

Since the last church was closed in July 2010, 26 have been sold, and 14 are still up for sale. Another 14 are being maintained while parishioners wait for the Vatican to rule on their appeals. Those verdicts are expected in March.  Bishop Lennon says that so far the sales of buildings and contents, and the transfers of closed parish funds have generated $19.5 million for the diocese that includes Cleveland and Akron.  About $5 million of that was spent on closing costs and paying off parish debts. $8million has been distributed to merged parishes or ones having financial problems, and to charities. Nearly seven-million dollars remains for future uses. Lennon says he has no plans now for more closures, but that could change.


Lennon:  “Regrettably we still have some parishes that are in financial difficulty. It’s a far cry from where we were. In 2006 when I reviewed the records of the diocese we had 84 parishes in deficit spending, now we have 12, so we have made substantial progress.”


Bishop Lennon says he wishes the re-configuration process had gone smoother, and, that in some cases he was unfairly criticized. The emotional closings were concentrated in inner cities. They followed resulted from steep drop-offs in the number of parishioners, and fewer priests available to serve the diocese. These issues are affecting dioceses nationwide. Critics of the closures say they understand the numbers, but still have problems with the decisions.  Bob Kloos is a member of St. Peters in downtown Cleveland.  It’s one of the 14 churches appealing its closure to the Vatican.  Kloos the Vatican is allowing these appeals shows there are credibile concerns that churches like St. Peters should not be closed.


Kloos:  “Oh yeah, he wants  it all to be done and he wants to move on, and he’s made that very, very clear. But it’s paving over some very,very hurtful and questionable decisions. And as much as he wants to move on, I don’t think it necessarily rights the wrongs many people feel were a big part of the reconfiguration.”


Bishop Lennon held his press conference inside the former St Hedwig Catholic Church in Lakewood. The building is now the “Museum of Divine Statues.” A local businessman bought it, and turned it into a showplace for religious statues and other icons from the dioceses’ closed churches.  Lennon haled the museum as an example of some creative uses for the closed churches. Other reincarnations of closed churches include a greenhouse that grows fresh vegetables for neighborhood residents, and a drug rehab center.

Add Your Comment


E-mail: (not published, only used to contact you about your comment)


Page Options

Print this page

E-Mail this page / Send mp3

Share on Facebook

Stories with Recent Comments

Backers of legalizing marijuana in Ohio promise to be back in 2016
We should be aloud to grow more than 4 plants and not have to register with the state considering it will be a free market.

Akron says it's had no second thoughts about welcoming refugees
What business does Councilman Neal own on North Hill? I'd love to support him. I am so glad to have the refugees in our neighborhood. I have lived here for 25 ...

Scarborough says the University of Akron is trying to rebuild relationships
In order for the University of Akron to grow and become a desirable place for students across Ohio and elsewhere, it must address the crime problem in the Akron...

Ohio Sen. Cliff Hite wants to end pay-to-play sports fees at Ohio's schools
You can bet Hite and Husted will also rush to the rescue of the Academic Challenge team, the speech-and-debate squad, the Science Olympians and the chess club. ...

Ohio lawmakers consider new gun bills
States that have gun restrictions/cities have reduced gun violence is false. CHICAGO has some of the toughest gun laaws/restrictions but yet fun violence is off...

Cleveland's public transit system considers fare increase for 2016
I work with individuals with disabilities. Yes some of my folks need more help than the average person. As a whole, the group I work with however can manuver ju...

Community group sues to re-open part of Wadsworth hospital
My father was part of the founding group of citizens which started the "new" Wadsworth/Rittman Hospital. For some reason the leadership for the future of the ho...

The Cleveland Museum of Art presents painters who loved their gardens
brilliant masterpiece, Greetings from

Ohio Sen. Tom Patton proposes bill for firefighter cancer benefits
Thank you Senator Patton. On behalf of all of those who love our firefighters; we appreciate that someone is standing up for them and their continued health. ??...

Copyright © 2015 WKSU Public Radio, All Rights Reserved.

In Partnership With:

NPR PRI Kent State University

listen in windows media format listen in realplayer format Car Talk Hosts: Tom & Ray Magliozzi Fresh Air Host: Terry Gross A Service of Kent State University 89.7 WKSU | NPR.Classical.Other smart stuff. NPR Senior Correspondent: Noah Adams Living on Earth Host: Steve Curwood 89.7 WKSU | NPR.Classical.Other smart stuff. A Service of Kent State University