To-day, at noon, there was proclaimed in front of the portico, and cathedral doors, of St. John the Evangelist, Cleveland, Ohio, ten questions addressed to Bishop Richard Lennon. '', a group of catholic parishioners of the Cleveland diocese were the presenters of the questions regarding the intransparency and injustice of parish suppression and closure. '' is a group of catholic parishioners of the Cleveland diocese, speaking for some whom may be shy, or afeared, or despairing of being actually heard by the bishop and the public. They wish a conversation with the bishop. They point out there is nothing resembling a one-to-one correspondence with the stated rationale and the reality of closure.
1. In the Five Year Diocesan Financial Projection where are the major budget shortfalls and how does closing vibrant parishes plug the shortfalls?
2. How much money has been collected from closed (not merging) parish accounts? Would you please list the closed parishes and amount of money the diocese has collected from each? Would you please list the receiving parishes and amount the diocese has distributed to each?
3. Some dioceses follow a peaceful and progressive plan which organizes pastoral units (approved by canon law) where groups of parishes are served by pastoral teams. This allows each parish to decide whether to close or remain open. Did Cleveland ever consider such a process? If yes, why was it not implemented?
4. How do you respond to accusations that the Cleveland Cluster/Close Program (which forces parishes to sacrifice each other) is unjust, cruel, abusive and unChristian?
5. How do you explain the fact that the Cleveland Cluster/Close Program often ignored and reversed cluster recommendations?
6. Would you consider giving churches a second chance for continued existence if those churches can prove they are self sustaining, active in social service, able to pay all assessments and are working to increase membership?
7. Would you consent to a mediation effort between the Diocese of Cleveland and the Churches Asking for Second Chances, with mediators agreed to by Diocese and Churches?
8. Is there a reason why you are closing and stripping churches that are in appeal to Rome without waiting for answers from Rome? Has Rome given permission to close appealing parishes?
9. Why are ethnic and African American parishes being disproportionately targeted for closing?
10. Why is the Cleveland Diocese more concerned about dwindling financials than the dwindling number of people in the pews?