Ohio’s Catholic Diocese of Columbus will close 15 churches as part of a parish reorganization and merger plan, but Bishop Earl Fernandes emphasized new possibilities for growth, especially if lay Catholics take on more responsibility for the Church’s future.
“When I arrived, I said I’m not interested in presiding over 25 years of decline in the diocese,” the bishop said in a May 25 video series posted at the diocese’s YouTube channel. “I want to grow the Church, not for my glory, but for God’s glory,” he said.
Bishop Fernandes said the reorganization plan was an effort to “try to come up with the best possible solution for the whole Diocese of Columbus.”
The bishop stressed the need for “an engaged lay faithful” who take shared responsibility for the Church’s mission of evangelization and for the future of their parishes in “authentic collaboration” with clergy.
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