Priest Sounds Alarm On Parish Changes

A veteran priest is warning Boston Cardinal Sean O'Malley that an archdiocese proposal for a more efficient parish structure could devastate priests.

The archdiocese has proposed dividing its 290 parishes into 125 groups that share resources to cut costs and put the archdiocese in better position for evangelization and growth.

In a letter obtained by The Associated Press, Monsignor William Helmick says the proposal could result in "serious psychological and even physical sickness" for priests. He says he's concerned the 165 priests who aren't chosen to lead one of the 125 groups would be dismissed as pastors.

A spokesman for the archdiocese says the plan is not to dismiss pastors, but to become more efficient so priests can better serve the church's mission.

The letter was provided by a group that opposes church closings.

This program aired on February 9, 2012. The audio for this program is not available.


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