There are many more important issues to discuss (Iran negotiations, Israeli suicide instinct, hostage-taking copy-cats, etc.) than the one I am about to describe. But I can't resist.

The Archdiocese of New York has had a lenghty, intense consultation about parish closings. Several people in my own parish were involved, many meetings, discussions, etc. The expectations were that New York Catholics such as these would come up with a list of parishes that might reasonably be considered for merger or closing. The list of 112 was released in November.  It now appears that Cardinal Dolan has issued an additional list of 38 parishes to merge because the consultation didn't come up with enough closings or mergers.

One of the parishes on the Cardinal's list is St. Thomas More, which is a solvent, thriving East side institution with a wonderful pastor. Who knows what the Cardinal is thinking. But here's one suggestion: The parish was originally built by the Episcopal Church and the building subsequently sold to the Catholics. How about the Cardinal gives the thriving parish back to the Episcopal Church and the current parishioners who chose to do so could join the Episcopal Church. Story here.

Margaret O’Brien Steinfels is a former editor of Commonweal. 

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