March 7, 2014

Vatican court denies appeal of merger of Holy Rosary Parish in Seelyville

Criterion staff report

The Apostolic Signatura, the highest canon law court at the Vatican, has denied petitions by four people in the Terre Haute Deanery who sought to have the merger of Holy Rosary Parish in Seelyville with Annunciation Parish in Brazil rescinded.

The petitioners were informed of the court’s decision late last month.

Holy Rosary Parish was one of four parishes in the Terre Haute Deanery that were closed in 2011 and 2012 as a result of the planning process that has come to be known as “Connected in the Spirit.”

In a letter to Archbishop Joseph W. Tobin, Archbishop Frans Daneels, secretary of the Apostolic Signatura, noted that the decision was made by a group of members of the court and that it could be appealed to all of its members. The petitioners had 10 days from the time they were informed of the decision to make their appeal.

The petitioners had earlier made an appeal to the Vatican’s Congregation for the Clergy of the decision to merge Holy Rosary Parish with Annunciation Parish. That congregation denied that appeal last September.

Although Holy Rosary Parish has merged with Annunciation Parish, Holy Rosary Church has remained open for limited sacred use, such as for weddings and funerals.

(For more information about the “Connected in the Spirit” planning process, log on to

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