June 20, 2014

Members of three Indianapolis parishes make appeals to Archbishop Tobin regarding mergers

Criterion staff report

Members of three Indianapolis parishes that have been slated to be merged with nearby faith communities have filed appeals to Archbishop Joseph W. Tobin regarding these decisions.

On May 21, Archbishop Tobin announced his decision to merge Holy Cross Parish with St. Philip Neri Parish, Holy Trinity Parish with St. Anthony Parish, and St. Bernadette Parish with Our Lady of Lourdes Parish.

These decisions are scheduled to take effect on Nov. 30.

They were made as a result of the “Connected in the Spirit” planning process. The process took place over a 16-month period in the four Indianapolis deaneries, and involved parishioners and parish and archdiocesan leaders.

At the time of his announcement, Archbishop Tobin noted that the first appeal of the decisions would be directed toward him.

According to the Church’s Code of Canon Law, Archbishop Tobin has 30 consecutive days from the time he received each appeal to respond to them. If he chooses not to respond to them, they are considered by Church law to have been denied.

If Archbishop Tobin either denies the appeals or does not respond to them, the petitioners have 15 “useful days” to appeal that decision to the Vatican’s Congregation for the Clergy.

The Code of Canon Law defines a “useful day” as that on which a person may act in defense of his or her rights. In the case of appeals of this nature, that essentially means days when such an appeal may be filed by mail.

(For more information about the “Connected in the Spirit” planning process, including the official decrees for the decisions regarding parishes in the Indianapolis deaneries, log on to www.archindy.org/connected.)

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