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Some Masses To Be Allowed At Closed Allentown Churches

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ALLENTOWN, Pa. (AP) — An eastern Pennsylvania diocese says it will allow some masses to be celebrated at six closed churches, but they will remain closed.

The Diocese of Allentown said on Friday that funeral masses for former parishioners would be allowed as well as a mass on the patronal feast of each church.

Officials said in a statement that it was complying with the Vatican’s order that it “retain the canonical status” of the churches but that the six parishes “remain suppressed.”

The diocese said the Vatican ordered some form of divine worship to take place at the churches but leaves decisions about type and frequency of worship up to local authorities.

The worshipers have disagreed, saying canon law requires the churches to be open for worship.

(© Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)