By John Ostapkovich

By John Ostapkovich

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Catholics across the Archdiocese of Philadelphia are dealing with news of a round of parish mergers announced over the weekend (see related story).

Yes, parishioners can file an appeal, either to the archdiocese or the Vatican, says archdiocese spokesman Ken Gavin, noting there is a very small window for reconsideration.

“Any appeal that would be issued would need to look at all the factors involved in the study itself when looking to make a case to submit an appeal,” he tells KYW Newsradio.  That’s things like sacramental activity such as baptisms and marriages, mass attendance, and the condition of facilities.

The mergers are all slated to take official affect at the end of this month, “when we have the effective date for the mergers,” Gavin says.  “They are set for canonical, or church, law purposes, but the actual work of the merger is going to take longer than that time period and is going to be unique depending on the parish situation.”

Many of the church buildings are still to be used as “worship sites” for special events but not continual parish activities.

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