Bishop: no decision on Ohio churches re-opening

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CLEVELAND (AP) -- Parishioners of 13 northeast Ohio churches closed by the bishop but spared by the Vatican must wait to find out if they will re-open.

Cleveland Bishop Richard Lennon said in a letter to be distributed at weekend Masses that the issue of re-opening the churches "is not nearly as clear-cut as it may appear."

He says there is no easy or perfect solution and he hasn't made any decisions. He pledges to respect church authority.

Two weeks ago a Vatican office took the extraordinary step of ordering the churches re-opened.

Patricia Schulte-Singleton, who is working to re-open the churches, says the time for study is over and it's time to obey Rome.

The churches were among 50 closed or merged because of declining numbers of parishioners and priests.