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It's tornado season in Missouri, and at least two dark clouds are swirling over the archdiocese of St. Louis. Church Militant's Kristine Christlieb reports on the possibility of severe ecclesiastical storms arriving Sunday.
Saint Louis Catholics are proud of their spiritual heritage, so it's not surprising there's been pushback to archdiocesan plans to close up to 60% of parishes. The faithful are taking legal action and planning an all-hands-on-deck Rosary rally.
But that's not Abp. Mitchell Rozanski's only problem. Saint Louis' prelate finds himself presiding over two very controversial processes — All Things New, the archdiocese's plan to merge or close parishes, and the Synod on Synodality.
In both cases, the chief complaint is Rozanski's unwillingness to meet with Catholics concerned about the dramatic changes. Without any opportunity for dialogue, Ken Battis felt forced to give the archdiocese a legal hold notice regarding All Things New.
As for the Synod on Synodality, some Catholics believe the archdiocese is reaching out only to its pet constituencies. They point to the survey, which expresses special interest in listening to "people who are marginalized, cultural-ethnic groups, women, those suffering from disabilities or experiencing poverty and those identifying as LGBTQ+."
Catholics will be gathering at 3 p.m. this Sunday at the cathedral basilica to pray the Rosary as they walk to the bishop's residence, where they will express their desire for dialogue.
The archdiocese gives lip service to dialogue but has a history of not responding to its flock. This was again made evident when Church Militant reached out for comment and got only silence.
Rozanski has been archbishop for only 18 months. During that period, he closed churches during the pandemic, and now he is planning to close many of those same churches permanently.