On August 13, 2012, the Diocese of Youngstown received a formal decree from the Vatican Congregation of Clergy concerning two decrees issued by Bishop George V. Murry, S.J. on July 2, 2011. The first decree merged the two parishes of St. Aloysius, East Liverpool and Immaculate Conception, Wellsville into the new parish of Holy Trinity. The second decree closed Immaculate Conception Church.
The decree from the Congregation upholds Bishop Murry’s decision to merger Saint Aloysius and Immaculate Conception into a new parish. At the same time, the Vatican decree states that the reasons given by Bishop Murry for the closure of Immaculate Conception Church are not “sufficient and grave” as required by Canon Law. The Vatican decree did not direct Bishop Murry to reopen Immaculate Conception Church and went on to state that the Bishop is free to appeal this second ruling to the Supreme Tribunal of the Apostolic Signatura.
Bishop Murry is grateful to the members of the Congregation of the Clergy for their thorough review of this matter. He, however, believes that the reasons given for the closure of Immaculate Conception Church are both sufficient and grave. Therefore he will exercise his right to appeal to the Apostolic Signatura in accordance with the norms of the law.
During the appeal process Immaculate Conception Church will remain closed and Bishop Murry invites all former Immaculate Conception parishioners to join the new parish of Holy Trinity.