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Local News

Belleville Diocese Considering To Close 20 Churches

(Belleville)--The Catholic Dioceses of Belleville is considering closing up to 20 of its 121 parishes because of the loss of population in some areas, and the advanced age of some priests.

Bishop Edward Braxton said in a statement on the diocese's website that parishes will be asked to evaluate their viability. Town hall meetings will also be held to gather input. Decisions on the closings will not be made until after February of 2013.

Reverend John Myler, spokesman for the diocese, says the plan to close some churches are not related to the recent six million dollar settlement of a sexual abuse case against a priest.

The Belleville Diocese covers 28 southern Illinois counties.