The Archdiocese of Chicago could close as many as 100 parishes over the next dozen years under a comprehensive review announced by Archbishop Blase Cupich, reports Crux.
Pointing to ageing infrastructure and a looming priest shortage, Archbishop Cupich said the nation’s third largest archdiocese risks “spreading our resources too thinly” if it fails “to face these realities” by taking steps to plan for its future.
In a column for the Catholic New World on Friday, the Archbishop said the archdiocese is launching a months-long review process that will “require a good deal of prayer and humility, hard work, tough choices and new sacrifices.” He said to expect that some of the archdiocese’s 351 parishes would close as a result.
The Chicago Tribune reported that Archbishop Cupich announced the review process to priests at a series of meetings held over the past few weeks. He warned them that financial and personnel projections through 2030 make the status quo unsustainable.
About 10 new priests are ordained each year, fewer than the number of priests who retire annually. The archdiocese’s website says there are more than 700 priests today, though that figure includes priests who are retired or working in administrative roles.