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Diocese of Buffalo offers plan to shutter small Allegany County parishes, merge with Immaculate Conception

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Bolivar, Andover, Almond parishes planned for closure

Belmont, Alfred, Canaserega pushed to merge

By Andrew Harris

The Diocese of Buffalo has released a tenative plan that would drastically change the Catholic church in Allegany County. As part of an ongoing effort to restructure the church in the wake of bankruptcy filing in 2020. A massive financial judgement against the church for widespread child abuse has forced the diocese to sell of assets in order to survive.

This round of downsizing, divesting, and consolidations involves over 80 Western New York parishes.

The lawsuits and forced bankruptcy are not the only challenges the dioceses faces. Parishoner numbers have plummeted and as the diocese explains, the number of priests joining the faith have dropped significantly.

While these closures and mergers are not set in stone yet, the clock is ticking. The diocese explains that there will be a final decision coming soon and propsoals to alter this plan are due July 15th:

“It is important to emphasize that these are only recommendations, and are not a final plan. Parish families, as it was explained tonight and in the previous six meetings, have the opportunity to present alternative proposals by July 15th.”

Read the document from the Diocese below:

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