Over 200 parishes have closed in German diocese

Over 200 parishes have closed in German diocese

Catholic World News – February 24, 2017

The Diocese of Essen, Germany, celebrated its sixtieth anniversary on February 23.

Since 1957, the number of Catholics has declined from 1.4 million to 791,000, in part because of a decline in the steel industry, according to the Italian news agency SIR. Over 200 parishes have closed, with the number of parishes falling from 259 to 43.

P.S. (from AQ moderator Tom): Besides closing churches, what the current bishop, Franz-Josef Overbeck, is doing (“From the horse’s mouth“):

Mgr. Overbeck has given new impetus to his pastoral ministry, which includes culture and interreligious dialogue, and continuous efforts to tackle the problems of the Ruhr: unemployment and difficulties in the integration of foreigners.

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