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By Phil Lawler, Catholic Culture, Apr 28, 2022

Phil Lawler has been a Catholic journalist for more than 30 years. He has edited several Catholic magazines and written eight books. Founder of Catholic World News, he is the news director and lead analyst at


Yesterday’s news included the curious report that in two different cases—one in Ireland, one in Wales—Pope Francis had appointed one bishop to head two separate dioceses. In each case, we are told, the dioceses will remain distinct and autonomous. Over at The Pillar, Ed Condon wonders whether this could be the beginning of a trend, “in the face of declining numbers of clergy and Mass-going Catholics.”

We have already seen several rounds of diocesan “restructuring” campaigns, in which parishes are merged into pastoral cooperatives, with one pastor responsible for two or more churches. The arrangement is far from ideal …

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