- Associated Press - Friday, February 5, 2016

CHICAGO (AP) - The Archdiocese of Chicago expects to close an undetermined number of parishes in coming years due largely to a shortage of priests.

Archbishop Blase Cupich (blayz SOO’-pich) outlined a “multi-year planning process” in a column in this week’s archdiocesan newsletter, Catholic New World.

He says “demographics have shifted dramatically” in recent decades, buildings are in disrepair and fewer priests means resources are spread too thinly.

Cupich says by the time the process is complete “we will mourn together the loss of some parishes.”

Chief Operating Officer Betsy Bohlen said Friday that the archdiocese - which has 351 parishes - expects to have about 240 priests by 2030.

She says the archdiocese still can’t say how many churches will be closed because some parishes could merge.

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