Facing a drop in attendance and a shortage of priests, the Roman Catholic Diocese of Brooklyn plans to close two churches, fold six parishes into three and impose strict budget constraints on all 198 of its parishes.
The move, announced from pulpits on Sunday, was described by church officials as the first phase of a broad consolidation that will result in further closings or mergers over the next two years, eventually affecting every parish in the diocese, which serves an estimated 1.5 million Catholics in Brooklyn and Queens.
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