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Vatican upholds closing of western Pa. church site

Published On: Dec 04 2012 11:07:59 AM EST

The Vatican has upheld a decision by Pittsburgh Bishop David Zubik to close a 107-year-old church over the objections of parishioners who appealed, citing its historic ties to the Slavic immigrants who built it.

The Pittsburgh diocese closed St. Dominic Church in Donora last year, saying it was too costly to maintain or repair and that Our Lady of the Valley Parish _ which used the building as one of two worship sites _ wouldn't be harmed by the move.

Six parishioners appealed, but the diocese says the Vatican found ``no canonical basis in law or in fact'' to keep the church open.

The diocese says that means the church in Washington County, about 20 miles south of Pittsburgh, can now be sold but ``not for any purpose contrary to the doctrinal or moral teachings of the church.''