Brooklyn Diocese to Consolidate Parishes

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    The Catholic Diocese of Brooklyn plans to close two churches and fold six parishes into three.

    The consolidation is the first phase of a two-year plan that addresses a drop in church attendance and a shortage of priests. It also calls for budgetary constraints to be imposed on all of its 198 parishes.

    The first round of closings will take effect Jan. 31. The diocese serves 1.5 million Catholics in Brooklyn and Queens.

    The diocese has closed six parish and parochial schools in recent years. Nearly half of its elementary schools have closed since the late 1990s.

    Last week, the neighboring Archdiocese of New York released a list of 32 struggling schools that could be forced to close.