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Judge rejects lawsuit to keep Monongahela church open

Tony LaRussa
| Thursday, Nov. 9, 2017, 5:09 a.m.
A judge has rejected a lawsuit trying to block the Diocese of Pittsburgh from closing St. Anthony Church in Monongahela.
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A judge has rejected a lawsuit trying to block the Diocese of Pittsburgh from closing St. Anthony Church in Monongahela.

A judge in Washington County has rejected a lawsuit that tried to block the Diocese of Pittsburgh's decision to close St. Anthony Church in Monongahela.

Judge Katherine Emery ruled that reviewing the decision by Bishop David Zubik to close the church would involve an unconstitutional meddling in religious affairs.

The diocese merged St. Anthony with Transfiguration Church, also in Monongahela, to form St. Damien of Molokai Parish in 2011.

Parishioners of St. Anthony, which opened in 1904, protested Zubik's eventual 2014 plan to permanently close the church.

Zubik said in a news release that he hoped those “grieved” by the closing of St. Anthony “will join their sisters and brothers at St. Damien of Molokai Parish to bring the faith to new generations of Catholics in Monongahela.”

Tony LaRussa is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at 724-772-6368, tlarussa@tribweb.com or via Twitter @TonyLaRussaTrib.

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