BELLEVILLE, Ill. (AP) - The Roman Catholic Diocese of Belleville in southern Illinois is pairing its parishes so they can be served by one priest.
According to a plan released Thursday, the move will mean no parish in the diocese will be closed anytime soon.
Diocese spokesman Monsignor John Myler says the plan encourages the parishes to prepare for a time when only 50 priests will be available to pastor. He says parishes have been instructed to begin working jointly immediately.
Myler says the parishes are to implement the pastoral plan in a dynamic, flexible, gradual manner. He says if two or more parishes decide it is better to close a church building, it would be a decision of those parishes.
The diocese covers the 28 southernmost Illinois counties and includes 121 parishes.
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - The Missouri Senate has passed a proposed change to the state's Constitution designed to strengthen gun rights.
The amendment would declare gun rights "unalienable" and compel elected officials in Missouri to defend against any infringement on the right to bear arms. It would also allow people to use firearms in defense of their families.
Senators voted 29-2 Thursday to send the measure to the House. It is sponsored by Republican Sen. Kurt Schaefer, of Columbia. Missouri voters would need to sign off on the constitutional change if the measure passes the House.
The gun amendment is SJR14
St. Louis County’s Workforce Development director says he resigned under pressure after he extended a business trip for two days to attend President Barack Obama’s inauguration.
Gene Gordon had attended the U.S. Conference of Mayors meeting in January. He stayed in Washington an extra three nights to attend the inaugural ceremony on Jan. 21.
The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that Gordon initially included the additional cost on his county expense report, but by February 7th had charged the additional hotel costs to his own credit card. He also gave the county a check to cover additional cab and airfare.
Gordon told the paper he quit after objections were raised over his handling of the expenses because he didn't want to "get political."