Most of the 21 Roman Catholic parishes slated to merge with other parishes under a restructuring of the Archdiocese of Saint Paul and Minneapolis have appealed the decision, according to an archdiocese spokesman.

The archdiocese received 18 formal appeals — along with more than 100 letters from parishioners — in the weeks following the Oct. 16 announcement of the mergers, said spokesman Dennis McGrath.

According to the Code of Canon Law, Archbishop John C. Nienstedt has 30 days from the receipt of each appeal to respond by either revoking the merger decision, amending it or rejecting the appeal.

Parishes will then have 15 days to appeal the archbishop's decision to the Congregation for the Clergy in Rome. No timeline for a Vatican response is given in the Code of Canon Law.

The only parishes that have not appealed the decision are St. Augustine of South St. Paul, which will merge with Holy Trinity; St. Joseph in Lexington, which will merge with St. Wenceslaus in New Prague; and St. Vincent de Paul in St. Paul, which will merge with the Cathedral of Saint Paul. Pioneer Press