The Roman Catholic Diocese of Raleigh plans to build a 2,000-seat cathedral in southwest Raleigh. Church officials say the Sacred Heart Church in downtown Raleigh has a seating capacity of 320 - making it the smallest Catholic cathedral in the continental U-S. Bishop Michael Burbidge says that's insufficient to serve the needs of a growing Catholic population.
Michael Burbidge: "This endeavor is a sign of great hope for the church in the United States. The church is vibrant. It's grown. We've grown over 42 percent in the last 10 years and every indicator is that that growth is continuing at rapid pace. So the church is very much alive and sometimes it just shifts a little bit and here we are in the South. So we hope that this is a sign of great hope for the church in the United States and certainly in our own diocese, a very powerful presence of the Catholic faith here in our local community."
Burbidge says Sacred Heart will be retained and will continue to serve a vital role. The cathedral will be called Holy Name of Jesus. It's expected to cost between $75 million and $90 million. Burbidge hopes for a groundbreaking in mid-2013.
Burbidge: "I think it gives our people renewed energy and a perfect reminder together of our need to be keeping our eyes focused on what's above, renewed in our commitment to share and spread this faith with others. So we think it's a very proud moment, not just for the Diocese of Raleigh, but for the city of Raleigh, for the state of North Carolina, for the church in the United States."