When parish churches have to be closed, heartbreak ensures.
But do churches have to be closed?
I have seen some instances where viable places were shut down, with the concomitant hurt and anger, for no very good reason that I could discern.
Furthermore, once they are gone, they aren’t going to be recovered.
What sort of faith in an effort of “New Evangelization” do we evince if, while chattering about it, we are closing the churches we need to fill in the very places where the “New Evangelization” needs to be pursued?
And – YES! – I know that the bills have to be paid. I have griped and reminded and urged action about that (and received hate mail for it).
This story caught my eye. Do you recall that I wrote about flash “Mass mobs”? HERE Some have coordinated efforts to get people to attend Mass at a struggling parish, to put a little life into the places.
From the Buffalo News:
Church closings in limbo as Rome overrules bishop
Vatican’s recent ruling could clear the way for work to begin on St. Ann Church, and opens the door for Catholics across the country to challenge shutting of churches
A group of local Catholics battling Bishop Richard J. Malone over the future of an East Side church has found an unexpected ally – the Vatican.
St. Ann Church just six months ago was on track to be demolished.
But the Vatican’s Congregation for the Clergy, in a recent ruling on an appeal by St. Ann parishioners, has made it clear that repairs of up to $12 million are not a good enough reason for the building to be demolished or converted into something other than a Catholic church.
“Rome is saying it should be a church,” said Ronald Bates, part of the group fighting to keep the church going. “We can’t throw it away. It’s craziness.”
The Vatican decision marked a rare and resounding win for Catholic lay people objecting to a bishop’s decision.
The ruling on St. Ann from the Congregation for Clergy potentially could have implications far beyond the Buffalo diocese, opening the door for Catholics across the country to contest church closings.
“All of the bishops of the United States are looking at this decree and probably needing to make new assessments of what to do,” said Sister Kate Kuenstler, a canon lawyer. “This is a thunderclap from the Vatican, and it affects all the bishops in the United States.”
The decision could clear the way for restoration to begin on the Gothic-style church, which was built in 1886 and needs significant masonry repairs.
Very interesting article over there.
There is a message here.
If you want something to happen, you have to work for it and pay for it.
Free exercise of religion isn’t free. We have bills to pay. If YOU want something – A, B, C… whatever – and you are unwilling to pitch in and put sweat or money or both into it, you will lose it.