UPDATE 2013 GMT:
I have been informed that “Breitbart was wrong”.
In a letter from the “Office of Strategic Pastoral Planning” of the Archd. of NY, one reads (inter alia):
[…] the Cardinal feels it is essential that he has more time to consider carefully and thoroughly evaluate all that has been handed over to him. Hence, the announcement of the Cardinal’s Making All Things New decisions will be postponed to the beginning of November. The original date set to make the announcement was the end of September.
I was wondering about that March date, in the context of talking about the Synod, which only goes for part of October.
ORIGINAL 10 Sept 1802 GMT ____
My friends in New York and, frankly, all around the country, have been concerned about the fate of Holy Innocents Church in midtown Manhattan. There have been lots of reports and much speculation that Holy Innocents was slated for closure. The ideally-located Holy Innocents is the only church in Manhattan which has daily celebrations of Holy Mass in the Extraordinary Form. Given that the parish is doing okay financially and that the community there is, under the influence of the Extraordinary Form, growing and becoming ever more vibrant and diverse, many people are puzzled at why closure would be considered. No doubt there are many factors.
That said, I saw this today at Breitbart:
NEW YORK HOLDS OFF ON PARISH CLOSINGS UNTIL AT LEAST AFTER BIG VATICAN MEETING OF BISHOPS
A source close to Timothy Cardinal Dolan has told Breitbart News the impending announcement about New York parish closings which could number as many as 60 has been held off until Cardinal Dolan returns from Rome in late March.
The source states that a meeting was supposed to have taken place over the past few days between Cardinal Dolan and his priest council so they could make the final decisions together. Dolan cancelled that meeting until further notice.
The source, who has been close to many Cardinal Archbishops of New York, suspects that the delay could have something to do with two unseemly controversies swirling around the Chancery office. First, there is the change in policy that allows organized gays to march in the St. Patrick’s Day Parade—this after consecutive prior Archbishops fought the idea successfully in court.
Second is the equally unseemly spat taking place between Cardinal Dolan and Bishop Daniel Jenky over who gets the body of Bishop Fulton Sheen, whose formal cause for Sainthood started more than a decade ago but was brought dramatically to a halt last week over which diocese gets the body of the family TV priest.
Maybe it was too much bad press to put 60 parish closings on top of an already bad week.
Whatever the motive for such a move, if true, it seems that Holy Innocents may have had a reprieve until Spring 2015.
Meanwhile, what sort of things take place at Holy Innocents?
- You may recall that there are Sung Masses there three times (I think) every week. They have well-attended Sung Vespers on Sunday. St. Patrick’s Cathedral does not ever have Sung Vespers.
- Recently, Holy Innocents hosted a Prayer Rally for Iraqi Christians. The next one will be Friday, Sept. 12 after the 6 PM Mass (37th Street and Broadway). There will be a March for Peace to nearby Herald Square!
- You can check out the stories about Holy Innocents Church by New York Times, National Review Online, Rod Dreher, National Catholic Register, Voice of America, the NY Observer. I have written about Holy Innocents, HERE and HERE.
- The well-known author and preacher Fr. George Rutler is the Administrator of Holy Innocents.
- The altar-piece is by the painter Constantino Brumidi and it was recently restored to the tune of many thousands of dollars.
This parish is a model for the New Evangelization.