Reality is sometimes harsh.
For example, if a parish is not able to pay its bills, it’ll probably have to close or be “merged”. Either way, a few hearts will be broken. I don’t say “lots of hearts” because if there were lots, people would have paid the bills. I know that in some places demographics shift because of jobs and economy, but if people want it badly enough, they find a way.
HOWEVER, there is the role of the bishop and the local clergy to factor in. If they have for years given the people no straw for their brick making, scorpions and rocks instead of fish and bread, then the clergy are to blame and it is wrong to punish people for their mistakes.
So, people want a church to stay open and a bishop wants it to close. There is an example of this I read about at The Pillar in Canada, Archdiocese of St. John. The bishop, it seems, said that if the people could buy the church they could have it, but there is a priest shortage, etc. It seems that people came up with the funds but the bishop still wants the place closed. Period.
Conflict. It is an interesting read.
Naturally we have to have the usual disclaimer that these situations are complex, etc. etc. etc. Included in the questioning is whether or not the parish produced priestly vocations over the years, even in the more distant decades.
At this point we are probably saying, “Why not bring in a priest of the FSSP or the ICK or a diocesan priest and try TRADITION?” What is there to lose? If the place survives, in a symbiotic rapport between parishioners and chancery, bills being paid, a priest being provided for in a decent manner, what is there to lose?
Of course there are a lot of bishops who would rather see a smoking crater filled with salt and bleach than see a happy parish with our Catholic tradition in action.
It will in interesting to see what happens with this.