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Parish Closing News

Vatican rejects Boston churches' appeals.  The Vatican has rejected final appeals by ten parishes closed five years ago by the Archdiocese of Boston in the wake of the clergy sex abuse scandal.  Parishioners are now considering fighting the closings in civilian courts, the leader of a parish advocacy group said. Peter Borré of the Council of Parishes said he did not expect the parishioners to back down now: "We expect the vigils to continue, so it's up to the archdiocese to decide whether to call in the cops." Since the closings, parishioners have led round-the-clock vigils at three churches. The archdiocese said in its statement that it "continues to seek a prayerful resolution to all of the vigils." (USA Today 5/18/10)

Cleveland Parishes Granted Appeal Extensions.  At least seven Cleveland churches ordered closed by Bishop Richard Lennon of the Cleveland Catholic Diocese received letters from the Vatican in early April extending the deadline for reviewing the churches' appeals of the closings. Bishop Lennon, who is now completing the closing of fifty Cleveland parishes, made an unexpected journey to Rome to meet with Vatican officials the same month. A Cleveland pastor, Fr. Bob Begin told the bishop in a March letter that the ongoing closings are violating the rights of parishioners and may be turning people away from salvation. (Cleveland Plain Dealer 4/9/10)

Cleveland St. Peter's Gives Powerful Witness. "The power of fear which has caused this injustice is not the last word, must not be the last word and will not be the last word," said Fr. Bob Marrone at the closing Mass of Historic St. Peter's parish on Easter Sunday. "I know it seems unbearable but we can bear it. Go forth into the world and be living stones," Marrone said. "God will tent with us wherever he go." Marrone predicted that the closing of the downtown church and suppression of the parish would come to be seen as, "one of the most egregious mistakes ever made by this diocese." (Cleveland Plain Dealer 4/5/10)

Closed Syracuse Churches Assessed $90,000 in Property Taxes.  The City of Syracuse, NY denied tax-exempt status to three recently closed Catholic churches and two parochial schools. To be exempt, said the city, the property has to be in use for a religious educational or other tax exempt purpose. (National Catholic Reporter 5/5/2010)

Focus on FutureChurch

Spring 2010


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