Detroit’s Laity, Priests Help Parishes Claim Rights
The Detroit group “Elephants in the Living Room” has established an advocacy committee whose purpose is to help persons or parishes experiencing problems with the local church. Prominently featured in their repertoire of helpful resources is FutureChurch’s Save our Parish Community packet. Recently, three parishes have requested help.
In late July, two Elephants members met with parishioners of St. Michael’s parish in Saginaw, Michigan. The original pastor, with the support of Saginaw’s Bishop Carlson, had wanted to demolish their historic church and build a new one, despite the fact that 71% of parishioners opposed the demolition. Instead, they wanted an expansion that would preserve the historic nature of their parish home. The two Detroit advocates reviewed Canon 515 regarding a pastor’s responsibility to foster the rights of the community, and not his own or the bishop’s. They also discussed the “How to Claim Parish Rights” brochure and the fact that the parish was a registered historic building, which gave them additional resources for its maintenance. Parishioners were advised to study the Save our Parish Community packet and then meet with the new pastoral administrator, who had just been appointed in early July after the original pastor was transferred. Visit www.elephantsinthelivingroom.com for more information.