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Vatican directs Buffalo bishop not to reduce historic church to profane use; diocese will appeal

Catholic World News - January 23, 2014

Siding with former parishioners, the Congregation for the Clergy has decreed that a historic Buffalo parish cannot be reduced to profane use.

“In a decree dated Jan. 7, 2014, the Vatican Congregation for the Clergy has upheld the appeal of former St. Ann parishioners, who argued against the reduction of St. Ann Church in Buffalo to profane (non-religious) use,” the Diocese of Buffalo said in a statement. “The decree also prohibits any potential developer from repurposing the property.”

“Bishop Richard J. Malone is reviewing the decree, and said the diocese will file an appeal before the Apostolic Signatura, the Vatican’s highest juridical body,” the statement continued. “It will also be up to the bishop to decide what will happen with the use of St. Ann Church in the interim.”

The diocese had closed the parish in 2012. “On Aug. 18, 2013, the Diocese of Buffalo announced the church would be razed due to severe interior and exterior deterioration, with re-construction costs estimated at between $8 million and $12 million,” the statement continued.

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Show 3 Comments? (Hidden)Hide Comments
  • Posted by: Gregory108 - Jan. 24, 2014 5:11 AM ET USA

    I hope these laymen who are to have a say in Church governance will come up with the $8-$12 million it will take to keep the church building from deteriorating and falling into a pile of bricks! Maybe they can start selling lemonade from a stand right away! With the weather in Buffalo now, that ought to sell well! Or maybe the Congregation for the Clergy will donate the money! Otherwise, the bishop's hands may be tied. Maybe he can close a school or two. Oh wait! Maybe the lay men will appeal!

  • Posted by: Frodo1945 - Jan. 23, 2014 9:39 PM ET USA

    So, are we going to spend $8-12 million to restore this building? Would Pope Francis be in favor of that? Maybe the laity who made the appeal will also provide the funds.

  • Posted by: jg23753479 - Jan. 23, 2014 7:39 AM ET USA

    Is this part of the "Francis effect"? I hope so because it pulls the rug from under the notion of clericalism and elevates to a reality the premise that laymen are important, that they deserve to have a real say in Church governance.

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