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284 parishioners sue bishop to prevent parish merger

January 28, 2010

Seeking the return of $1.4 million donated to a parish building campaign before its merger with another parish, nearly 300 parishioners of St. Vincent Pallotti Church in Haddon Township, New Jersey, have filed suit against Bishop Joseph Galante of Camden.

“Prior to the start of construction, [Bishop Galante] had an obligation to tell the parish to [suspend the campaign] until he decided what he was doing with the parish,” said one parishioner. “Because he didn't do that, the donors made donations with the reasonable expectation that they would have the normal use of the facilities they were contributing to.”


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  • Posted by: extremeCatholic - Jan. 28, 2010 11:48 PM ET USA

    Of course the parishioners have the right to sue. This is America, after all. Expect the suit to be immediately dismissed. Also, the appeal to the Congregation for the Clergy has already been denied. I think the parishioners have no remedy except to withhold future financial support. The real damage has been done (again) to trust in the bishop and his staff to share the relevant information before calling upon Catholics to open their wallets. Fool me once...

  • Posted by: Savonarola - Jan. 28, 2010 9:30 PM ET USA

    Is this another example of episcopal ineptitude?

  • Posted by: skladach - Jan. 28, 2010 2:05 PM ET USA

    The people of St. V.P. parish would be within their rights (cf. canon 212.3) "to manifest to the sacred Pastors their views on matters which concern the good of the Church. They have the right also to make their views known to others of Christ's faithful, but in doing so they must due reverence to the Pastors...." But they have no right to take their bishop to civil court. If His Excellency was unresponsive they should have appealed to Rome for justice.