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Pope declines appeal on closed parishes in Boston

Catholic World News - January 05, 2011

Pope Benedict XVI has declined an appeal from a group of Boston Catholics seeking to stop the closing of their parishes.

In a December 15 letter to Peter Borre, the chairman of the Council of Parishes, Archbishop Fernando Filoni (the Vatican's undersecretary of state) said that the Pontiff had read the parishioners' appeal but would not take action. The group had written to the Pope after having exhausted all canonical appeals.

Protesters continue to hold vigils at several of the Boston parishes that were closed in 2004, refusing to leave the buildings and in some cases organizing their own prayer services. The Boston archdiocese-- which is spending about $1.5 million annually in maintenance on the closed parishes-- has pleaded with the protesters to end the vigils, allow the orderly sale of the parish properties, and join other nearby parishes.

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  • Posted by: dover beachcomber - Jan. 12, 2011 3:42 PM ET USA

    But for once, I'd like to see a bishop ignore his diocesan bean-counters and say, "These parish churches aren't relics of an unrecoverable past, but bridgeheads for a Catholic revival, mission stations for the New Evangelization." And then inspire donors with this vision.

  • Posted by: samuel.doucette1787 - Jan. 05, 2011 10:09 PM ET USA

    These "vigilantes" hopefully will now go home and get a life. Yes, it's sad that the Cardinal had to choose their parish to close, but he has every right under canon law to do so, and this has been upheld all the way up the chain of command.

  • Posted by: jflare293129 - Jan. 05, 2011 9:24 PM ET USA

    I hate saying this, but has the archdiocese considering requesting police aid in removing people on grounds of trespassing? If they don't own the buildings and don't thereby have the right to be there.... Or does someone think that the law only applies when it can be used to bully or harass the Church?

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