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Vatican backs parishioners, orders re-opening of Massachusetts churches

February 15, 2011

Lay Catholics protesting the closing of a historic Polish parish church in Adams, Massachusetts, have won a partial victory, with a Vatican ruling that the church should remain open.

The Congregation for the Clergy confirmed a decision by the Diocese of Springfield to suppress the parish of St. Stanislaus Kostka. But the Vatican decree-- signed by Cardinal Mauro Piacenza, the prefect of the Congregation-- said that the church should be kept open as a place of worship. Bishop Thomas McDonnell of Springfield has the authority to determine how to use the church.

The same Vatican ruling also applies to two other churches in the Springfield diocese, in the town of Chicopee.

Parishioners at St. Stanislaus Kostka brought their case to the Vatican after the Springfield diocese formally closed the parish in December 2008. Former parishioners had organized a vigil at the church while pursuing their canonical appeal.


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  • Posted by: lauriem5377 - Feb. 15, 2011 9:37 PM ET USA

    God bless the Vatican for listening to the parishoners!