It’s amazing, the multitude of little issues involved in parish closings. Here the Boston Globe covers the fate of a statue of Padre Pio recently donated to a closing parish. It’s a statue. Move it to another parish. What’s the problem? Instead, we hear that people are contacting lawyers giving them questionable advice.
‘‘This is very uncharted water,” said Hannington, who said parishioners should find out whether the archdiocese’s name is on the deed to parish buildings, for starters. He added that they might successfully argue for ownership of items such as stained glass windows, church artifacts, or statues that they can show they paid for, paid to repair, or donated to the church. ‘‘Their feeling is that this stuff shouldn’t end up in a junkyard or a salvage yard,” Hannington said.
Ah yes, let’s call it the “Indian giver” precedent. When you give, sell, or donate something, since when do you get a say in how that item is used in perpetuity. Okay, I know you can limit how cash can be spent, by specifying a particular purpose. But when the money has been used for that purpose, what makes anyone think you can then make claims on that forever? Do the descendants of the Medici and Borgia families in Italy get a say in the use of Renaissance artwork their families were patrons of? No, of course not.
As for the rest of the article, we’re treated to the same baloney about how this tiny parish with very few sacraments and a remnant of the original people is still viable. These people obviously have a skewed idea of what constitutes viability.