Another email from one of my lawyer-readers on the topic of why a diocese could claim that parish assets are not diocesan assets for the purpose of legal settlements and bankruptcy proceedings:
OK, I think you have hit upon it. The diocese and the parishes are likely organized as independent non-profit corporations; non-profits do not issue stock and are not
Right here is the spirit of the parish protesters in a nutshell: Archbishop O’Malley told St. Bernard’s in Newton that they won’t have to close as scheduled, but over the next year they will have to work with neighboring Corpus Christi on a plan to merge into one parish. In other words, St. Bernard’s isn’t closing now. So how do they respond? By voting to hold a sit-in in a church that isn’t closing.
“We do not like the process put before us,” said Joe Drake, cochairman of the Friends of St. Bernard, a group established to oversee the vigil. “It’s pitting Catholics against Catholics. It’s an unfair situation.”
So they don’t like it when the decision is made by the archbishop and they don’t like it when they have to make the decision themselves. Why won’t they make up their minds?
Keeping all the parishes in Newton is not an option. There are just too many of them as it is now. But it seems that it’s easier to complain and protest than it is to come to a realistic solution. Easier to let your emotions run you than let logic and level-headed decision-making hold sway.