Another Christmas gift from the archbishop

Another Christmas gift from the archbishop

Lots of Boston church closing news today; I would cover other things, but this keeps filling my in box. Archbishop Sean O’Malley announced on Tuesday that he has reversed his decision on the closing of one parish and revised his plans for several others. Blessed Kateri Tekakwitha parish in Plymouth will remain open. I don’t believe they had or were planning to have a sit-in.

In Newton, where Mary Immaculate of Lourdes and St. Bernard were scheduled to close and St. Bernard was already having a sit-in, they will instead throw them back in to the mix with two other parishes, Corpus Christi and St. Philip Neri. Over the next year, they will “enter a period of re-evaluation and ... provide recommendations.” In other words, those four parishes have to figure out how to make it work.

On the one hand, it’s good to admit a mistake and move on, but this doesn’t have that kind of air. The Newton situation doesn’t look like anything was missed in the reconfiguration planning, but something changed in the implementation. And so now, after a protest, it looks like they’re being rewarded. If anything this isn’t going to help in dealing with the other protesters. It might, in fact, cause them to become even more entrenched and encourage others to begin because it looks like obstinance is being rewarded. That may not be what it is in reality, but you can be sure that the newspapers on Wednesday will portray it as such, especially when we see the quotes from Voice of the Faithful, the Council of Parishes, and whatever other pressure group wants to weigh in.

Written by
Domenico Bettinelli