The Archdiocese of Boston has ended an episode in which it took a public relations beating in the press (somewhat unfairly I think, although mistakes were made by them) by agreeing to sell a former parochial school in Brighton to a community-based foundation.
Our Lady of the Presentation Parish in Brighton was closed in June 2005 as part of the reconfiguration, which was bad enough, but what got it so much attention was that (a) one of the parishioners Mass. Secretary of State Bill Galvin, who tried to leverage his power to get the archdiocese to reconsider and (b) the archdiocese tried to circumvent a sit-in by abruptly and unexpectedly closing and padlocking the doors two days before the end of the school year. After that we were treated to photos and stories in the media about little kids crying because they didn’t get to say goodbye to their friends and teachers and about class pets left to languish in the locked school. “There’s the big, bad Church hurting kids again,” said the stories.
Then the archdiocese announced a plan to use the school as the new location for the archdiocesan tribunal. Some wag saw his chance to make the connection that, among other things, the tribunal would be considering the cases of accused pervert priests and the cycle started again. “There’s the big, bad Church putting perverts ahead of the kids again,” said the stories.
A sale and the future