Developer flips closed church property to Pentecostal sect

Developer flips closed church property to Pentecostal sect

“Photographer snaps $1.8M in Eastie church deal: Pushed condos, studio, then sells Catholic land to evangelicals”

The turnaround sale of a closed Catholic church to a Pentecostal congregation has stunned East Boston neighbors who were told the property would be made into a photography studio by the same businessman who turned a quick $1.8 million profit on the resale.

“It was just very shocking. The (neighbors) really welcomed him and now they turned around and did this,” said Dodi Obermeier, a parishioner at the former St. Mary Star of the Sea, who was floored to learn this week that a South Boston commercial photographer had dropped his elaborate plans and quietly cut the lucrative deal.

At the center of the real estate transaction is Michael Indresano, 41, who entered into a purchase and sale agreement with the Archdiocese of Boston to buy the parish property, including a church, hall, garage and rectory, in February 2006, according to Terrence C. Donilon, a church spokesman.

Forget the “evangelicals” in the headline because the press rarely can make heads or tails of the various kinds of Christianity. The church was sold to the Universal Church of the Kingdom of God, a Brazilian Pentecostalist group that’s going gangbusters in Brazil, the world’s most populous Catholic nation.

Blaming the Archdiocese?

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Written by
Domenico Bettinelli
6 comments
  • Let’s face it—even if the Catholic Church is the VICTIM of a sharpy developer—and even if it is another Church that gets hosed and inveigled to pay millions more than a building is worth—the Globe or its columnists will find a way to twist it around to make the Catholic Church appear evil and up to no good.

  • This “Universal Church”, by the way, is an offensively anti-Catholic sect that preaches healings and a prosperity gospel and wants generous donations.  Its founder caused an uproar when he kicked around and beat up a statue of Brazil’s patroness, Our Lady of Aparecida, on his TV show.

    I can’t figure out what the archdiocese could gain

    Look at it as you’d look at a questionable deal in any other local institution with an equivalent reputation for probity: e.g., the MBTA or the Pike Authority.  Who benefited, and to whom are they related?

  • Let us not forget that ultimately it IS the archdiocese that is responsible for alienating Church property.  I hate to see yet another historic church “given away” for a song. Unlike some of his brother bishops, Boston’s Cardinal would not even consider inviting a traditional Catholic group to take over even one of his many, many failing parishes.  No, he would rather sell it to a photographer to do photoshoots of who-knows-what! Sadly, I must admit that he is getting what he deserves for his pride in refusing to entertain Catholic options to preserve his parishes.

  • Well does it bother anyone that Traditional orders like the Institute of Christ the King and the Fraternity of St. Peter have offered to purchase Church property, at market rates and provide the Indult Mass and have been refused?

    First by Cardinal Law and now by Cardinal Sean.

    A photography studio and heretical Church is a much better idea only I’m not pastoral enough to see it.

  • I like Kevin’s idea. I understand the need to perserve history, but I’m always uncomfortab;e when someone wants to perserve a Church for historical reasons, our Faith is alive not dead. We live it, not perserve it in saran wrap for people to just look at that past. Honestly when the Church sells property, we have no control over it.

    In Lowell some of the city councilors have identified the closed church as historic sites which protects its structual integrity, these councilors are Catholic but I don’t think they understand Church isn’t just a building.

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