All kinds of government agences and politicans are making demands on the Archdiocese of Boston regarding the disposition of closed church properties. The Boston school system wants right of first refusal on properties in the city, presumably so they can offer lowball bids and cheat the archdiocese out of fair-market value. Or this politician’s demand:
State Representative Jeffrey Sanchez expressed concerns yesterday about the sale of Blessed Sacrament and said he had written Archbishop Sean P. O’Malley, urging him to involve neighbors and city officials. ‘‘The Blessed Sacrament has served as a gathering place for people of faith and the wider community as a whole for decades,” Sanchez said in a statement. ‘‘I sincerely hope that their input would be both welcomed and appreciated by those deciding the future of this significant neighborhood landmark.”
Isn’t the public’s interest and input on the sale of any private property ensured by the well-known and uniformly applied zoning laws? If people want the property to be used in a particular way, then they should get new zoning restrictions placed on it through the usual process. The archdiocese has a duty to use and dispose of the property in the means most beneficial to her mission, not to the convenience or desires of politicians looking to score points with voters or get property on the cheap.