The Archdiocese of Boston announced yesterday that five more parishes slated to be closed will not be, one that is closed will be reopened, and a temporary reprieve was granted to another. Among those parishes not being closed are: St. Mary of the Angels in Roxbury, which was expected because the archdicoese had already suspended the closing; St Peter in South Boston, the only Lithuanian parish in the archdiocese; St. Pius X in Milton; St. Isidore in remote suburb Stow; and Sacred Heart in Watertown, which also had its closing date deferred before.
In Brookline, Infant Jesus-St. Lawrence was closed in October, but has been occupied by protesters since. It will not become a chapel of the other parish in town. St. Susannah in Dedham, whose pastor is the infamous Fr. Stephen Josoma, will stay open at least until 2008, when Josoma’s current term ends.
It appears at first glance that Archbishop O’Malley has decided that it is better to do the easier thing (accede to protest demands) than the hard thing (force out protesters). Perhaps he thought that it is better to keep a marginal parish going for now than to alienate even more Catholics. But what about all those people who dutifully obeyed when their parishes were closed, who didn’t hold sit-ins despite their equal desire to keep their parishes open? What message have they been sent?
This isn’t over either. There are still more parishes on the chopping block and when their number comes up, how do you think they will respond?