My colleague Phil Lawler has a new column looking at the parish closings and examining the reasons why it happened. one thing he recognizes is that the archdiocese’s leaders have repeatedly said that reconfiguration, in itself, is not a defeat, and that may be technically true. However, the loss of Boston’s Catholic identity is a defeat. Just look at the reality that parishes built and paid for by mainly poor immigrants cannot be maintained by their affluent descendants. Why? For one thing, those descendants are now, in general, only nominally Catholic. And that’s for a variety of reasons, not just the Scandal, since the decline started decades ago.