The Congregation for the Clergy has issued the first denial of an appeal by a closed Boston parish. The people can still continue their appeal by filing with the Apostolic Signatura, sort of like the Supreme Court, but it’s expensive and requires a lot of work by a canon lawyer. And the odds are it won’t be successful.
This should be the first of the appeals that are returned unfavorably for those wanting to keep their parishes open. The reality is that whatever the people think of the closings, Archbishop Sean O’Malley, in general, dotted the i’s and crossed the t’s. He didn’t violate canon law or the rights of the parishes. Even though the Congregation a few months ago said there was a problem about disposition of closed parish assets, that didn’t say that the parishes couldn’t be closed, only that the assets of the closed parishes had to be given up voluntarily by the welcoming parishes.
This isn’t the end of the parish closing drama, but it’s the beginning of the end.