Wasting money

Wasting money

Okay, this is very local news, but I find myself in complete agreement with this letter writer here in Salem, Mass. She writes to complain that the cash-strapped city is paying $50,000 to an outside consultant to make recommendations on the former St. Joseph Church property, recently closed and now up for sale. She points out that the city has no control over the property and the archdiocese is under no obligation to listen to or even wait for the recommendations.

This is further evidence of the arrogance of the city regarding this property. When the church was first closed last summer, the city organized a meeting of community groups, including representatives of the mainly immigrant neighborhood surrounding the church, but failed to invite the pastor of the parish in whose domain the church sits! (That would be my pastor, Fr. Tim Murphy of Immaculate Conception Parish.)

The city, like other cities and towns in the archdiocese where parishes are closing, are acting with a sense of entitlement over the property that they shouldn’t have. These properties belong to us, the Catholic Church, and our leaders will decide how best to dispense with them. If that works in line with the goals of municipal leaders, so be it. But if not, then they have to lump it. Can you imagine the city coming down and telling you that you have to sell your house to a certain person or group at less-than-market rate because they determined a municipal need? I thought property rights was at the heart of American liberty. (Melanie, was that Locke who said it?)

1 comment
  • Locke defined natural rights as “life, liberty and property”
    Our founding fathers, however, wrote the declaration that they are “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.”

    I think both versions are problematic, but I sometimes wish that ours said property instead. I’m fed up with the American “right to be happy,” (note the mis-reading of the original text) Our national hedonistic drive to feel good about ourselves must be fed at least to some degree by these words in our founding documents.