Parish Closings update: Part II

Parish Closings update: Part II

A little talking to friends around the archdiocese and Salem gives me some more information about parish closings. It seems that St. Joseph’s wasn’t the only parish in Salem to be notified that it was being add to the “in consideration” list. So was St. John the Baptist Polish church, which is ironic considering that many people think that it should be the first parish closed and because their leadership was so manipulative of the process in the cluster. They thought they were in the free and clear and now they’re scrambling. However, I doubt that three parishes in Salem will close (St. John the Baptist will probably stay open while other Polish parishes in the area close.) Still, it’s a well due wake-up call.

As for other information I’ve gotten: The announcement date of May 25 may be chosen for a very specific reason. It is two days after the ordination Mass and it prevents busloads of angry parishioners from descending on the Cathedral during the ceremony.

Also, the Presbyteral Council has no veto authority over parish closings. Canon law says the archbishop has to present the name of a parish proposed to be closed to the council three times, but sole discretion for closure rests with the archbishop. To me, that means the final list has already been compiled. However, it doesn’t mean that the council will be seeing just the names on the final list. Say there were 40 parishes closing. The archbishop could give them a list of 80 names022 Fri, 07 May 2004 05:59:01 -0500

I was right. The Archdiocese of Boston has included on the list of additional parishes that might close the Salem parish I said would be there. St. Joseph’s parish was originally chosen as the second recommended parish by the Salem cluster, but then removed under ridiculous circumstances by the same cluster. (Read all about it here.) As I warned, the people at St. Joseph’s who were celebrating that they had saved their parish were premature, because they had done no such thing. None of them understand the process, including the pastor evidently.

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