Why not let them stay?

Why not let them stay?

Of all the parish closings in Boston, the one that makes the least sense to me is Holy Trinity in the South End of Boston. Here is a parish that provides a benefit to the archdiocese that no other parish does, being home of the very well-attended, and absolutely unique in the archdiocese, Tridentine Latin Mass community. The plan is to close Holy Trinity and move the Latin Mass to St. James, which has less parking and whose internal arrangements are not suitable to the Tridentine Mass.

In addition, the archdiocese is left scrambling and delaying the closure because two homeless shelters that rent space at Holy Trinity can’t find new locations.

The Cardinal Medeiros Center, a day shelter for homeless people over 45, and Bridge Over Troubled Water, a live-in shelter for troubled youths, operate out of Holy Trinity Church. The Archdiocese of Boston first informed the shelters, which are not affiliated with the archdiocese or each other, that the church was closing and they would have to move in May 2004. To give the shelters more time to relocate, the archdiocese has twice postponed the closing date.

Maybe there’s more to this than is in the public eye. Maybe the parish closing central planners have some knowledge about Holy Trinity that the rest of us don’t. If that’s the case, let us all know.

There’s no good reason to keep the people in the dark and leave the impression among both good Catholics and society at large that the Church is an uncaring monolith only concerned with the bottom line.

So the archdiocese, perhaps thinking that it’s doing a good thing, says that there are no immediate plans to close the church and that the status quo will reign. That does no one any good. If your boss told you that you’re going to be fired, then kept putting off the date for last day and finally said that “Things will remain as they are for the time being,” you would be in a perpetual limbo and stressed out, unless of course you just quit to find a new job. Indecision is sometimes worse than a bad decision. Better to do something than nothing. In this case, they should just leave Holy Trinity alone or tell us why it must close.

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  • On this story, the Globe is following the coattails of the South End News

    At the bottom of the SEN story is a significant point.  The exposure of $176,000 in improper funds transfers out of Holy Trinity to pay bills of St. James parish may get HTC a more sympathetic hearing from the Archdiocese.  At least it makes the Archdiocese realize that HTC is solvent and St. James is financially weak.

  • Bravo to your post, Mr Bettinelli!  Closing HT made no sense whatsoever especially if you consider that the sacramental index used to judge the “viability” of a given parish did not account for the participation of the Latin Mass community but only counted the Germans.

    Unfortunately, the ham-fisted, secretive way this decision was made has only reinforced the distrust that many already-marginalized indult Latin Mass members feel toward the archdiocese.  It’s a real shame since many of the indult people are good Catholics who sincerely love the Church and are natural allies in the cultural wars in this God-forsaken state.  Hopefully Cardinal Sean will see the error of this decision and rescind the decision to close HT.

  • Thanks, Dom, for this thread! I attend the TLM only occasionally, but I would be very sad to see HT close.