You’ve got to cross the t’s

You’ve got to cross the t’s

I’ll admit that some of the groups protesting the closing of their parishes are well-organized, if misled. But this handful in Natick aren’t among them. First, the five of them couldn’t get any of their fellow parishioners to join them in demanding their parish be kept up and despite that lack of support continued to claim to represent the whole parish. Then on Christmas Eve, they cause a ruckus after Mass, and one of them got removed by the police.

Now, after claiming their canonical appeal to the archdiocese wasn’t heard, it turns out they didn’t sign it, making it invalid. That’s right, the archdiocese first said it had no record of receiving an appeal, but then said that they did receive one but it didn’t have the name, signature, and address of at least one parishioners as a sender or return address. It means it didn’t comply with the basic legal requirements and that the archdiocese could not respond within the 30 day time frame. Real smart.

And what’s their excuse? It was too hard: “Unfortunately, canon law is so hard to follow, and I think that’s purposely done,” Green said yesterday afternoon. Too hard? That’s what lawyers are for. If saving your parish were important enough, you’d have made sure you’d done it correctly.

If you were filing a lawsuit in civil court and the judge threw out your case because you didn’t know what you were doing, would you complain that the law is too difficult to follow and it shouldn’t be? This is why they have law schools and the bar exam. What’s the old saying: “The man who represents himself in court has a fool for a client.”

They said they plan to file an appeal to the Vatican, even though their archdiocesan appeal was invalid and they have no canonical right to do so. I hope they don’t use crayon on this one. Yeesh.

1 comment
  • Dom, don’t be so quick to believe the excuses the archdiocese puts out.  As one local canonist noted privately, It’s obvious that the petition was an appeal from parishioners. 

    And according to the grapevine, the source in Natick included their contact info with the petition, even if it wasn’t on the same sheet of paper.

    Since you’ve probably read the Code, you know that it’s intended to be applied in an accommodating manner, not according to the strict-compliance manner of US civil law, in which some little “gotcha” can derail somebody’s process rights.