Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Catholics Protest Catholics Taking Over Their Parish

Am I reading this right? It looks like the Archdiocese of Boston is selling a parish to the Syro-Malabar authority, and the current parishioners are protesting.

The Boston Archdiocese announced Saturday that it had sold the properties of a Framingham parish that's been occupied by protesters since it was closed six years ago, but the protesters said they won't leave.

The archdiocese announced the sale of St. Jeremiah's church building, parking lot and rectory for $2 million to the Syro-Malabar diocese, a part of the Eastern Catholic Church that shares the same fundamental doctrines as the Roman Catholic Church. The archdiocese said it would put the proceeds into its remaining parishes.

"The completion of this transaction provides the Syro-Malabar community a much needed location for their parishioners," said the Rev. Walter J. Edyvean, the archdiocese's auxiliary bishop for its western region.

Protesters said they didn't know when the sale was coming, but the deal itself was no surprise. The archdiocese said this summer that the deal was in the works, and a Syro-Malabar priest has been leading a Sunday Mass at the Framingham church since 2008, with Boston Cardinal Sean O'Malley's permission.

I understand that they are working through appeals and stuff. Not to sound harsh, but maybe they should be happy that the parish is being taken over by other Catholics, as opposed to being turned into a community center or even a mosque. Maybe they could learn something about the universality of the Church by attending the Syro-Malabar liturgy.

Given what I've seen happen to other closed parishes, I'd be thrilled just to know that there's not going be one less place for the Eucharist. I get how someone might be upset over all this. It just seems like there must be more to the story.

Carmody said archdiocesan officials have made it clear that they hope parishioners can find a new home within the archdiocese. But she said that betrays a basic misunderstanding about the protesters: They aren't trying to save their church buildings; they're trying to save their community.

"What matters is community, what matters is the people you worship with, and that you love, and you care for and you provide for as a community," she said. "When you destroy that community, you destroy people where they live their faith."

Really? What is it about this that will destroy your community? You're getting a Catholic parish to replace your Catholic parish. You might not prefer the liturgical practices, but that's a pretty common thing nowadays. I'd rather attend a TLM. My wife would like to go to the Divine Liturgy. Neither of these is practical, so we attend a Pauline Mass. We're just glad to have one in the area at all.

No comments: