Worth more than money: Vatican blocks 'deconsecration' of historic Catholic church
By Marshall Connolly (Catholic Online)
2/21/2014 (3 years ago)
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)
A priceless parish church in Buffalo, New York has been spared the wrecking ball, for now, thanks to the advocacy of its parishioners. St. Ann's parish in Buffalo, NY, was slated for "deconsecration" after the diocese concluded it could not finance the repair of the church and consolidated its parish communities.
St. Ann's is an architectural and cultural gem of faith. It is worth more than just money.
LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - It required help from the Vatican, but St. Ann's church in Buffalo, NY, has been spared the wrecking ball, at least for now. The beautiful church was built in 1886 and is considered a priceless treasure of architecture and faith. Unfortunately, in a world of limited resources there really is no such thing as priceless, from an accounting perspective.
Facing a potential bill exceeding $12 million for repair and renovation of the structure, the Catholic Diocese of Buffalo made the difficult decision to deconsecrate the church and put the building on the market. A buyer would have the option of converting the structure to secular use or to demolish it altogether.
Concerned parishioners appealed to the Vatican, suing the diocese in a Vatican court to stop the proposed liquidation of St. Ann's. Thankfully and prayerfully, they won.
A decree was issued by the Vatican that forbids the use of the structure for anything other than religious purposes. It also forbids conversion of the church by developers. Therefore, St. Ann's will have to remain a church, as intended.
Still, the diocese has pledged that it will appeal the decision to the Apostolic Signatura, which is the Vatican equivalent of the Supreme Court.
The parish community of St. Ann's has already been folded into a neighboring parish.
The Catholic Church has enjoyed explosive growth in various parts of the world, but has suffered decline in the United States. Only recently, with the publicity and popularity of Pope Francis, have attendance numbers in some places apparently reversed a downward trend.
As a way of managing decline, some diocese have made the painful decision to shutter some locations and to sell property. Sadly, some of those churches, like St. Ann's are beautiful examples of 19th century American architecture and do not deserve to meet a wrecking-ball. Nor should they be converted to secular use, which is quintessentially profane.
A restaurant, apartments, shopping, perhaps a wrecking ball, really?!
Relatively speaking, modern churches tend to be cheaply built affairs, and never inspire the same kind of reverence that can be found in a an architectural gem like St. Anne's. The preservation of the church, even if it will be expensive and difficult, is worth its cost if it inspires people to come closer to God. Those who built St. Ann's were not fools. Their design choices were deliberate and based on traditional designs that have served the Catholic Church for centuries. The church is a wonderful example of architecture that points to heaven.
Those who seek to save St. Ann's aren't fools either. Some treasures are worth more than just money.
Copyright 2017 - Distributed by THE CALIFORNIA NETWORK
Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for JULY 2017
Lapsed Christians. That our brothers and sisters who have strayed from the faith, through our prayer and witness to the Gospel, may rediscover the merciful closeness of the Lord and the beauty of the Christian life.
When Matt Hohler was in college in 2010, he was a reluctant Catholic - and not a coffee drinker. Tegucigalpa, Honduras, (CNA) - That year, ... continue reading
Church and law enforcement warn people in USA and Mexico about death cult spreading from Mexico Watch
Catholics in North America are being warned of a Mexican death cult that is spreading once again under the disguise of Catholicism. Santa ... continue reading
The Aztec gods required human sacrifice. To that end, the Aztecs sought out volunteers from their own people for ritual sacrifice. With ... continue reading
Certifiably miraculous! Three-year old survives fall from ninth-floor without serious injuries Watch
The doctors at the Children's Hospital in San Miguel, Argentina, find no explanation for the quick recovery of Martin Chain, a ... continue reading
In a lost Peruvian valley stands the cinder cone of an ancient volcano, complete with a caldera. Yet, there are no volcanoes near the cone ... continue reading
by Catholic Online
- Daily Reading for Friday, July 28th, 2017 HD Video
- St. Pantaleon: Saint of the Day for Thursday, July 27, 2017
- A victory for Christianity - President Trump bans transgenderism in ...
- Daily Readings for Thursday, July 27, 2017
- A new coalition for Christian orthodoxy
- Defrocked pedophile priest, convicted after 'Spotlight' ...
- Archaeologists discover Tabernacle that held the Ark HD Video
- Shut off? What happened to the Vatican water supply! HD
- Daily Reading for Thursday, July 27th, 2017 HD
- Pope Francis is set for something big, but what is it? HD
- Daily Reading for Wednesday, July 26th, 2017 HD