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 2018 - Distributed by THE CALIFORNIA NETWORK
Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for JANUARY 2018
Religious Minorities in Asia. That Christians, and other religious minorities in Asian countries, may be able to practise their faith in full freedom.
Having never been to a major Marian shrine, I didn't quite know what to expect. Some years ago, in the summer of 2004, I made a ... continue reading
Our Lady of Guadalupe has been hailed as the Patroness of the America's. The "New Evangelization" of the America's has been entrusted to ... continue reading
The impact of Our Lady of Guadalupe on the Americas should encourage Christians in the U.S. to continue to evangelize, even when their ... continue reading
The Islamic State terrorists have issued more threats, this time against New York, Las Vegas, and the United States in general. A poster ... continue reading
In a heartbreaking case of child abuse, a nine-year-old girl in Peru has been impregnated by her stepfather. The child is more than five ... continue reading
by Catholic Online
- St. Fabian: Saint of the Day for Saturday, January 20, 2018
- Science is transforming the pro-life debate for the better HD Video
- Daily Reading for Monday, January 22nd, 2018 HD Video
- Most Americans want abortion restricted, if not outlawed
- Cardinal Dolan asks the faithful to pray against 'powers of darkness' ...
- Daily Readings for Saturday, January 20, 2018
- 5 Things You Need To Know About 'Offering A Mass' For A Loved One
- Daily Reading for Tuesday, January 23rd, 2018 HD
- Daily Reading for Sunday, January 21st, 2018 HD
- Jobless claims are down - what does that mean for workers? HD
- Daily Reading for Saturday, January 20th, 2018 HD
Learn about Catholic world
Inform - Inspire - Ignite
Catholic Online Saints
Your saints explained
Catholic Online Prayers
Prayers for every need
Catholic Online Bible
Complete bible online
Catholic Online News
Your news Catholic eye
Today's bible reading
Products and services we offer
Catholic Online Shopping
Catholic medals, gifts & books
The California Network
Inspiring streaming service
Learn the Catholic way
Teacher lesson plans & resources
Support Free Education
Tax deductible support Free education