Skip to content

Worth more than money: Vatican blocks 'deconsecration' of historic Catholic church

By Marshall Connolly (Catholic Online)
2/21/2014 (4 years ago)
Catholic Online (https://www.catholic.org)

Vatican court sides with parishioners to save St. Ann's church in Buffalo, NY.

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.

St. Ann's is an architectural and cultural gem of faith. It is worth more than just money.

Highlights

By Marshall Connolly (Catholic Online)
Catholic Online (https://www.catholic.org)
2/21/2014 (4 years ago)

Published in Americas

Keywords: St. Ann's, church, Buffalo, New York, Vatican, decree, court, deconsencration, diocese


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.

St. Ann, pray for us!

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?!

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.

Pope Francis calls for your 'prayer and action'...

---


'Help Give every Student and Teacher FREE resources for a world-class Moral Catholic Education'


Copyright 2018 - Distributed by THE CALIFORNIA NETWORK

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for APRIL 2018
For those who have Responsibility in Economic Matters.
That economists may have the courage to reject any economy of exclusion and know how to open new paths.


Comments


More Americas

Catholic Relief Services builds hospital in Haiti Watch

Image of The newly rebuilt St. Francis de Sales Hospital in Haiti.

The tremor lasted less than a minute. Dr. Jude Banatte's car was shaking, and then it was not. Port-au-Prince, Haiti (CNA/EWTN News) - ... continue reading


Cardinal: Consecrate Mexico to Immaculate Heart of Mary Watch

Image of

Facing violence, poverty and corruption, Mexico should be consecrated to the Immaculate Heart of Mary, said Archbishop Emeritus Juan ... continue reading


Researchers discover Amazon basin was once home to a lost civilization of millions Watch

Image of The site of an abandoned village, centuries old, surrounded by earthworks.

Just when we think we know everything, along comes another discovery to surprise us. A surprising study on the Amazon basin reveals that ... continue reading


Married men could soon become priests in the Amazon. What would this mean for the Catholic Church? Watch

Image of The Church estimates there are 7,100 Catholics for every priest in the region.

Catholic leaders in the Amazon basin will meet next year to discuss the challenges they face. Perhaps their most pressing problem is an ... continue reading


Explorers announce discovery of secret Mayan ruins in jungles of Guatemala Watch

Image of The jungle continues to hide ancient cities and secrets, which only now are being rediscovered.

Explorers mapping the jungle cities of the Maya have uncovered 60,000 structures hidden in the jungle, revealing more secrets about the ... continue reading


Never Miss any Updates!

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers.

Information
Learn about Catholic world

Catholic Online
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

Daily Reading
Today's bible reading

Lent / Easter
Death & resurrection of Jesus

Advent / Christmas
Birth of Jesus

Rest of Catholic Online
All Catholic world we offer

Services
Products and services we offer

Catholic Online Shopping
Catholic medals, gifts & books

The California Network
Inspiring streaming service

Advertise on Catholic Online
Your ads on catholic.org

Catholic Online Email
Email with Catholic feel

Catholic Online Singles
Safe, secure Catholic dating

The California Studios
World-class post production service

Education
Learn the Catholic way

Catholic Online School
Free Catholic education for all

Student Classes
K-12 & Adult Education Classes

School Teachers
Teacher lesson plans & resources

Support Free Education
Tax deductible support Free education

Socials
Connect with us online

Catholic Online on Facebook
Catholic social network

Catholic Online on Twitter
Catholic Tweets

Catholic Online on YouTube
Enjoy our videos

Catholic Online on Instagram
Shared Catholic moments

Catholic Online on Pinterest
Catholic ideas style inspiration

Catholic Online Logo

Copyright 2018 Catholic Online. All materials contained on this site, whether written, audible or visual are the exclusive property of Catholic Online and are protected under U.S. and International copyright laws, © Copyright 2018 Catholic Online. Any unauthorized use, without prior written consent of Catholic Online is strictly forbidden and prohibited.