Tuesday, July 29, 2014 02:51pm
North Adams, MA now: 70 °   
Send news, tips, press releases and questions to info@iBerkshires.com
The Berkshires online guide to events, news and Berkshire County community information.
SIGN IN | REGISTER NOW   

Home About Archives RSS Feed
Pontiff Rejects Boston Parish Appeals
By: Staff Reports On: 03:50PM / Tuesday January 04, 2011
Important
0
Interesting
0
Funny
0
Awesome
0
Infuriating
0
Ridiculous
0

Peter Borre advised St. Stan's parishioners on the Vatican appeals process.

BOSTON — The pope has rejected the pleas of parishes in the Boston Archdiocese to remain open.

According to several media sources, a Dec. 15 letter addressed to Peter Borre, chairman of the Council of Parishes, stated, "The Holy Father [Pope Benedict XVI] was apprised of the question, which was also clearly studied by this office. ... I regret to inform you, however, that His Holiness has decided not to accept your appeal."

Borre has been the leader in the effort to keep open Boston area churches closed in 2003 as part of a consolidation sparked by financial and demographic declines. The Council of Parishes, a collaboration of 16 parishes, has been supporting vigilers trying to keep open the churches. At present, five churches are still being occupied around the clock to prevent their closure.

The decision doesn't bode well for the vigilers at St. Stanislaus Kostka in Adams, who are entering their third year in trying to keep the historic Polish church from closing.

Borre, and the Council of Parishes, have been advising the St. Stan's vigilers — as well as trailblazing the twisted path through the Vatican appeals process. The Boston group was dealt a blow last spring when the Apostolic Signatura rejected its appeals.

News Sources

Pope Rejects Appeals From Closed Mass. Parishes

Latest Council of Parishes Bid Rejected; St. James to Stay Closed

At the time, Friends of St. Stan's spokeswoman Laurie Haas, noted that the Adams parish was years behind the Boston group in the appeals process.

"We're firm and we're resolute and we set the course ...," she said then.

"Things could be very different; their outcome is not our outcome."

Borre told the Boston Herald that he received the letter from undersecretary of state Archbishop Fernando Filoni on Monday and described the final appeal directly to the pontiff as a "Hail Mary."

But while the archdiocese indicated to the Herald that the matter is closed, Borre said his group is now working on a way to keep the churches open as a place of Catholic worship.



Tags: appeals      
Boston Setback Doesn't Shake Vigilers' Faith
By: Tammy Daniels On: 01:42AM / Tuesday May 18, 2010
Important
0
Interesting
0
Funny
0
Awesome
0
Infuriating
0
Ridiculous
0

Vigilkeepers at St. Stan's were upbeat on Monday despite the bad news for 10 Boston churches. According to reports, the Vatican's highest court, the Apostolic Signatura, rejected appeals from parishioners to rescind the archdiocese's closure order for the churches, three of which have been occupied by vigils for more than five years.

"It's not going to change how we proceed," said Laurie Haas, one of the leaders in appealing the Adams church's closure last year. Vigilers at St. Stanislaus Kostka have been closely following the fates of the Boston churches and have aligned themselves with the Council of Parishes, a lay group fighting to keep them open. The group's leader, Peter Borre, has been counseling St. Stan's as it, too, wends its way through the Holy See's legal maze.

It was Borre who alerted press Monday to the Collegium's decision, which was actually been handed down on May 7. Within a half-hour, chuckled Haas, Msgr. John Bonzagni had e-mailed it to her inbox.

Visitors from across the country and even from overseas have stopped in to look at St. Stan's treasures.

Bonzagni, director of pastoral planning for the Springfield Diocese, had a hand in the decisions that would close numerous churches and consolidate parishes across Western Mass two years ago. Of the six churches shuttered in North Berkshire, only the Polish church has refused to close and join Notre Dame at the former St. Thomas' Church, now known as Pope John Paul the Great.

It was day 508 as some 50-odd supporters, about a quarter of the total number of vigilers taking turns standing post, attended the regular Monday meeting — and to hear if what the news out of Boston would mean.

"So this is very sad for Boston and, of course, we can't help but parallel their plight to our plight, here now," said Haas, after reading both an AP article and a statement from the Council of Parishes. "We're firm and we're resolute and we set the course ... things could be very different: their outcome is not our outcome."

But there's undercurrent of anger below the sunny smiles that their beloved St. Stan's and other parishes are paying the price for church leaders' failings and for sex-abuse scandals that have cost tens of millions.

The bust of Pope John Paul II is in storage after vandals tried to pull him from his pedestal last week and should be back after some minor fixes.

One sentence in particular in the Council of Parishes statement struck a chord. "American Catholics will not let up in their efforts to bring the American bishops to account, and to compel bishops to stop using parishes as ATMs to pay the pay the piper for clergy sex abuse" was met with loud murmurs of agreement.

In the meantime, the vigilers will continue to raise funds to maintain the beautifully decorated church, including a Polish dinner and dancing at PNA this Saturday with Eddie Forman's polka band. Admission $5; a Polish plate is available from 5 to 6 with dancing until 11.

They're also doing their best to keep the occupation in the diocese's eye. Last week, the local papers did a story on the 500th day of the vigil, the television stations show up now and again, and hats, T-shirts and, soon, buttons promoting St. Stan's are available. "We have to keep ourselves in the news so the bishop knows what's going on," said Fran Hajda.

They're in it for the long haul. It could be years before their case reaches the Signatura.

"Five years from now, when we are at that level, it could be a completely diffeent climate over at the Apostolic Signatura," said Haas. "We always have to have hope, we have to pray ... we're a people of faith, a family brought so much closer together."


The full statement of the Council of Parishes is below:

"Today in Rome the canon law advocate for nine parishioner appeal groups in the Archdiocese of Boston (RCAB) was notified by an official of the Holy See’s Apostolic Signatura (the Vatican’s supreme-court equivalent) that all nine appeals, plus a tenth appeal from another Boston parishioner group, were denied by the Signatura’s Collegium at its session of May 7.

The Collegium is the highest level of the Vatican’s canon law system for appeals against the suppression of parishes. A list of the ten RCAB parishioner groups is attached.

The Boston appeals are the result of the “Reconfiguration” program of parish closings announced in early 2004 in the RCAB, in the immediate aftermath of the clergy sex abuse scandal which was settled in late 2003 - with $85 million paid by the archdiocese for 541 claims. To fund this, in May of 2004 the RCAB identified 83 Boston-area parishes to be closed, almost one-fourth of all RCAB parishes then open. When announced, this was the most massive parish closing program in the history of Catholic America.

Although the archdiocese has claimed vociferously over the years that the parish closings of 2004-2005 had nothing to do with its clergy sex abuse settlement, in 2008 the RCAB’s own canon advocate in Rome filed a sworn brief with the Signatura, which includes the following remarkable passage (translated from the Latin):

“…maximum discretion was given to His Excellency the Archbishop of Boston so that he might save the entire archdiocese from monetary ruin, provoked by the ‘sexual abuse crisis’ [emphasis in original]. It is in this context that all actions of this process of reconfiguration and ‘closing of parishes’ are to be understood, not excluding the suppression of wealthy parishes, not excluding the suppression of parishes of maximum vitality…”

This is the revealed truth about the massive parish destruction program: parishes were closed, to liquidated as real estate to fund the sex abuse settlement. The contorted statements inflicted by the RCAB upon its parishioners over the past several years about the reasons for closing parishes (shortage of clergy, changing demographics, insolvent parishes) has turned out to be at variance with the truth – intentionally misleading.

The parishioner groups whose appeals have been denied, the RCAB Catholics who have been in vigil in five RCAB churches occupied round the clock for over five years, and 70 parishioner groups in 16 other dioceses who have followed closely the course of the Boston appeals, will now have to consider what steps to take next.

One thing is clear: American Catholics will not let up in their efforts to bring the American bishops to account, and to compel bishops to stop using parishes as ATMs to pay the piper for clergy sex abuse.

Since the scandal exploded in Boston more than eight years ago, at least $2.5 billion has been paid out by American bishops. And the process is not over: just last week, Vermont’s diocese of Montpelier settled 26 claims for almost $18 million.

St Augustine wrote, “Roma locuta est, causa finita est,” Rome has spoken, case closed. The good saint got this wrong: while one chapter has closed, another chapter is opening.

As allegations of clergy sex abuse work their way through many other countries with large Catholic populations, we will see a pattern very familiar to Boston’s Catholics:

First, blame the media, the victims, and perhaps a predecessor pope;

Next, toss a few bishops over the side;

Then, acknowledge the inevitable, grudgingly;

Avoid courts, depositions and document discovery;

After dragging out litigation, pay out enormous settlements;

After an interval, close local parishes but deny any link to settlements; and

Above all, deceive the parishioners about truth regarding the parish closings.

We are seven years away from the 500th anniversary of Martin Luther’s posting of his 95 theses in 1517; what will the Roman Catholic Church look like in 2017?"



Tags: Borre, Council of Churches, Apostolic Signatura      
St. Stan's Joins With 30 Parishes in Appeal to Rome
By: Tammy Daniels On: 10:09PM / Tuesday April 07, 2009
Important
0
Interesting
0
Funny
0
Awesome
0
Infuriating
0
Ridiculous
0

St. Stanislaus leader Laurie Haas talks to vigil members on Monday night.

ADAMS, Mass. — As the faithful at St. Stanislaus Kostka Church pass the 100-day mark of keeping vigil, they're hoping a Holy Week that ends with Resurrection will be repeated in the revival of their beloved church.

St. Stanislaus' Church was closed by the Roman Catholic Diocese of Springfield two days after Christmas as part of a consolidation across the Berkshires and Springfield region. But the descendants of the Polish immigrants who built the church with their sweat and money are fighting the decision on several fronts — and finding friends in other communities. ... continued.

 

 



Tags: Borre, Council of Churches      
Page 1 of 1 1  
News Headlines
Three Berkshires Men Fighting Fires in Northwest
Pittsfield Councilors Favor Opposition to Gas Pipeline
North Adams Housing Agency Reaching Asset Deal With City
Williamstown Town, Fire Discuss Coordinating Annual Meetings
Wilber Off to Strong Start at YMCA Nationals
Berkshire Force Set to Host Softball World Series
Mount Greylock Alums Reunite to Play at Reunion
La Festa Baseball Renews Boston-North Adams Competition
Pittsfield School Building Panel Opts for New High School
Berkshire Bank Renames Its Mortgage Lending Division
 
Appeals Process
Parishes have some options to protest their closings.

Appeal to the bishop within 10 days of a decree of suppres-
sion or merger. He's got 30 days to get back to you - or not. 

 

 

 

If the answer is still no, the parish then has 10 days to appeal to the Congregation of Clergy in Rome. They could take years to respond and usually back the bishop.

All is not lost. The next step is to appeal to the Apostolic Signatory, the Vatican's "supreme court." It is headed by St. Louis' former Archbishop Raymond Burke, who leans conservative.
If the first appeal for a hearing fails, the last step is a plea to the full bench of the signatory. The process can cost thousands.
Stories

Bishop Hopes Closings Reinvigorate Parishes

Bosley Wants More Dialogue on Church Closings

Parishioners Seek Solution to Save St. Stan's

Parishioners Set Vigil to Save St. Stan's

St. Stan's Closes With
Tears and Defiance


St. Stan's Hopes for Strength in Numbers

St. Stan's Pins Prayers on Mediation Request

 

 

 

 



Categories:
Boston (3)
coverage (4)
diocese (9)
event (5)
parish (5)
related stories (2)
Rome (6)
update (12)
Archives:
Tags:
Divine Mercy Vigil Marians Republican Decree Apostolic Signatura Ruling Deicision Appeal Anniversary Decision Council Of Churches Closing Appeals Thanksgiving Time Opening Congregation Of Clergy New Orleans Trabold Hajdas Borre Decision Tomkowitz Reopening Christmas
Popular Entries:
St. Stan's Announces Church Is Saved
Diocese Releases Statement on St. Stan's Ruling
St. Stan Vigilers Hope Prayers Answered
Diocese, Vigilers Appeal Ruling on St. Stan's
First Western Hemisphere Divine Mercy Images Still at St. Stan's
St. Stanislaus Church To Reopen
Boston Setback Doesn't Shake Vigilers' Faith
St. Stan's Vigil to Mark Two Years
Diocese Says Vatican Upholds Closure of St. Stan's
St. Stanislaus Reopens For Palm Sunday Mass
Recent Entries:
St. Stanislaus Reopens For Palm Sunday Mass
St. Stanislaus Church To Reopen
Diocese Says Vatican Upholds Closure of St. Stan's
Diocese, Vigilers Appeal Ruling on St. Stan's
Diocese Releases Statement on St. Stan's Ruling
First Western Hemisphere Divine Mercy Images Still at St. Stan's
St. Stan Vigilers Hope Prayers Answered
St. Stan's Announces Church Is Saved
Pontiff Rejects Boston Parish Appeals
St. Stan's Vigil to Mark Two Years


View All
Pittsfield Ethnic Fair 2014
North Street in Pittsfield had a double-dose of block...
LaFesta Baseball 2014
The LaFesta Baseball Exchange, celebrating 24 years, pits...
Adams Polish Picnic 2014
Adams residents enjoyed traditional Polish food and music...
Mingo's Sports Bar & Grill...
Over 50 cars packed into the Mingo's Sports Bar & Grill...
BYP Networking at Naumkeag
The Berkshire Young Professionals met at the historic...
Pittsfield Shakespeare...
Pittsfield's Shakespeare in the Park free performances at...
Lanesborough Kids Fire Camp...
Lanesborough Fire Department held its annual Kids Fire Camp...
Lanesborough Fire Drill
The Lanesborough Fire Department trains on basement fires...
Pittsfield Polish Picnic
Crowds lined up for golabki and kapusta at the annual...
North Adams Kids Emergency...
The North Adams 21st Century Community Learning Center...
Gather-in Festival 2014
The 42nd annual Gather-In festival was held at Pitt Park in...
BFAIR Mini-Golf Fundraiser
Berkshire Family and Individual Resources held its annual...
Lanesborough Seeds of Harmony...
Bradly Farm in...
Hinsdale Block Party
The Hinsdale Fire Department hosted its annual block party...
Arrowhead Country Craft Fair
Arrowhead, Herman Melville's home in Pittsfield, is hosting...
Pittsfield 3rd Thursday July...
Shakespeare was the theme for this month's 3rd Thursday...
Pittsfield Ethnic Fair 2014
North Street in Pittsfield had a double-dose of block...
LaFesta Baseball 2014
The LaFesta Baseball Exchange, celebrating 24 years, pits...
Adams Polish Picnic 2014
Adams residents enjoyed traditional Polish food and music...
Mingo's Sports Bar & Grill...
Over 50 cars packed into the Mingo's Sports Bar & Grill...
BYP Networking at Naumkeag
The Berkshire Young Professionals met at the historic...
| Home | A & E | Business | Community News | Dining | Real Estate | Schools | Sports & Outdoors | Berkshires Weather | Weddings
Advertise | Recommend This Page | Help Contact Us | Privacy Policy| User Agreement
iBerkshires.com is owned and operated by: Boxcar Media 102 Main Street, North Adams, MA 01247 -- T. 413-663-3384 F.413-664-4251
© 2000 Boxcar Media LLC - All rights reserved