Pontiff Rejects Boston Parish Appeals
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.
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.