The Byzantine Forum
Newest Members
sidelight, MariaMaterMea, george1, RyanOwens, Ptaszek
5543 Registered Users
Who's Online Now
0 registered members (), 63 guests, and 362 spiders.
Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
Latest Photos
Papal Audience 10 November 2017
Upgraded Russian icon corner
Russian Greek Catholic Global Congress
OL EuroEast II (2007) Group
Portable Icon Screen
Forum Statistics
Forums26
Topics34,581
Posts410,943
Members5,543
Most Online2,716
Jun 7th, 2012
Previous Thread
Next Thread
Print Thread
Church closings #332862
09/19/09 03:28 PM
09/19/09 03:28 PM
Joined: Jun 2005
Posts: 3
Bethlehem,PA
A
Andrew B. Chismar Offline OP
Junior Member
Andrew B. Chismar  Offline OP
Junior Member
A
Joined: Jun 2005
Posts: 3
Bethlehem,PA
I am now 66 years old and I can't undertand why I am witnessing so many churches being closed. People crying and feeling depressed because they see their religious life being violated by their own church being closed.
I know that attendance has dropped off and that it takes money to keep churches open but, what I don't like is this.

People work very hard and build a congregation. They attend and pray , and show their loyalty to a parish, and then Rome decides that their church must be closed and they must attend somewhere else.

In the meantime, all their hard work goes down the tubes because Rome decides.

Why can't the parishoners OWN the Title to their land and Church that they busted their buts to build?

Rome, The Pope and Vatican is the wealthiest nation anywhere in the world. Primarily it is because their wealth is built on the backs of the people. The sweat and dedication of the people.
And yet, when push comes to shove, the people lose.
It just doesn't seem right.

Can someone explain?


Re: Church closings [Re: Andrew B. Chismar] #332863
09/19/09 03:44 PM
09/19/09 03:44 PM
Joined: May 2008
Posts: 1,405
Norway
L
Latin Catholic Offline
Member
Latin Catholic  Offline
Member
L
Joined: May 2008
Posts: 1,405
Norway
I sympathize with your sentiments regarding church closings. If my own parish were to close, I would feel it very strongly indeed.

That said, it is emphatically not true that the Pope and the Vatican are the "wealthiest nation anywhere in the world." To prove that this is not so, it is enough to note that in 2007, the Vatican's revenues totalled $372 million against expenses of $386 million, resulting in a deficit of $14 million (source).

Re: Church closings [Re: Andrew B. Chismar] #332867
09/19/09 04:29 PM
09/19/09 04:29 PM
Joined: Nov 2005
Posts: 1,440
Connecticut
Job Offline
Cantor
Job  Offline
Cantor
Member
Joined: Nov 2005
Posts: 1,440
Connecticut
Quote
In the meantime, all their hard work goes down the tubes because Rome decides.


Believe me I understand your feelings. However, it's not Rome, it's the BCC heirarchy that has been the problem and the clerics that "blindly obey" even in the face of blatent immorality. I noticed from your profile that you are a Byzantine Catholic from Bethlehem, PA. Why not speak with George Malitz or his family, their from the Bethlehem parish. George (formerly Fr. George) was involved, intimately with several of these closures.

Re: Church closings [Re: Andrew B. Chismar] #332879
09/19/09 05:49 PM
09/19/09 05:49 PM
Joined: Jul 2007
Posts: 458
Pittsburgh, PA
Erie Byz Offline
Member
Erie Byz  Offline
Member
Joined: Jul 2007
Posts: 458
Pittsburgh, PA
The Vatican only intervenes if it is necessary with a Church closing. The decision is up to the local Bishop as he is the head of the local church. At the time of his enthronement/installation in the Eparchy/Diocese all properties essentially become his, as Bishop.

Re: Church closings [Re: Erie Byz] #332882
09/19/09 06:13 PM
09/19/09 06:13 PM
Joined: Aug 2008
Posts: 335
Washington
R
Rybak Offline
Member
Rybak  Offline
Member
R
Joined: Aug 2008
Posts: 335
Washington
Demographics change. A priest friend of mine in Georgia tells me that in the 7 years he has been there the UGCC has opened at least 5 new parishes. I believe there are several new BCC parishes in the "sunbelt" states also. One door closes, but another door opens as the old saying goes.

Just to affirm the others who have posted, Rome does not close parishes. That is the decision of the local church alone.

Re: Church closings [Re: Rybak] #333047
09/21/09 02:35 AM
09/21/09 02:35 AM
Joined: Aug 2007
Posts: 528
PA
Byzantine TX Offline
Member
Byzantine TX  Offline
Member
Joined: Aug 2007
Posts: 528
PA
One door closes and another opens hundreds of miles away. Not much consolation to the parishes without replacement priests given no hope of a pastor.

Re: Church closings [Re: Byzantine TX] #333058
09/21/09 08:27 AM
09/21/09 08:27 AM
Joined: Nov 2001
Posts: 1,231
Rocky Hill, CT
John K Offline
Member
John K  Offline
Member
Joined: Nov 2001
Posts: 1,231
Rocky Hill, CT
Have some Ruthenian parishes been closed recently? What is prompting this thread?

Re: Church closings [Re: John K] #333237
09/23/09 11:06 AM
09/23/09 11:06 AM
Joined: Sep 2007
Posts: 177
York, PA
F
Fr. Jon Offline
Member
Fr. Jon  Offline
Member
F
Joined: Sep 2007
Posts: 177
York, PA
The parish of my baptism closed in 1995. There was wailing and grinding of teeth, prayers for the quick reassignment of our bishop to another diocese, etc.

People blame Rome for these closing.

But remember, Rome isn't the micromanager that everybody claims it to be. They may simply uphold the decision of the local ordinary, whether it was based on Canon Law or not and due process given to the entities involved.

In 1995, people thought the bishop was out for ethnic cleansing, acting out of hatred for anybody not Irish or Italian (he was the latter). But ten years later, when the local newspapers revisited these consolidations, they were hard pressed to find anybody who after seeing the population declines in just those ten short years disagree with those consolidations.

One doesn't tell the health of a parish by the amount of societies, how many people are active in the GCU or pyrohy projects, but in the baptismal registers.

Not knowing ANY people intimately involved with the consolidations in the Byzantine Church, I don't want to enter into specifics. Perhaps the bishops and vicars and whatnot could have acted with greater openness and compassion.

Quote
Why not speak with George Malitz or his family, their from the Bethlehem parish. George (formerly Fr. George) was involved, intimately with several of these closures.


On a side note, it is an absolutely terrible thing to try to bring the family of a priest into the fray for the actions of their son or brother. With all due respect to Job and the hurt he felt due to past actions, bringing a former priest's family into the situation is a terrible suggestion. I would not want my parents suffering because of what I may say or do.

Fr. Jon


Re: Church closings [Re: Andrew B. Chismar] #333274
09/23/09 04:57 PM
09/23/09 04:57 PM
Joined: Nov 2002
Posts: 6,314
Hollidaysburg, PA
theophan Offline
Moderator
theophan  Offline
Moderator
Member
Joined: Nov 2002
Posts: 6,314
Hollidaysburg, PA
Quote
People crying and feeling depressed because they see their religious life being violated by their own church being closed.


Andrew:

Christ is in our midst!!

In the early 1970s, my parish church was not closed, but it was violated by having the sanctuary gutted in the name of "updating." The problem was that the church had burned just about 25 years prior to that and the people who had donated large sums for specific replacement furnishings were still alive. There was a lot of bitterness and some even left the Church altogether over it.

I guess we have to step back and deepen our faith. Our faith is not in bricks and mortar. It is not in priests and bishops. We are on pilgrimage with Christ. Things can be replaced and they are on a regular basis. But faith in the One Who came here looking for us is not something that can be replaced; nor can it be taken from us. It's rough to see donations destroyed and hard work lost. But it isn't the people who have given that will be held accountable for thse things. It is the stewards of the patrimony of the Church who will be held accountable.

They cannot take your icon corner away; it's in your own home. They can't take away your prayers, learned over a lifetime. They can't take away your commitment to Jesus Christ.

I ran into a man while in university who was turned off by Christianity altogether because he said that all his parish did was fight about the incense and the manner of censing; Pascha baskets and when they were to be blessed; Slavonic and high or low back vestments. He said he'd had enough. But our faith is not in that "stuff." These things are the means to open the door Byzantine-style to the Mystery of God come among us, not the end--the end is Christ Himself.

That's not to say that the familiar is something to be jettisoned by whim, but it's the other side of the coin.

On the other hand, there is a priest shortage over all the Apostolic Churches--CAtholic and Orthodox. There aren't a lot of young men who are answering the call. And there are plenty of men ordained who have enough of the constant battle with us lay people who just walk away because they can't take it anymore. Our priests burn out when they have multiple parishes to staff. And often the parishes don't have the income to keep going. It costs lot more to keep a parish church running than most of us realize and many of us haven't kep our sacrificial offering up to match increased income. Five or ten bucks in the plate doesn't cut it these days. But when I was putting $35 in the plate, my family thought I was crazy because the Church ought to be able to get it done with five. In my parish only 32% contribute regularly. It's a struggle to keep the place open and we have over 750 families.

BOB

Re: Church closings [Re: Job] #333381
09/24/09 07:19 PM
09/24/09 07:19 PM
Joined: Jul 2008
Posts: 3
PA, USA
P
PAPPAP Offline
Junior Member
PAPPAP  Offline
Junior Member
P
Joined: Jul 2008
Posts: 3
PA, USA
Job, Why don't you leave Ft George alone. Didn't you slam him enough. Pehaps you should look in you own back yard and see why the church are clsoing. In stead of slamming a priest you should say a pray for them.

Re: Church closings [Re: PAPPAP] #333391
09/24/09 09:33 PM
09/24/09 09:33 PM
Joined: Nov 2005
Posts: 1,440
Connecticut
Job Offline
Cantor
Job  Offline
Cantor
Member
Joined: Nov 2005
Posts: 1,440
Connecticut
Originally Posted by PAPPAP
Job, Why don't you leave Ft George alone. Didn't you slam him enough. Pehaps you should look in you own back yard and see why the church are clsoing. In stead of slamming a priest you should say a pray for them.


I do pray for George and Bishop Andrew every day. This isn't necessarily meant as a "slam" but rather...We must remember what has happened so it does not happen again. As the old saying goes "out of sight, out of mind".

Re: Church closings [Re: PAPPAP] #333395
09/24/09 10:09 PM
09/24/09 10:09 PM
Joined: Dec 2005
Posts: 42
CT
A
Angel lady Offline
Member
Angel lady  Offline
Member
A
Joined: Dec 2005
Posts: 42
CT
Originally Posted by PAPPAP
Job, Why don't you leave Ft George alone. Didn't you slam him enough. Pehaps you should look in you own back yard and see why the church are clsoing. In stead of slamming a priest you should say a pray for them.


There is no priest slamming going on here; George hasn't been "Father" for quite some time now. Churches close for any number of reasons including a change in demographics, apathy, shortage of priests & personality conflicts. You have no idea how difficult it was to remain a parishoner in one of George's CT parishes unless you yourself were a parishoner. It was like dealing with a spoiled child:it was his way or the highway. Knowing that he still lives in the area is still painful to many as the scars still run deep.


The Byzantine Forum provides message boards for discussions focusing on Eastern Christianity (though discussions of other topics are welcome). The views expressed herein are those of the participants and may or may not reflect the teachings of the Byzantine Catholic or any other Church. The Byzantine Forum and the www.byzcath.org site exist to help build up the Church but are unofficial, have no connection with any Church entity, and should not be looked to as a source for official information for any Church. All posts become property of byzcath.org. Contents copyright - 1996-2018. All rights reserved.
Powered by UBB.threads™ PHP Forum Software 7.6.1.1
(Release build 20180111)
Page Time: 0.018s Queries: 15 (0.005s) Memory: 1.9961 MB (Peak: 2.1978 MB) Zlib enabled. Server Time: 2018-09-19 06:39:39 UTC