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Parishioners, priest from closed St. Peter Catholic Church defy bishop, celebrate Mass in new home

http://blog.cleveland.com/metro/2010/08/parishioners_from_closed_catho.html

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So........where did they get the altar stone, and who consecrated it? And if there were 350 people at this Mass, why was their parish church closed (was the church deconsecrated and the parish suppressed, or did something else happen?) And why do they need six chalices and three ciboria for that number of people?

Apologies if those are stupid questions, just what popped into my mind after reading the article.

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and who will be the pastor after the present one retires? With that many people involved, surely the Bishop could make some kind of accomodation; apparently other people from other closed churches are also coming to St Peters...just thinking

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Going by the photos, they sure don't look very traditional.

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Understandable but yes, this doesn't make theological sense and seems another liberal walk-on to the vagante circus. Not hardcore like the one in Rochester, NY (liberal pastor went vagante after the bishop cracked down) but similar.

Without a larger church with bishops and more than one parish it won't last a generation.

The Polish National Catholic Church (century-old American schism; Novus Ordo clone... historically liberal bishops but conservative parishes... these days it's fourth-generation members and priests from Poland who left RC to marry) has actually started a few new parishes in what seem conservative Rust Belt neighbourhoods because of RC parish closings.

I'm not saying it's right, just that it happens.

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So........where did they get the altar stone, and who consecrated it?


They don't need one. The requirement for an altar stone hasn't been in place for quite some years. Most parishes I've been in for the past 35 years don't have one--even one left over after renovations.

Usually closings of churches have to do with lack of clergy, high cost of keeping old buildings up, lack of income, a combination of these and other reasons.

Bob

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Hi young fogey!
Where's the "Rust Belt"?

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Rust Belt: Roughly a Pensylvania-Virginia-Ohio-Michigan bounding box...

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The parish is one of some 50 (if I remember correctly) closed in the Latin Diocese of Cleveland since Bishop Lennon was enthroned there (after transfering from an Auxiliary position in Boston). I'm fairly certain that there is an old thread here that discusses it. He drew enormous criticism for the closure decisions that he made - many of which were of the older, inner-city, and often ethnic parishes which inevitably bear the brunt of cutbacks.

A very interesting observation in this piece is that which notes - contrary to the usual reaction - this community did not seek to occupy the closed temple, asserting that it was not about the physical plant but about the community of faithful as being the Church. However else one feels about the decision they have taken, there is much truth to that - as we should all especially well know.

It's a premise too seldom observed in modern times. There was a time, in the memory of at least some of us, when parishes were essentially that - a community that worshipped together, versus a bunch of folk who happened to be in the same building of a Sunday morning and went their separate ways thereafter.

Many years,

Neil


"One day all our ethnic traits ... will have disappeared. Time itself is seeing to this. And so we can not think of our communities as ethnic parishes, ... unless we wish to assure the death of our community."
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Originally Posted by Pavloosh
Where's the "Rust Belt"?


The Steel Belt was a typical descriptor intended to evoke a mental picture of a region's employment base and its contribution to the broader economy. Similar appellatiions were the Coal, Corn, and Cotton Belts, and a myriad of smaller/less commonly cited ones, such as the Copper, Silver, Textile, and Chemical Belts, to name a few of them. As some of these began to founder, through resource depletion or the movement of work outside NA as cost-saving, profit-increasing measures, the names were sometimes denigrated to variations that more aptly described what was left behind; as examples, the Steel Belt became the Rust Belt and the Textile Belt became the Lint Belt.

The Rust Belt is an area roughly that which aramis has described - although I'd be more inclined to describe it as beginning in western NY state, and proceeding through PA, OH, IN, northern IL, and up into parts of MI, MN, and WI. It encompasses those formerly highly industrialized regions where once thriving, now abandoned, factories (and iron mines) were an essential aspect of life. In times prior to the demise of heavy industry as a major economic factor for the region, it was additionally, but less frequently, sometimes termed as the Manufacturing or Factory Belt.

Many years,

Neil


"One day all our ethnic traits ... will have disappeared. Time itself is seeing to this. And so we can not think of our communities as ethnic parishes, ... unless we wish to assure the death of our community."
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Originally Posted by theophan
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So........where did they get the altar stone, and who consecrated it?


They don't need one. The requirement for an altar stone hasn't been in place for quite some years. Most parishes I've been in for the past 35 years don't have one--even one left over after renovations.

Bob


That's really sad. Makes me wonder what happens to them, although with the stories told to me by people who 'rescue' far less important things from dumpsters (altar cloths, tabernacle veils) I can probably imagine.

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. . . what happens to them . . .


I've rescued three and missed three.

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Originally Posted by Irish Melkite

A very interesting observation in this piece is that which notes - contrary to the usual reaction - this community did not seek to occupy the closed temple, asserting that it was not about the physical plant but about the community of faithful as being the Church. However else one feels about the decision they have taken, there is much truth to that - as we should all especially well know.

It's a premise too seldom observed in modern times. There was a time, in the memory of at least some of us, when parishes were essentially that - a community that worshipped together, versus a bunch of folk who happened to be in the same building of a Sunday morning and went their separate ways thereafter.

Many years,

Neil


It seems that in the numerous Roman dioceses in the North-East Rust Belt that have closed numerous ethnic neighborhood churches, have now created new "mega" parishes (w/ 6 to 8 liturgies a weekend) with congregations around 7,000 to 10,000 in their stead. How is that a better situation? How can any Roman Catholic attending a "mega" parish possibily have any sense of parish community and fellowship? Where is the sense of communion and fellowship in a "mega" parish of 7,000-10,000 souls? What is the justification for the creation of these "mega" parishes in these Roman dioceses? What are the priorities, finances or attending to the spiritual welfare of the faithful?

U-C

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While teaching CCD in a certain Latin parish many years ago, I chanced to come across 2 altar stones which had been placed in storage after the renovation of the church. I decided to ask permission to dispose of them by burying them in the grave with a very pious and devout aged Mexican-American parishioner;the pastor gave his OK and that's where they are today, buried with her in Calvary Hill Cemetery in Dallas.

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Originally Posted by Ung-Certez
What is the justification for the creation of these "mega" parishes in these Roman dioceses? What are the priorities, finances or attending to the spiritual welfare of the faithful?

U-C,

That's something I'd like to know--although I suspect it's probably better that I dont!

My impression is that we're witnessing an example of the lingering spirit of clericalism, in which the bishops see themselves as having dictatorial powers and whose judgments are never to be questioned. In the past, this attitude was modeled after kings and princes, now it is modeled after corporate CEOs.

Just as many CEOs have closed factories and stores that were deemed "unprofitable"--even when they might be considered "viable"--so, these bishops feel they need to follow suit. I think in most cases where a parish truly isn't viable, the people know it, and can accept the fact that the parish must close.

I have also heard that when a parish closes, only about half the parishioners actually transfer to the "new" parish, with the others moving on to Protestant churches or no church at all.

I especially like the "sidebar" article, entitled Catholic Parish Breakaways Not Uncommon
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Devout Catholics breaking away from diocesan control is not unheard of today, church observers say.

Michele Dillon, an expert on Catholic history and chair of the sociology department at the University of New Hampshire, said it's hard to come up with a number, because so many breakaway groups are quietly organized, not wanting publicity.

She said she was aware of at least 30 across the country. "Most of them can be described as good Catholics, very committed to Catholic traditions -- liturgy, prayer, even the rosary," said Dillon, who has done extensive research on breakaway Catholic groups.

"The irony is most who splinter off are actually more Catholic in their beliefs than main-stream Catholics. But they really challenge the authority of the hierarchy."

Professor William D'Antonio of the Institute for Policy Research & Catholic Studies at The Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C., said breakaway groups were born out of Vatican II, which was a move in the mid 1960s to democratize the church.

"This movement has continued to expand, mostly in America, but it's spreading world-wide," he said.

Two primary reasons, said D'Antonio, are the church's sex-scandal, which has hurt the credibility of the institution's hierarchy, and a laity that is more educated today than any other time in church history.

"They have moved away from automatically doing what the bishop says," said D'Antonio. "The dangers of education."

-- Michael O'Malley

Interesting observations.


Peace,
Deacon Richard

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