After deciding to close and sell a number of churches in recent years,
the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Boston is now being held hostage.
Parishioners in five of its closed churches are … refusing to leave!
That’s right, they’ve decided to “occupy” some of the closed churches
to prevent the Archdiocese from selling their longtime places of
worship. Impudent scum! Don’t they understand that these properties
need to be liquidated to help pay for recent, ahem, legal settlements?
Do they think the Catholic Church is made of money?
Afront page article in today’s New York Times describes the scene as a “Quiet Rebellion”.
1,533 days, the group at St. Frances has taken turns guarding the
building around the clock so that the archdiocese cannot lock them out
and put it up for sale. They call it a vigil, but by now it is more of
So what is the Archdiocese’s response to these pesky squatters?
archdiocese will not provide priests to most of the vigil churches, and
it has removed most statues, altar cloths and sacred objects. It
changed the locks at St. Frances in October 2004 but unwittingly left a
fire door open, an error the parishioners call a miracle.
The archdiocese has not tried to evict the parishioners or shut off the heat and electricity.
haven’t tried to shut off the heat? Why the hell not? You can’t wage
spiritual warfare with wimpy half-measures. Where’s that old tyme
religious spirit? Cut the juice and turn those pews into human ice
Many of the St. Frances holdouts describe
being transformed from passive Catholics to passionate, deeply involved
members of a spiritual community that they say could be a model for the
future of the troubled Catholic Church.
Clearly, this rebellion is headed down a very disturbing path.
St. Frances has no priest, parishioners lead services that include
everything but consecration of the host. On the Sunday before
Christmas, about 50 parishionersattended a service conducted entirely
by women, including two who distributed communion.
women? What an abomination! You can’t take the “homme” out of the
homily without incurring the wrath of the Almighty… Torquemada their asses!
“The [vigils] can’t go on for
infinity,” said Terrence C. Donilon, a spokesman for the archdiocese.
“These [vigils] have to end at some point, but how, I don’t know.”
Really? These rebels have been occupying your property for over 200
weeks and you still don’t know how to end it? (Or is it that you
“know”, but don’t have the will to do it?)
In any event, let the Crescent City show you how tosweep the riff-raff out of God’s house.
Orleans police evicted parishioners from two Uptown Catholic churches
Tuesday, allowing the Archdiocese of New Orleans to reclaim the
churches which parishioners had occupied around the clock for almost 10
Police were instructed to arrest occupiers if they
resisted, with Archbishop Alfred Hughes deciding “It’s time to bring
this to a close”
Now that’s leadership! I’m sure the Godhead is looking down on this, most pleased.
and church officials had to force their way into Good Counsel [Church],
sawing an opening in a side door… novelistPoppy Brite and Hunter
Harris Sr. were led out of the church in handcuffs and placed in a
police squad car.
Throw the book at them!
[A]nother Good Counsel parishioner, Harold Baquet… also was removed in handcuffs and placed in a waiting squad car.
Baquet said he climbed out onto the church’s roof to escape notice, but police found him there.
rooftop manhunt? Awesome. I can think of no better way to celebrate the
Feast of the Epiphany. The Archdiocese of New Orleans is comprised of
very, very wise men. And they know how to take action. They even got
the police to saw down a 100 year old church door during their search and
similar scene occurred at St. Henry’s Church, literally right next door
to my daughter’s school. While I’m glad my daughter was able to witness
this historic eviction first hand, I only wish she could’ve seen the
police drive over a protester’s foot (as they did at Good Counsel) and
heard the subsequent wailing. When Religious Leaders and law
enforcementcoordinate their efforts, shit gets done! That’s a lesson
my daughter can cherish for life. (New Orleanian of the Year, Karen “Gadfly” Gadbois can be seen in the backgroundmaking trouble with a camera at the 1:11 mark in the vid.)
Again, the spokesman for the Boston Archdiocese said hedidn’t know how to end the occupation
of the closed churches. The solution is obvious. Getarmed cops to sweep
them out. Have them crack some skulls to send a message to other rogue parishes, God willing.
I’m reminded of the great theologian Ralph Wiggum, who oncesaid
“The rat symbolizes obviousness.” I don’t know what he was referring
to, precisely, but in this case we know who the rats are, and we know
where they hide. The solution is obvious. It’s just a matter of
willpower. The New Orleans Archdiocese showedthe fortitude to sweep
the rats out. Now it’s Boston’s turn.