Wednesday, January 7, 2009
The New York Times reports that for more than four years the members of five Roman Catholic churches have defied Archdiocese of Boston orders to close through constant vigils. While some of the members pursue appeals within the Roman Catholic Church, all of the churches have managed to stay open by maintaining a 24/7 presence at each church. While the Archdiocese has refused to make certain repairs or provide priests, and has removed most sacred objects, it has continued to pay for heat and electricity. The Archdiocese's decision to close and sell these churches was driven in part by the financial pressures resulting from the clergy abuse scandal. The article notes that similar vigils have occurred in New York and New Orleans, supported in part by the lay-created Council of Parishes.