When churches disappear
In "When churches disappear," Gerald Gamm discusses the role of the Catholic hierarchy in supporting urban churches, and urban neighborhoods, through periods of crisis and change. Should the church hierarchy that subsidized struggling parishes now have the power to close their doors? And should thriving parishes be shut down to more equitably spread the pain?
why should the parisioners who have built these churches and supported them all these years pay for the dioces mistakes sell their riches some of these parishioners have no trnasportation and the church is very important with re absence of many priests have the parishioners run the church and the priest become itinerant priests i say no no no especially the parish that are self supporting
Of course, in some cases, less than 25% of parish regulary attend Mass. There should be consolidation of rectorys too. In some rectorys, there is only one priest. If there are multiple parishes in a community, then there is no need to have more than l or 2 rectorys.
Cindy, Weymouth, Ma
The Catholic Church needs to pay dearly for it's sins over the last 20 years. Amazingly, people still feel sorry for it. I don't. The church needs to stick it's head in the sand for about 5 years till things calm down, then restructure and take a good hard look at their outdated believes. They are not practacle or realistic anymore. When I hear of a church shutting down, I feel it's one small victory for one of it's victims. They have a long way to go.
While I think that the decrease in attendance, the severe shortages of Priests and the financial difficulties make suppressing parishes a necessity, it comes at a very difficult time for catholics. My identity as a catholic is rooted in my Parish. Mary Immaculate of Lourdes Parish is the cornerstone of Newton Upper Falls. It is the mother church for Newton. If it ends up closing it will rip the very fabric of the neighborhood. I think for certain people whose faith is on the edge with the recent priest scandals they will leave the church. As for me and my family, we would need to pray and reflect and look for a parish that will fulfill our spiritual and social needs. We pray that our parish survives so that our children may receive confirmation and someday be married in this beautiful church.
Yes!! Some of the churches are in deplorable condition,and looking at the collections each week,they cannot sustain themselves.The average collection of a church in Waltham is in the $2500 area yet in Florida where the churches are newer the collections are $20,000 a week in the Jan.-April period. I think the parishes in the Mass area could take a lession from the parishes in Fl.(Naples)on how to keep people interested and wanting to support their parishes. Even older people in the Ma. area have stoped going to church.Younger people have even stoped making their confirmation!!My message to the churches in Ma. is WAKE UP and find out why the problem exists.
Peter, Waltham, Ma
How is it that there are churches in Europe that are used only as tourist attractions, yet the Vatican does not close those? This is political. The Catholic Church has is telling us this is what happens when you sue the Church. I heard only a third of American Catholics go to church regularly, compared with 75% a few years ago. Hey, Archbishop Sean, instead of shuttering doors on some of the most beautiful buildings in New England, how about doing something to make us want to go back? This only further alienates me.
The Church, must maintain its ability to serve, So therefore it must be able to close parishes. Thriving parashes should not be closed just because there thrivin. Should we close The Boston Globe because its thriving in order to give another Newspaper that isnt a chance?
Unfortunately, the parish closings are necessary because there aren't enough people to fill them. Plus, you have the priest shortage where only one priests serves an entire parish. Therefore, some closings are necessary. Pruning the branches so the tree will grow stronger, so to speak. However, the real problem is how some people have fallen asleep in their faith. One problem is that a lot of the people's faith today have become diluted with the moral relativism which is being dispensed by today's media and secular universities. Relativism has rotted away at the people's moral judgment so much that sin has become honorable while the honorable has become despicable. This has led many people astray by leaving God and the Church for their own hodgepodge of morals/beliefs. As a result, you hear some people say things like "The Church should change its beliefs because they are outdated or not practical." The Church should not "conform itself to this age" but hold fast to the teachings that have been passed down from Jesus and the apostles for almost 2000 years. Otherwise, beliefs and moral values will continually be watered down until they lose all relevance. The Church is the keeper of God's laws and His laws don't change, only people do. Another problem is that it is very hard to be a Christian, let alone a Catholic, in this country and live your faith. To many people have become lost to the lust, vanity, materialism and/or cares of this world. Through different forms of media, Christians are being bombarded by images of sex and violence and are constantly being told that the accumulation of money and possessions will lead to fulfillment. The idea of waiting to have sex until marriage is looked upon as ludicrous while a promiscuous lifestyle is seen as empowering (or at least "cool"). Maximize pleasure while minimizing work/sacrifice/charity. This has led some of the faithful away from God to pursue a more hedonistic way of life. Eventually, some don't want to waste that hour on Sunday going to Mass and don't see a need for going any more. People need to have a relationship with God throughout their entire lives and need to work at always keeping it strong. They need to tell Him their concerns and requests, to listen to Him and to follow His commandments because they love Him and they realize that He is truth itself. Parents must instill faith and love for Him into their children themselves through teaching and leading by example. They need to teach their kids that their faith in Jesus Christ should be the most important aspect of their lives. People can't have someone make them want to go but want to go themselves and not hang their faith on the behavior of a priest, bishop or even the pope. Until this happens, I am afraid Mass attendance will only get worse but I hope and pray it doesn't.
Who cares what happens to the church? Not everyone is Christian. I think they should all be shut down; they are the meeting places of bigots. In fact, most of the abuse and hatred going around today especially in Massachusetts is due to this group of religious extremists. We should pass laws to ban their behavior.
Bill , Boston
When the church officials take their heads out of the sand long enough to realize it is their own outdated ideas that have driven people away. Instead they blame the people - always someone else's fault.