Sunday, February 22, 2009

Steeple For Sale, Church Included

Our diocese is having a fire sale on churches. You want one? Come up with the cash, prove it won’t be used for satanic worship, topless dance halls or yet another well-beloved tavern. Papers signed and transfer completed.

Them Who’s In Charge has shut down almost half the churches and now needs to find buyers for buildings which look amazingly like houses of worship. Not much you can do with them. One has become a funeral parlor; another is on a piece of prime real estate with plenty of land on a major highway and you can bet Wal-Mart is out there with a measuring tape and the church lawyers as we speak.

“Alternate worship sites” will keep the places tax-free until the last possible moment when the “Please Join Us For Worship Across Town” sign goes up and “Future Site Of Super K-Mart” is right next to it.

Some churches are struggling to stay open, while others do rather well ministering to their congregations and are stable. It’s a painful and, perhaps, curious process with its breakdown in communication. What is necessary has been alienating.

You don’t run the buses if people aren’t riding; you don’t keep stores open if people aren’t patronizing. The Catholics who opted out of active membership, for whatever reason, have not only brought this on themselves, but also on their descendants who have to live with the drop-outs’ decision.


Blogger D.B. Echo said...

It's a damned-if-you-do, damned-if-you-don't dituation. Right now the only way Catholics in the Scranton Diocese have of expressing their love for the current Bishop - aside from shouting obscenities while driving past his residence in Scranton - is to withhold contributions to the Bishop's Annual Appeal (or Peter's Pence, or Our Grateful Faith, or whatever the hell it will be called this year.) Yet having your parish come in below its assigned quota on this annual fundraiser is as good as sending His Excellency a gold-trimmed note saying "Please close us next." And it's not even like it will make that much of a difference, since the Bishop skims a healthy bit out of each parish's weekly collection basket, too.

I wish this Bishop would spend a little more time trying to develop this Diocese as a faith community, and a little less time trying to get his face in the newspaper every day.

February 23, 2009 7:38 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree with you- I don't know who I am more upset with the Bishop or the Citozens Voice -who gives him front page publicity every time he breaks wind.
I think that the Bishop should devote his time to promoting the Catholic Faith and encouraging people to come back. Instead he is and will destroy the Catholic Faith in this community.

February 24, 2009 4:20 PM  

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