Thursday, October 15, 2015

Appeals Court Affirms Archdiocese's Right To Close Local Church

In Roman Catholic Archbishop of Boston v. Rogers, (MA App., Oct. 14, 2015), the Appeals Court of Massachusetts affirmed the trial court's entry of an injunction against former parishioners of Frances X. Cabrini Church in Scituate. (See prior posting.) The Archdiocese had announced plans to close the church and deconsecrate it.  Parishioners who object to those plans have conducted a 24-hour vigil in the church building for over ten years.  The court affirmed the trial court's findings that the parishioners are intentionally trespassing in the church which, under principles of secular law, is owned by the Archdiocese. The court refused to consider defendant's claim that they are equitable owners of the church under canon law.  Boston Globe reports on the decision. [Thanks to Tom Rutledge for the lead.]