Boston diocese to sell 6 closed churches

July 15, 2011 at 4:18 PM
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BRAINTREE, Mass., July 15 (UPI) -- Protesters who have been occupying a Boston-area Catholic church since it was closed seven years ago say they will resist plans to sell the building.

St. Frances Xavier Cabrini in Scituate is one of six churches Cardinal Sean P. O'Malley said, in a decree released Thursday, are suitable for conversion to other uses, the Boston Globe reported. Two more, St. James the Great in Wellesley and Our Lady of Mount Carmel in East Boston, also have former parishioners keeping vigil in an effort to get them reopened.

"He would ask the faithful to respect his decision, and in areas where there are vigils, that there would be a peaceful conclusion,'' said the Rev. Arthur M. Coyle, who is in charge of preparing the properties for sale.

At St. Frances Xavier Cabrini, named after Mother Cabrini, the first U.S. saint, some of the vigil-keepers are not ready to give up. Since the diocese closed the church in 2004, beds and armchairs have been moved in and the lobby has a television.

Marsha Devir told the Globe she will be there until she "gets pulled out of here by the police."

A parishioner in Wellesley, Nancye Connor, said the group there has not made a decision on keeping going. Benito Tauro in East Boston said he expects Our Lady of Mount Carmel to close.

"Unfortunately, it's their property," he said.

The vigil-keepers lost an appeal to the Vatican in 2009.

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