Tuesday, June 10, 2008


The Plain Dealer reports:

A prominent downtown church is fighting to stay alive in a planned massive diocesan reorganization, saying an anonymous angel has pledged $2 million to save St. Peter Catholic Church.

St. Peter appears to be the first parish to declare its opposition to plans by the Cleveland Catholic Diocese to close or merge nearly 50 churches in response to population shifts to the suburbs. ...

On Sunday...officials at St. Peter -- at East 17th Street and Superior Avenue -- announced they would oppose a recommendation that it merge with St. John Cathedral. The church said an anonymous donor has agreed to give $2 million to wipe out a $355,000 debt to the diocese and demolish and turn into a green space a closed school next to the church. The gift also would be used to expand St. Peter's ministries, which include support of a women's shelter and a Cleveland elementary school.

The congregation grew 10 percent last year to 356 households, said Robert Zack, a parish council member at St. Peter and a church representative to its regional group. The church, which took in about $2,600 in collections on June 1, has a high rate of giving and attendance, he said.

"Fundamentally, we feel we have a vibrant community that is financially solvent," Zack said.

He said Monday that the church was told the diocese could not accept the gift, which is contingent on St. Peter remaining open. Diocesan spokesman Robert Tayek said that to propose the gift would be "inappropriate" and outside the established procedures of the regionalization process.

In other words, the "regionalization process" isn't really about money or vibrant parishes? So what is it about?

Personally I'm sitting back and watching. We'll see what develops. Which faction in the local church wins. What the parishes look like when this process is finished. And whether or not I can find a parish that looks to be serving Christ. If I can find such a parish--one that is not serving the institution and the bishops--I might consider joining and contributing there. MIGHT. In the meantime, I'll just keep my refugee status.

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