Sunday, July 3, 2011
Wellsville Catholics Locked Out of Prayer Vigil
Saturday – July 2: About nine members of the Committee to Save the Immaculate Conception Parish were given a police escort out of the building and locked out of the church this afternoon. Following the Saturday afternoon Mass the Committee members were hoping to have a prayer vigil to keep the church open as a worship site in the merged parish. Committee spokesman Tom Brophey commented that by Canon Law they have every right to do this and they can not be forced out of the building. Canon Law are the rules of the Catholic religion.
Apparently the Church Administrator disagrees. Although not there in person he advised members of the church staff to contact the police. He supposedly said the Committee members were trespassing and he wanted them removed from the church. Members of the Committee voluntarily ended their prayer vigil and exited the church peacefully when told by the police officer they had to leave. The officer advised he was not familiar with Catholic rules and had to adhere to the law of the land in this situation. He compared it to a private home when the owner requests someone to leave.
We were told that Father Peter has returned from Florida but for some reason Bishop George Murry of the Youngstown Diocese had a visiting priest offer the Saturday afternoon Mass and read the Bishop's letter to the Wellsville congregation. That letter was the long awaited Decree of Merger and was dated June 28. In the letter the Bishop wrote “I hope the Lord will lead you to understand the benefits of this merger and that He will grant you His peace”. Members of the Committee contend that under Canon Law the Bishop has to issue a Decree of Suppression and a Decree of Relegation to Profane Use to close a parish church.
Members of the Committee to Save The Immaculate Conception Church earlier have said they accept the merger of the two parishes which will be named the Holy Trinity parish. Their goal is to keep the Wellsville church open as a worship site for one day a week in the new parish to prevent hardships to the more senior members and the handicapped members. It would be especially hard for these members should they be forced to travel to East Liverpool to practice their faith. Travel for some is a hardship and the lack of parking in East Liverpool for everyone is a hardship. Spokesman Brophey stated that an appeal to the Congregation for the Clergy had arrived at the Apostalic Nuncio's Office in Washington, DC, this past Friday. The appeal was made to reverse the Bishop's decision to close the Wellsville church.
Pictured above are some of the members of the Committee peacefully leaving the church after being told they could not have a prayer vigil in there, even though they believe it is permissible under Canon Law. The second picture is the doors being locked behind them.
What a sad state of affair it is when the leaders of your faith lock you out of a place of worship. We wonder if the Youngstown Bishop and his Administrator can find peace themselves.
Posted by ************* at 1:07 AM