Cardinal Dolan’s Church-Closing Program

Z10

Cardinal Dolan is the architect of the New York Archdiocese’s church-closing program.  He himself said, “I can well understand the frustration, the anger, the confusion of our people, and I apologize for it, because I am the agent of it” and what is weirder is that he said, “But this is about the future, this is about strength and renewal, and we will get through this” [1].

What’s so empowering or renewing about closing churches and was it absolutely necessary?!  Some of the United States’ oldest and most beautiful Catholic churches, which were built by immigrants who were paid little if anything at all because they loved their faith, are being closed because “this is about the future”.  I am really interested in what is going that makes him think that closing churches is a good idea when there are so many other things they could do.  Telling from the remarks made by many people they are largely not happy with the cardinal’s decision.  One church has been lent to iconoclastic Muslims.

Cardinal Dolan’s decision probably leads to more questions than answers.  How is this “about the future, . . . strength and renewal”?  Is this even necessary?  What are the motives?  What is the end-term goal?  Is there any alternative to closing churches to save money if money is the source of the issue?  Why can’t he sell these churches to a traditionalist group like the SSPX which will take care of these churches?  I am really curious what his answers are to these questions.

[1] Otterman, Sharon. New York Times: Heartache for New York’s Catholics as Closings Are Announced. <http://www.nytimes.com/2014/11/03/nyregion/new-york-catholics-are-set-to-learn-fate-of-their-parishes.html?_r=0&gt;.

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