Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Another one bites the dust.

Bishop Martino has been wasting no time with the consolidation of the churches of the diocese. It was announced that all 4 Pittston churches would be consolidated into one parish. St. Casimir, St. John the Baptist, and St. Joseph will all close. St. John the Evangelist is the only church left standing.

The diocese has been very careful to not use the word “close”. But that is what is going on. The churches are closing. Not shutting down for awhile. Closing.

It is inevitable. The fruits of Vatican II.

No priests.

No seminarians.

No faithful.

Now we are the point where the churches must close. For good.

I look down the river to Luzerne, where only Holy Family will remain. And there are rumors that may go as well. After a multi million dollar rape of the once beautiful building, I doubt it will close. But who knows? It is also clear what real estate is more valuable and therefore to remain open. The modernist, minimalist chuches with holy water fountains and the latest track lighting are all the rave.

In Wilkes-Barre, it will be quite an epic battle between two large churches a block away from each other, St. Mary’s and St. Nicholas. It will be interesting to see which remains open there. St. Nick’s has a convent and school. Wanna take a guess?

It is very sad to me, first of all that these beautiful old churches were wreckovated. I defy any one of my two readers to show me where, in any VII document it mandates the destruction of our sacred spaces? Where does it say to tear down the high altars, smash the statues, discard the relics of the saints that lie there, and to throw our Lord irreverently off to the side of the “worship space”?

The next time I hear about one of our few remaining untouched treasures coming into danger, I will be there. I hope you will too.

As for the closings, there is little we can do. There is little reason to doubt why our Bishop was sent to us. He is he to clean up and streamline. Instead of closing our churches, I wish he had taken a different route. Restore holiness and tradition to our faithful first. Bring them back into the fold. Show them the true way to worship, the hermenuetic of continuity the Holy Father speaks of.

But he has been all about business. We don’t need a business manager here. We need a shepherd.


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