Well, that's what the parishioners of Holy Family Catholic Church in Sugar Notch, PA were told, anyway.
It seems that Holy Family agreed to help VISION, which is a homeless shelter in the area, by being one of their rotating homeless locations. From what I've been told by a parishioner, the parish held a meeting and agreed to do their part to help the homeless in our area.
On Friday, December 18 the parish got a letter from Sugar Notch borough informing the church that they were not properly 'zoned' to house homeless people, and if they did house them, they would be on the receiving end of a $500 fine.
The letter was signed by the 'Zoning Code Enforcement Officer' Carl Alber. I tried unsuccessfully to get him on the phone. Also, the mayor Bill Davis was not available for comment.
I tried to contact Monsignor Kelly over at Wilkes-Barre Catholic Social Services, but he was on the phone, and noone at the chancery knew about it, I spoke to Bill Genello so hopefully now they will bring their weight to this issue.
We just had a big to-do over the so-called 'separation of church and state' that our friends at the ACLU brought to us over at the Court House. So here's my call:
ACLU, be on the right side of an issue for a change and help out Holy Family Catholic Church!
We'll be updating this one as info comes in. Stay Tuned!
UPDATE 2:08PM Just spoke to Sugar Notch Mayor Bill Davis who claimed he had nothing to do with the decision to fine the church. He claimed that the borough council directed zoning officer Alber to notify Holy Family. He would not go into any detail concerning what brought Holy Family Catholic Church onto council's radar.
They are having a meeting Monday January 4 at 7pm at the Sugar Notch borough building. I expect to see a large turnout to give this council an earful.
More as I know it.