Saturday, September 25, 2010

Not All Saints Parish?

In a recent All Saints Parish bulletin, a question was asked and answered. I reproduce it here with the original grammar and punctuation: 

Q. Will we still be known as All Saints Parish or will we be St. Mary Parish? 

A. When All Saints Parish was established, the four original parishes were formally suppressed according to canon law. That means that in the eyes of the universal church, St. Patrick, St. Vincent, St. Mary, and Immaculate Heart Church no longer exist, while their original building still stand. They are all part of All Saints Parish. The church on the hill has traditionally carried the name St. Mary, and perhaps will always be thought of that way in the minds and hearts of people. However, it technically is now a worship site of All Saints Parish, and is more aptly named "All Saints Church."

But read the following from a canon lawyer at EWTN in response to a question regarding the same issue:

Renaming of a Church building 

Question from Terry on 8/24/2010:

I seem to remember reading some place that Canon Law forbids renaming a church building once it is dedicated. Not a parish but a church building. Did I misunderstand? If not could you tell me the Specific Canon because all around me this is happening when the diocese combines parishes. God Bless you! terry 

Answer by Rev. Mark J. Gantley, JCL on 8/28/2010: 

Canon 1218 states: "Each church is to have its own title which cannot be changed after the church has been dedicated." There was even a specific clarification from the Vatican stating that the diocesan bishop does not have authority to dispense from (make an exception to) this law.

I agree that this is a widespread and terrible problem that is happening in many parts of the United States, especially throughout the northeast where many parishes have been closed. It is often done under the pretext of giving a parish a name that is distinct from the name of the church buildings. However, nothing in canon law authorizes the giving of a parish a name, yet I have seen this abuse repeatedly. Only Church buildings are to be given a name (or title). It is part of the dedication or consecration of the sacred the rest of the answer here. H/T from Cleansing Fire.

This means, that if we end up with one church, St. Mary's, then our parish should, according to canon law, be named St. Mary Parish. If, St. Vincent's and Immaculate Heart of Mary are gone, then we will no longer be All Saints Parish. Makes sense, since the only saint left is St. Mary. Something to think about.

1 comment:

  1. It's from Bishop Clark's playbook. By renaming a parish he creates a distraction and attempts to erase memories of the old parishes.