A parishioner sent me a link to an article on SpiritDaily.com. SD is a charismatic website that often delves into the mystical aspects of the Catholic faith. The article is titled "From Dancing Nuns To New Age, Time has Come to Save Churches and Turn Back to Sanctity," and here's a snippet:
Mysticism is not welcome. It's the chancellor's job to blunt it. Meanwhile, employees strategize on how to best "consolidate" parishes -- close churches -- without losing appeals to Rome.
This is another great development in the pontificate of Benedict:
In a couple of cases, Rome has sided with laity who had fought closure of church properties. Most recently -- this week -- a Vatican ruling saved St. Mary's Church in Jamesville, New York -- at least as a sacred (if not actively ministered) site.
This is a great and crucial cause that all Catholics should undertake: fighting -- respectfully -- to maintain holy property.
It is improper for consecrated ground and buildings to be destroyed or turned into condos, which has occurred. In Italy, one has become a restaurant (the altar is behind the bar). In Upstate New York, a college fraternity bought another. In still other cases, they have been turned into pentecostal-style churches or Muslim gathering places.
While, due to inner-city population shrinkage, and priest shortages, there is the need to pare down active parishes, sacred ground must remain just that. We urge this because we believe there will be a time in the not so distant future when events will swell the ranks of the faithful -- those who seek refuge in church.
The Church is not dying. It is quiescent. It will rise with force in the difficult times to come.
And it will need to facilities. Let Catholicism be prepared! (And also let us not sell property at a down cycle).