Monday, November 02, 2009

"We'd Rather Cozy Up With Pagans & Heretics Than Traditional Catholics"
Essentially what Bishop Kmiec of Buffalo has told Una Voce

Albert Huntz's (pictured right) traditionalist Catholic group, Una Voce Buffalo, wanted to buy St. John the Baptist Church on Hertel Avenue, but the diocese sold it to a developer.
Derek Gee / Buffalo News

What bishop who is actually faithful to Christ's Church would willingly sell churches to pagans over Traditionalists? Personally, I can only come up with one conclusion -- any bishop who would do such a thing hates Tradition and simply isn't faithful to Christ's Church, but is a politician. Lenin also had a phrase for them - useful idiots.

Mrs. Caveman says it even better, "they're in it for their own glorification."

Anyhow, here's some of a rather disgusting article from The Buffalo News;
Church sales by diocese spur debate
By Jay Tokasz

News Staff Reporter

For the most part, the buildings are old, difficult to maintain and situated in less-than-ideal neighborhoods. But that hasn't stopped buyers from snapping up former Catholic churches that many observers expected would be nearly impossible to sell.

Consider the city of Buffalo, where two years ago the Catholic Diocese moved to shut down 16 churches. Today, just one of those churches, Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary on Herkimer Street, is still actively being marketed.

In all, the diocese has dealt away 33 empty churches in eight counties since 2006, selling to Muslims, Buddhists and a variety of Protestant denominations, as well as museum operators, developers and nonprofit groups.

It just closed its most recent deal Friday, selling the former Our Lady of Grace Church on Route 5 in Woodlawn for $170,000 to Holy Trinity Polish National Catholic Church.
(Not a Catholic church, just another Prot denomination with some trappings of Catholicism.)

However, the diocese's adeptness at selling churches has hardly quieted critics of the church closings. Some preservationists and city officials remain skeptical about the future of those properties. They say the diocese is more intent on getting rid of buildings than on ensuring their longtime survival for future generations.

"I don't think they care who they sell to," said Common Council President David A. Franczyk, who has sparred with Bishop Edward U. Kmiec over church closings. "The city is a write-off zone for them."

"They're selling churches to people who they know can't afford it," said Albert Huntz, president of traditionalist Catholic group Una Voce Buffalo. "In a year or two, these buildings are going to look like Transfiguration. They've been down this road before."

Huntz has a more personal stake in the sales. Una Voce, which advocates for the traditional Latin Mass, is an eager church buyer that the diocese has repeatedly turned away. The group has been trying for years to save a city church for Latin liturgies.
It has looked on as nearly all of the available Buffalo churches were sold to other religious organizations.

"It doesn't make us too happy, as to the way some of them were sold and to whom they were sold," Huntz said.

In an interview,
[diocesan spokesman Kevin A.] Keenan reiterated the bishop's stance on Una Voce's request, saying the group already is well served at two other Western New York parishes that provide the Latin Mass — St. Anthony of Padua in Buffalo and Our Lady Help of Christians in Cheektowaga.

"At this time, Bishop Kmiec is not about to start adding parishes. We're still in a reconfiguration process," Keenan said.

Keenan also defended the sales, saying the diocese takes a close look at any prospective buyer's financial information before agreeing on a deal. Still, he acknowledged, "You can do all the vetting you want, and sometimes things don't go well for an organization."

Already, the former Queen of Peace Church on Genesee Street has been stripped of its original beauty — although not necessarily for profit. The church was purchased by a Muslim group, and the Christian images in the stained-glass windows and interior wall murals by acclaimed painter Josef Mazur were no longer appropriate for a mosque and community center.

The Muslim people, said the Rev. Richard Poblocki, pastor of St. Josaphat, "were very gracious to us." Nonetheless, the Mazur murals are gone, and the church's huge Kilgen pipe organ, which was fully operational, was thrown in the garbage when the Muslim group couldn't find anyone to take it.

The sale infuriated some Catholics who viewed it as a sign that
the diocese had given up on trying to spread the faith.

And it was another disappointment for Una Voce, which had expressed strong interest in taking over the church. Huntz said his group would be able to maintain a property. It has at least 200 families — more people than in most of the small Protestant congregations that purchased former Catholic facilities.

A few years ago, Una Voce made inquiries about St. John the Baptist Church on Hertel Avenue, but the diocese sold it instead to a developer, the Plaza Group, which has put the buildings back on the market.

More important than obtaining a building, the group needs the bishop's approval for a priest to come from outside of the diocese and serve the Latin Mass community. "For us, finding a priest is no problem, it's just getting the bishop to say OK, fine," Huntz said. "I don't know what it would take to change his mind."

Huntz and others had hoped that a 2007 decree from Pope Benedict XVI allowing for greater use of the ancient liturgy would open the door in the Buffalo diocese for a Latin Mass apostolate. The diocese "can't say there's a problem with the Vatican, and there are dioceses all over North America that have the same situation," Huntz said.


Blogger Adeodatus49 said...

This isn't the first article of this type that I have read. It causes me to wonder why organizations such as the SSPX and (due to the imminent Apostolic Constitution) traditional Anglicans would want to "reunite" with Rome given the actions of RC diocesan bishops who are not exactly enamored with anything that even approaches traditionalism. These groups would have to deal with these diocesan bishops in some manner.

11:03 AM  
Blogger Adrienne said...

It has been my observation that when traditional groups such as FSSP get their own church, they actually are able to collect more than the NO parishes.

And selling to Muslims makes me queasy!

12:47 PM  
Blogger Joe of St. Thérèse said...

Well, he is a Kimec...

These things frustrate the living out of me. There's a former Church in Orange County that would be great for the FSSP, SSPX, ICRSP, but no, the Roman Protestant Bishop sold it to a developer just like this Roman Protestant Bishop

3:19 PM  
Blogger Former Altar Boy said...

This makes my blood boil. Has anyone from that diocese complained to the papal nuncio, the Pope, or ANYONE in the Vatican who might have the Pope's ear, e.g. Archbsp. Burke?

9:33 PM  
Blogger Laney said...

As the great-grandaughter of Charles Kilgen the scraping of a Kilgen Organ is heartbreaking. I have to believe little effort was put into finding a new home for this musical work of art.

6:03 PM  
Blogger Alexander said...

Dear Laney:

I join you in grieving at the NEEDLESS destruction of a pipe-organ, and especially a large one!!! [This from somebody who is forbidden to use the only truly-great instrument in his local area due to a small-minded pipsqueak of an "organist" and who therefore has had to let his hard-earned skills go to waste!!]

Here is a weblink I'm asking EVERYBODY to add to their lists in order to help prevent such desecrations in the future:

Please circulate it so that word gets around...

10:42 PM  

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