Church and State...

One of the most complex stories emerging in this week's Buffalo News is on-going and seemingly inevitable story of another round of church closings. Especially hard hit in this second round of closings - is the City's East side.
Still no plans to sell the big house!
79 Oakland Place
The first article includes Council President David Franczyk's "ethnic cleansing" resolution that was unanimously passed by the Common Council.
Common Council members Wednesday criticized the Catholic Diocese of Buffalo for its plan to close a number of city churches and schools, some of the lawmakers contending that it abandons city neighborhoods and appears “to have the whiff of ethnic cleansing.”
The second article - appearing in today's Buffalo News with the diocesan "outrage (yawn) and response" is also archived.

David Franczyk was on the WBEN Tom Bauerle show this morning - here's a 12 minute clip, David Franczyk. Kevin Keenen, Diocesan talking head responds, right here.

Remember the first wave of closings was in the mid 90's with Transfiguration (falling down), St. Matthew's (flipped), Our Lady of Lourdes (closed), St. Lukes (saved), St. Mary's (saved) and St. Benedict the Moor (demolished). St. Frances de Sales (in transition).

Remember this? The height of Catholic Buffalo, 1947 - right here! And while Bishop Kmiec closes City Churches, he's built one, right here - Inside our newest McChurch!

Make sure to check out the new Buffalo News archive - Downsizing the Diocese...
ArtspaceBAVPATour d'Neglect - 2007Woodlawn Row Housesfaqmy flickr
the creativity exchangeCEOs for Cities


Anonymous said...

Did you catch the Catholic League telling Council to butt out of internal church business, claiming separation of church and state, yada yada?

They don't give a sh_t about the separation of church and state when when it comes to Roe v. Wade or legalizing same sex marriage. They're busing threatening public officials with excommunication if they don't do the church's bidding.


Anonymous said...

What about the possibility of creating an entity similar to the Central Terminal Restoration Corporation to take title to the about to be abandoned churches before they are stripped, vandalized, and fall into ruin? Instead selling them to unscrupulous or unqualified owners, the diocese could pay to have responsibility for the buildings taken off their hands. The rich suburban parishes ought to be able to afford, say $250,000 per building, paid into a restricted endowment to support ongoing maintenance.

Sand Head Kmiec said...

Given the war-torn appearance of parts of the East Side, it SEEMS like there has been some sort of cleansing going on for years. It doesn't seem like cleansing of the ethnic sense but of an economic class sense.

Regardless, long time residents like Dave Franczyk are right in calling out the Diocese on its abandonment plans. The Church has neglected to lead a crusade to save its own City parishes, neighborhoods and greater community, ignoring the changing economy and demographics.

There are few exceptions in the extreme such as Corpus Christi and some of the McChurches, which are still only operating on their own. Franczyk is right in his analysis of the Church as a hierarchy. They seem unwilling to acknowledge and address their own community responsibilities until the bills comes due. Then they cut their losses and run for the hills (suburbs).

MJ said...

As I said before, the saddest statement made here is that a religion that preaches service to the poor is closing down the parishes in the poor neighborhoods. The two-faced followers can't even get in their cars to go worship alongside poor as equals and perserve the parishes/churches that many of their ancestors dedicated their time and lives to building/maintaining.

Let the bishop continue to scratch his head on why their nubers are dropping, but I am one of those lost due to an overall system that does not practice what it preaches.

Anonymous said...

I guess I just don't understand the call to sell the Oakland Place house? Why? Does a company sell all it's holdings and downsize when certain offices are closing. Does GM buy more modest factories in all it's locations when it closes on factory in another? It makes no sense and is all a bunch of sour grapes.

All this altruism and community spirit aside, lok at this from a non-emotional, critical view.

Population in Buffalo, for good reason, is declining. Religion is also seeing a decline in following. So you take A + B and it = closing churches. That's like and that's business and religion is a business. Stop thinking it's not. They have bills, they have an operating budget and when income doesn't cover that, time to move on.

Follow the money isn't something most people want to do because it's to easy and convenient to get emotionally and let that emotion lead to rash judgements and illogical ideas.

fix buffalo said...

If the church was a business the church would pay taxes. It doesn't. Why?

If the church was a business it would be taken to Housing Court. It has never been in Housing Court. Why?

But then again, every publicly traded company I know...well there's some transparency. Here, there is none. Why?