All 6 Boston groups lose appeal to Vatican to reopen church buildings at closed parishes


BOSTON (AP) -- The Vatican has rejected the appeals of all six groups in the Boston Archdiocese who argued that the church buildings at their closed parishes should be reopened years after the archdiocese shut them down.

The decisions, handed down over the last two months, came after the Vatican granted similar appeals to parishioners from several other closed parishes.

Those recent wins had Sean Glennon, a parishioner at Mary Star of the Sea in Quincy, hopeful about their appeal. On Tuesday, he was puzzled why none of the Boston-area parishes prevailed.

"It's just very disconcerting, and it's very disappointing," he said.

In the appeals, parishioners weren't asking the Vatican to reopen the parishes, which include rectories, churches and other buildings. They instead argued that their local diocese hadn't justified its decision to convert the church building from sacred to secular use, a necessary move before sale.

The parishioners can appeal the decision to the Vatican high court, the Apostolic Signatura, and at least four of the groups will do so, said Peter Borre of the Council of Parishes, which was formed to protest the church closings.

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