What happens to the properties of churches when they close down?

The Springfield Diocese has closed several churches

Photo Courtesy: MGNonline

NORTHAMPTON, Mass. (WWLP) – Efforts to re-open catholic churches has been turned down by the Vatican’s highest court in Rome.

The Springfield Diocese has closed several churches and merged some together over the past several years.

St. Mary of the Assumption Church in Northampton was closed and merged with other parishes in the area in 2009. Groups including the Committee to Preserve the St. Mary’s of Assumption Church appealed to re-open the church.

But the Vatican’s highest court, the Apostolic Signatura said the Springfield Diocese had acted within church law.

One woman told 22News that she can understand why the upkeep is so difficult for all the churches that have been built. “I think it’s just everyone’s lifestyle is a lot different now. A lot of businesses are open now that were never open before on Sundays,” said Deborah Wingcolson of Florence.

The St. Mary’s property is no longer considered a sacred site. That means the St. Elizabeth Ann Seton parish in Northampton has more options of what to do with the property.

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