Mater Dolorosa parishioners hoping to save their church

It's going to be an uphill battle for those looking to save the Mater Dolorsa Church.

HOLYOKE, Mass. (WWLP) – An ongoing battle between the Springfield Diocese and the Mater Dolorosa Church parishioners in Holyoke continues.

It’s going to be an uphill battle for those looking to save the Mater Dolorsa Church.

The Springfield Diocese told 22News if no one buys the church, the diocese will be forced to demolish it.

The end may be near for the Mater Dolorosa Church in Holyoke. It’s been at the center of controversy since it closed in 2011.

“It should be clear that nobody wants to see a beautiful church like Mater Dolorosa demolished, with that said however, there are serious structure issues.”

The Springfield Diocese wants to demolish the Church on Lyman Street after a structural engineer deemed it a threat to public safety.

“The Bishop owns this church. The Bishop was responsible for the maintenance of this church. The Bishop should not be trying to knock down our church when he simply should have made minor repairs to keep this church going,” said Victor Anop, a parishioner and lawyer.

Springfield Diocese spokesman Mark Dupont told 22News, the structure of the church is unsafe and it poses a real threat to the public, as well as parishioners. He said it will cost the Diocese more than $5 million to repair it.

Unless the city is willing to step forward and say they’re willing to accept full liability should that steeple collapse, which they’re not willing to do. It behooves them to just let us do the right thing for public safety.

The diocese argues demolishing the church would only cost $500,000 compared to the $5 million in repairs.

One group has offered to buy it and pay for those repairs, arguing the repair work wouldn’t cost nearly that much.

Within the next ten days the historical commission will give their recommendation on the demolition. If they push the demolition forward, it would need city approval. If it’s not, the diocese would have wait six months before they can apply for the demolition permit.