After a lengthy appeals process, the Vatican has ruled that nine Boston-area Catholic parishes should be closed despite six-year vigils and other forms of protest from parishioners.
In a letter dated Dec. 15, the Vatican’s Secretariat of State said Pope Benedict XVI had “decided not to accept” an appeal from the Council of Parishes, which represents parishioners fighting to keep their churches open.
The decision brings new pressure to end a drawn-out standoff between the Archdiocese of Boston, which closed 66 parishes in the wake of the clergy sexual abuse crisis, and groups of disgruntled parishioners who continue to occupy five church buildings after years of round-the-clock vigils.
Peter Borre, chairman of the Council of Parishes, said the Archdiocese could still reverse its decision, as it has in past cases, and re-open the parishes in question. He’s working toward that outcome, he said.