National Catholic Reporter

The Independent News Source

New York City

New York City to change rules to allow churches to rent schools

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Congregations in New York City that rent space in public schools will be able to hold Easter services this Sunday despite a ruling on Monday by the U.S. Supreme Court rejecting an appeal from an evangelical church in the Bronx that sought to overturn a ban on after-hours worship services at public schools.

A spokesman for Mayor Bill de Blasio also said the mayor would work to ensure that houses of worship could continue to rent space like any other group.

Our Lady of Revenue: New York City churches go on the market, leaving parishioners cynical

Our Lady of Vilnius Church, built by families of immigrant Lithuanian longshoremen, started out a century ago as a beloved worship space. Now, it's a coveted real estate asset.

In 2013, six years after the church was closed, it was sold for $13 million to one of the city's biggest developers. The following year, that company flipped it like a pancake to another developer for $18.4 million.

Now the yellow brick church near the entrance to the Holland Tunnel awaits demolition to make way for an 18-story luxury apartment house.

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August 28-September 10, 2015

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