OK, I get it. People come to love a church building. It's more than bricks; it's relationships and history.
Throw in a 24/7 prayer vigil for nearly 12 years, and you can see why the closing of the St. Frances Xavier Cabrini (Catholic) Church near Boston got a big story in the Christian Science Monitor. But the newspaper somehow spins the story as sex abuse and Big Bully versus the Little People.
Yes, they deserve sympathy for their loss. They feel like a church is their home and that Cardinal Sean O'Malley evicted them. The Monitor captures that feeling well:
On Sunday, about 200 parishioners of the Roman Catholic church in the coastal New England town held their last mass after years of protesting the Archdiocese of Boston over its 2004 decision to close their sanctuary. For more than a decade they took turns keeping a vigil, 24/7, to make sure that at least one person was in the church at all times.
After the United States Supreme Court declined to hear their case this month, however, letting stand the rulings of lower courts that found they were trespassing, parishioners ran out of options to keep the doors open. They agreed to vacate the building by 11:59 p.m. Monday.
"Today is like a death in the family: Sad, yet relieved that the pain is over," a choked-up and teary-eyed Margaret O'Brien told WCVB news on Sunday. The 86-year-old says she raised her family in the church.
And the paper says honestly that St. Frances Xavier was among dozens of parishes slated for closing back in 2004 in the Boston archdiocese. What's more, attendance at St. Frances Xavier itself had been falling for years, the Monitor adds.
So why does the paper take wing on the following flight of fancy?