For the past 12 years, the church of St Frances Xavier Cabrini in Scituate, near Boston, has not been empty for a single moment.
Twenty four hours a day, seven days a week, a group of parishioners has maintained a vigil inside the building to prevent its sale by the archdiocese of Boston, to help pay the Catholic church’s enormous bills relating to its long and sordid history of child sexual abuse .
Children have slept in the sacristy, meals have been eaten beneath the stained glass windows, planning meetings have been held in the pews, prayers said and candles lit.
But not for much longer. After the supreme court this week declined to hear an appeal against an earlier court ruling, the parishioners must now vacate the premises, and will hold a final farewell service on 29 May.
That does not seem likely. “This church is being stolen from us, there’s no denying that. The archdiocese sees the value of property over the value of people,” said Rogers.
Well, the church certainly didn’t value all those who were abused throughout its history on this planet, so I’m not sure why there’s any surprise about this.