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Should abandoned churches be converted into secular buildings or bulldozed? - Printable Version

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Should abandoned churches be converted into secular buildings or bulldozed? - Sequentia - 12-28-2015

Anybody else truly saddened by historic Churches (primarily Catholic, but we can throw Orthodox and Protestant ones into the mix as well) that are either abandoned, sold, or destroyed in war? In the Middle East, Churches are bombed or nearly destroyed never to be rebuilt.

Here in the west, population demographics change or we have a mass exodus of Catholics no longer practicing their faith. Even historic Protestant church buildings from the last 1-2 centuries are lying derelict in cities like Detroit, They're either sold to secular businesses or worse, bought by other religious groups (Muslims have a tendency of doing this). To me there is nothing worse knowing than a Catholic Church-where the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass would take place daily-is now being used as a bar or converted into a mosque.

I would much rather see these derelict churches completely bulldozed left with no trace of having ever existed rather than be turned into a secular building or mosque. You don't need to look far on google, after all, to see all the derelict Catholic churches in cities, suburbs, and even rural areas.


Re: Should abandoned churches be converted into secular buildings or bulldozed? - AntoniusMaximus - 12-28-2015

Ideally, I would like the faithful to take over these buildings from the diocese and to use them for prayer services and occasionally for Mass.  I would be fond of the idea that an older person, would embrace a kind of urban monasticism where he would open the church to recite the hours and perform other religious tasks, many of these churches while serving a dwindling number of faithful, still have a function and role in that community.  Unfortunately, there are liability, tax, and other issues that would make this difficult.  I am sure these days the large archdiocese are probably salivating at the opportunity to sell an older church because of the money that can be made.

Otherwise, I agree burn it all down, give the muslims, Satanists, etc no quarter in our sacred buildings.  I cannot stomach that our Churches become like the ones in the east, turned into mosques.     


Re: Should abandoned churches be converted into secular buildings or bulldozed? - formerbuddhist - 12-28-2015

Ideally they'd be used again, but barring that possibility for most of them I'd rather see them destroyed than turned into some hipster bar, coffee shop or worse yet,a mosque.

Would it be possible for lay groups to buy them, restore them and use them for private or group prayer even in the absence of a priest?

I'd love a little abandoned church as a private oratory or gathering place for like minded laymen.


Re: Should abandoned churches be converted into secular buildings or bulldozed? - CaptCrunch73 - 12-28-2015

Interesting thread. In the archdiocese of Boston an absolutely stunning church was sold for secular use (condos) even though the FSSP and ICKSS wanted to take it over and not use any funds from the Archdiocese, go figure.

Furthermore, there are stipulations that church property cannot be sold to "other" Catholic church, like CMRI or other Catholics not in communions with Rome. I guess the Archdiocese does not want the competition. Interestingly, an older church was sold to a contractor who then decided they didn't need the church and sold to sedevecantists  which turned the church building abck into something beautiful. To say the archdiocese was pissed would be quite the understatement.




Re: Should abandoned churches be converted into secular buildings or bulldozed? - dcmaccabees - 12-28-2015

I'll just leave these here...

http://www.wikihow.com/Make-Thermite





Why? No reason....  :pipe:


Re: Should abandoned churches be converted into secular buildings or bulldozed? - Zedta - 12-28-2015

(12-28-2015, 02:24 PM)Sequentia Wrote: [church] is now being used as a bar or converted into a mosque.
In a town near where I once lived, the Methodist Church, behind the First Baptist Church, was sold and is now a Muslim Mosque. I am sure the founders of that old Baptist Church and perhaps the old Methodist Church, which were both founded in the 1800's, are turning in their graves.

Quote:I would much rather see these derelict churches completely bulldozed left with no trace of having ever existed rather than be turned into a secular building or mosque. You don't need to look far on google, after all, to see all the derelict Catholic churches in cities, suburbs, and even rural areas.
I agree, wholeheartedly, that at the least, Catholic Churches be destroyed rather than be converted into something secular in nature. If it were to be used as a Protestant Church, I'd be less severe, but an abandoned Catholic Church becoming a Mosque is a kind of blasphemy in my mind. It is said there is a sort of spiritual vacuum after a church is closed and this vacuum can be filled with evil quite often and readily so. It really does depend on what sort of activity goes on there afterwards, of course. It may occur with closed up Protestant Churches, but I am sure it does happen in cases of some old Catholic Churches.

Bulldoze them.

Don't let there be a chance of the place being the focus or vehicle for sacrilege.


Re: Should abandoned churches be converted into secular buildings or bulldozed? - AntoniusMaximus - 12-28-2015

(12-28-2015, 02:53 PM)CaptCrunch73 Wrote: Interesting thread. In the archdiocese of Boston an absolutely stunning church was sold for secular use (condos) even though the FSSP and ICKSS wanted to take it over and not use any funds from the Archdiocese, go figure.

Furthermore, there are stipulations that church property cannot be sold to "other" Catholic church, like CMRI or other Catholics not in communions with Rome. I guess the Archdiocese does not want the competition. Interestingly, an older church was sold to a contractor who then decided they didn't need the church and sold to sedevecantists  which turned the church building abck into something beautiful. To say the archdiocese was pissed would be quite the understatement.

That was the SSPX problem here in Pittsburgh, they wanted to buy a church, through a third party naturally, the diocese found out, canceled the deal, then sold it to a protestant group.  Though the SSPX did eventually manage to buy a property through some interesting maneuvering, but I do love that dioceses are more willing to sell to muslims, Buddhists, or Satanists then to Catholics


Re: Should abandoned churches be converted into secular buildings or bulldozed? - AntoniusMaximus - 12-28-2015

(12-28-2015, 02:48 PM)formerbuddhist Wrote: Would it be possible for lay groups to buy them, restore them and use them for private or group prayer even in the absence of a priest?

I would imagine it is a technical yes, but in reality no.  There are several factors where the diocese would be dissuaded from it.  Firstly, there is a liability issue, despite all the talk about empowering laity, in the end, dioceses care about image.  While the church would be in private hands, as it is continual usage is religious in nature, it only takes one incident before the diocese is caught in the crosshairs if a lay person does something wrong.  Which leads to the second issue, that is the power structure of the bishop office.  Many bishops are control freaks, sometimes for good reasons, sometimes for less good reasons.  Third is just fiscal sense.  You would be surprised at the amount of property holdings religious orders and dioceses have (and how terribly mismanaged those resources have been till recently).  Presumably a group of lay people will offer less for a Church structure even for preservation than a commercial entity or may look at selling it more for secular reasons than religious reasons (for instance, the new place will generate more jobs and will be better for the community than a purely religious building).



Re: Should abandoned churches be converted into secular buildings or bulldozed? - Sequentia - 12-28-2015

(12-28-2015, 02:48 PM)formerbuddhist Wrote: Ideally they'd be used again, but barring that possibility for most of them I'd rather see them destroyed than turned into some hipster bar, coffee shop or worse yet,a mosque.

Would it be possible for lay groups to buy them, restore them and use them for private or group prayer even in the absence of a priest?

I'd love a little abandoned church as a private oratory or gathering place for like minded laymen.

I forgot to mention in my opening post that I would prefer the Catholic Churches to remain being open and for use among Catholics. Sadly, I don't see this happening in the vast majority of cases, at least in the United States were historical parishes in major cities and suburbs are forced to close due to finances or demographic shifts. You would need to have a really devoted, tight-knit group of practicing Catholics (I know these groups do exist, because I frequent a small parish that does exactly this) and a devoted priest to keep a parish open and running. It comes as no surprise to me that in major U.S. cities-like Detroit-have many Catholic and Protestant churches sitting in ruins.

Churches in the suburbs are closed as well, but are not as noticeable as historic churches in larger cities. A former Lutheran church (don't know which Lutheran group it belonged to, but the closing of Lutheran churches doesn't surprise me in the least) sold to Muslims and is now a major mosque in the area. Less than a quarter mile down the road is a "contemporary" Christian church that probably caters to younger people (they have a cafe inside) and not too long after that an advertisement for Islam was put up on a billboard across the street from that church. It's now very odd to drive down that major road and see the former Lutheran church converted into a mosque.


Re: Should abandoned churches be converted into secular buildings or bulldozed? - Catlick - 12-28-2015

In the 1970s, when secularization was rampant here in The Netherlands, 'my' archdiocese put up a beautiful church for sale. In the end a group of local Traditionalists (in communion with Rome) bought it, much to the annoyance of the archbishop - partially because he had a strong dislike for the group's leading priest, an old-fashioned Jesuit who was once imprisoned for throwing stones through the windows of a pornography shop. LOL.

Fast forward to 2014. Due to the group being unable to pay, the church was paid for by hosting concerts etc. The concert organizer insisted on hosting a theatre performance in which the Sacrifice of Holy Mass was deliberately imitated and mocked. Some sort of Requiem Mass, with the deceased being 'the old forms and ideas', whatever that might mean.

The Trad group protested loudly but the organizer persisted. In the end the archbishop had to withdraw Holy Mass from the church. It is now used purely for concerts etc.

It was the only church hosting Tridentine Mass in the entire archdiocese...