- Associated Press - Thursday, May 7, 2015

HOLYOKE, Mass. (AP) - Members of a western Massachusetts community hoping to save a closed 114-year-old Catholic church have received some bad news.

The Springfield Republican reports (https://bit.ly/1IiLw4D ) the Vatican’s highest court ruled this week that the Diocese of Springfield can deconsecrate and reuse, sell or tear down Mater Dolorosa Church. Holyoke officials say they hope to sell the building or otherwise preserve it.

Holyoke City Council voted 8-7 last month to reject a proposal establishing a Polish Heritage Historic District that would’ve featured the church and 20 other properties.

The diocese closed it due to structural concerns and declining attendance. Friends of Mater Dolorosa occupied the church round-the-clock for a year after its last mass in 2011.

The diocese’s bishop says it would be difficult to sell a building with historical upkeep restrictions.


Information from: The Springfield (Mass.) Republican, https://www.masslive.com/news/

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