Morning Headlines: Residents Battle Over Fishtown Church

The icons are being removed from St. Laurentius.

st laurentius church

Photo: Google Street View.

Philadelphia Archidiocese workers started removing icons from the 132-year-old Gothic St. Laurentius church this week, including the altar and Stations of the Cross. A group of congregants that sent an appeal to the Vatican to keep the church open waits for Rome’s decision. Meanwhile, its leader, Kate Kuenstler, tells the Inquirer, “A consecrated space should have all of its consecrated materials in it.”

More from the Inky:

She said what’s been happening the last two days is a direct violation of canon law, which forbids objects from being removed from churches for nonsecular use.

A.J. Thomson, a lawyer and Fishtown resident whose daughters attend the school at St. Laurentius, said he was shocked to see items being taken from the church while an appeal to decide its fate was still on the table.

“This is just another example of Pope Francis being undermined by the archbishop and people in our diocese,” Thomson said.

The impressive stone structure at Memphis and East Berks Streets has been around since 1882. In March, however, the archdiocese closed the church after an independent engineering firm’s inspection of the structure raised concerns about its stability.

By the end of the week, the icons will all be down, and the answer from Rome will probably not have arrived. The saga continues…
Removal of icons from Fishtown’s St. Laurentius church begins [Inquirer]

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