As June winds to an end, the wave of church closings will recede with 57 churches unavailable for Catholic worship. Not all have been publicly listed. After Saint Lawrence was evicted on the 20th, the process visited Our Lady of Mount Carmel East at one o'clock. This weekend the process will visit St. James, Lakewood, and St. Mary, Akron. The last eviction will be at St. Emeric on Wednesday, the last day of the fiscal year.
Richard Lennon justifies his radical programme as a 'call to unity'. His 'call to unity' was demonstrated in the cluster groups that met to reduce the number of parishes within their cluster. This process left many participants bitter, hurt and disgruntled. e.g. Cleveland's Broadway area consisted of two clusters. Both clusters were ordered to reduce their number by two, but the final billet was filled by Lennon. SS. Casimir, Hyacinth, Lawrence and Sacred Heart of Jesus were to be suppressed.
Three of those four were resistant to the sentence. Two have joined a coalition of parishes requesting mediation and recension. Communication has been repeatedly rebuffed. People continually have pleaded with Rome. Rome has given three extensions (a fourth is in the mail), and has called Lennon to Rome twice.
There is to be no dual paths, it is an one way street. Lennon's determination to execute his will has been remarkable. Pressure has been continually placed on parishes and individuals to facilitate, or to accept the reductions, and all sort of diktats. The people of Saint Casimir did not go silently away. They have not gone away. For over seven months the parish has met outside the walls of their church. The chancery does not approach them. A Christian flock of the faithful continually gather in their exile. No pastor is allowed to be with them. It is one of very many parochial dramas of the diocese, and in this opera we all know which tenor to boo.
The Roman historian, Tacitus, quoted a Briton chieftain, Calgacus, on the ways of the empire in his land, "... and where they make a desert, they call it peace." One could say the same of Lennon.