Saturday, January 8, 2011

What did not happen at St. Patrick's

Sometimes news is that something did not happen. Cleveland Councilman Martin Keane had scheduled a public meeting for to-day at 10:00 a.m. at St. Patrick's (West Park) social hall [former convent]. A Board of Zoning Appeal hearing had been scheduled for Monday. The Diocese of Cleveland and the pastor of Ascension (now 'Blessed Trinity'), Fr. Doug Koesel, wanted a variance, in order, to establish a 'thrift store' at St. Patrick's.

Save Saint Pat's Committee was planning to demonstrate outside the meeting, and to be present inside. They wanted news outlets to be aware of the zoning appeal, the 'town hall meeting', and their opposition to the proposal. None of these things will happen to-day, or Monday. The Diocese has decided not to request the variance.

The Save St. Pat's Committee had brought two major points of objection to the proposal. One is that under church law, canon law, a parish's patrimony (property) cannot be disposed of while its attempted suppression is under appeal. The other point is, that, the Bishops’ Charter for the Protection of Children & Young People does not allow such activity near children (a school is still operating on St. Patrick's campus).

A, further, third point, is that the building contains a chapel. Now, that chapel is 'sacred space' and had been active at the time of eviction. To have a retail establishment in the same space, is to make it 'profane'. This conversion to 'profane use', so cavalierly, is problematic.

It is not unusual for the chancery to avoid public and media scrutiny. It is unusual for the chancery to abruptly change course. In the these nearly five years of Richard Lennon's episcopal reign, there has been little reticence of the chancery to strictly adhere to canon law, and custom. There is news in this non-event, some still not public.

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