End of the crusade to keep churches?

Parishioner Benny Tauro stands outside of Our Lady of Carmel Church in East Boston, which the archdiocese announced it will be selling.

Opponents of church closings vowed Thursday to fight the Archdiocese of Boston’s move to ready six area churches for sale.

Cardinal Sean P. O’Malley announced the changes for the churches Thursday.

“I’ve spoken to each of the six parishioner groups [Thursday] morning and everyone one of them is ready to take the appeal … to highest level necessary,” said Peter Borre, chair of the Council of Parishes, a lay Catholic group that lends support to closed churches. “What he’s doing is deconsecrating six churches so he can sell them off as condos or parking lots.”

Among the relegated churches are Our Lady of Mount Carmel in East Boston, Star of the Sea in Quincy and Our Lady of Lourdes in Revere.

O’Malley’s decision means the churches will no longer be used for Catholic worship, any remaining sacred items will be removed and the buildings can be sold for use in an “appropriate and dignified manner.” The funds from a sale will be used for direct support of parishes in the archdiocese.

The move comes months after O’Malley solicited input from Catholics about the future of the churches.

He said the move is needed for the archdiocese’s “healing and rebuilding.”

‘Second home’ to faithful

Since 1952 when Benny Tauro moved to East Boston from Italy he’s gone to Our Lady of Mount Carmel church.

On Thursday, as the 78-year-old prepared a portion of the building for a yard sale, he described the church as his second home.

Parishioners like Tauro still hold Sunday prayer service there despite it being shuttered by the archdiocese in 2004.

But with word that it could now soon be put up for sale, Tauro doesn’t know what to do.

“What can I say? There is nothing I can do about it,” he said. “It’s their property.”


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