Could FSSP take over Holy Innocents in NYC?

It looks like Holy Innocents may be closed by Cardinal Dolan. Decision in September.

If there a protocol for the FSSP to offer to take over responsibility for the parish? It would be a shame to see the church sold and torn down to make way for a commercial/residential project. I read the beautiful mural was restored at a cost of 700,000 last year.

This is out there but if the FSSP can’t take it on what about the SSPX? I read they needed additional church facilities in the Pittsburg area and just purchased St. James a former Catholic church closed because of dwindling congregations. So it seems like there might be precedent.

The building is probably very expensive but the SSPX seems to have money. I visited friends in Phoenix recently and a large new church set to open 3 blocks away. I assumed it was catholic - it had a classic Southwestern church look. Turns out it was a new SSPX church seating 1000 with plans for a primary and secondary school to come. The group seems to have money.

I’d prefer Holy Innocents remain open with the FSSP taking over but if it is going to be sold then maybe the SSPX might be an option to consider.

Sometimes I wonder where the logic is on these closings. They break hearts and waste money. $700,000 down the tubes? Nuts. Around here there is a very beautiful old Italian Parish for Our Lady of Mount Carmel and they spent well over a million to renovate it. It is absolutely beautiful inside, some of the older ladies say it is better then when it was young. They even used 24kt gold foil to do some of the decorative foiling and it took almost a year. The work was completed about 8 years ago and now they get the axe. The carpet in the foyer isn’t even showing wear yet. And the real teaser is that the parish they decided in favor of is much smaller, is in desperate need of renovations and even has a leaking roof! They have to put out pails when it rains! This is four blocks from the closing parish and doesn’t even have a school! OLMC has an elementary school that is also being closed. It makes absolutely no sense at all. If any closing should’ve been made it should’ve been the other one. And when everyone has to leave OLMC for the other one, they won’t even be able to sit down because it is so small. I’m baffled.


You and your fellow OLMC need to get together and see if the Bishop will have an audience to hear your concerns. If the entire OLMC parish attends or sends letters of proxy to the audience the Bishop might well re-open the matter for discussion.
What sometimes happens in these situations is that letters are sent out and only a few respond and those respondents are the ones that drive the final out come. The Bishop most likely isn’t aware of the actual situation and has been assured by those that he has talked to that the smaller parish is in excellent shape and sufficient capacity to handle the combined parishes… he might even be thinking the chosen church is the renovated church! Mistakes can and do happen.

Having the SSPX take over would be no better than it being shutdown and torn down.

The other possibility would be ICRSS. They have been known to resurrect some old churches as well. Of course, Manhattan may be a little out of their reach. Or they could even create their own order, similar to St. John Cantius, which has done extremely well. Either way, it’s a financial decision and the bishop has to look at not only current attendance and support but the estimated growth factor for say, the next ten years or so.

According to an article on FOX News, Holy Innocents draws lot’s of mass attendees.

Manhattan is expensive and I don’t know if the FSSP taking it over, or others, means they have to purchase the church or not. That could be prohibitive.

If worse comes to worse I’d rather see the SSPX purchase it than say a Buddhist or Baptists group. The St. James church in Pittsburg was at first not offered to the SSPX but to Baptists and Lutherans. If the diocese would sell to Baptists why not SSPX. That was the Pittsburg situation and I don’t know the NYC situation.

SSPX apparently has deep pockets. They are building a massive seminary in Virginia for 500 seminarians so whomever raises money for them they financially seem to be in a position to purchase the church.

Its like is it better to sell Innocents to Baptists or Buddhists or the SSPX? Or should it be sold to commercial interests which will tear it down? I don’t have the answer.

The Baptists are Christians, but make no pretense that they are the (true) Catholic Church. There is no confusion. We sometimes are able to have an ecumenical relationship with the Baptists, because they are what they say they are. We have discussions, but no ecumenical relationship, with the SSPX.

The SSPX presents as if it were a Catholic Church, promotes activities as if they were part of the regular Diocese, seemingly the same Faith that people would have been getting all along at this church. If you ask they will admit they are part of a separate movement, but most people don’t know enough to ask. The average person won’t know their Masses are considered illicit, their confessions illicit, that it has no connection to the local archdiocese, or any other diocese, and no connection to Pope Francis.

The SSPX gains attendees because it borrows on the credibility of the Catholic Church - which it isn’t part of. Even if a sign mentions SSPX, some people won’t realize this is a separate entity, under a bishop certainly not appointed by any pope, with a website vehemently opposed to the Pope. By selling a church to the SSPX, the Archdiocese would be enabling - not exactly lies, but something far less than truthfulness.

The Bishop (Cardinal, in this case) needs to invite the FSSP or Institute into the Diocese. Its the only way it can be done. And, yes, Dolan could give the church to one of them but I’d not place any bets on it. :wink:

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit