I know the diocese needs the money, but . . . For the third time in recent months, our diocese announced that an empty church building resulting from a parish merger has been sold to a Protestant sect. In each case, the buyer was not a “mainline” denomination but an ethnic evangelical or fundamentalist group. Every time this happens the diocese comes out with a pro-forma announcement about how happy they are that the building will continue to be used for “religious purposes.”
Well, yes I suppose, but: In a strange way, this seems to me to almost be a type of “intercommunion” in that it almost seems that the diocese is saying “One church is as good as another.” I know they’re not really saying that, but to my of thinking that impression is what gets fostered. To say nothing of the fact that inquiring minds may wonder how many Catholics may be drawn into that sect.
Some people are uncomfortable when former church buildings are converted into nightclubs or bed-and-breakfasts or whatever, but at least that’s a clean break with its past, and not this blurry it’s-still-a-church kind of thinking.
Or am I overthinking all this?