St. Rita's church in North Bay.

North Bay parishioners take case over church closures to the Apostolic Signatura

  • March 6, 2012

Former parishioners of Corpus Christi and St. Rita's parishes in North Bay, Ont., are taking their case against closing their churches to the highest court in the Church.

The Corpus Christi-St. Rita's group will appeal to the Apostolic Signatura to have the diocese of Sault Ste. Marie maintain the two buildings for some form of sacred use. Last year the group asked the Congregation for the Clergy to rule that their churches had been improperly reduced to profane use to facilitate their sale. The Congregation for the Clergy ruled against the North Bay group in February.

Phillip Penna of the appellant group said their case was turned down "on a technicality." He is hopeful that the Apostolic Signatura will hear their appeal on the substance of their arguments.

Corpus Christi has already been sold while St. Rita's is for sale.

"The diocese of Sault Ste. Marie is not in a position to either sell the Church of St. Rita or use the monies accrued from the previous sale of Corpus Christi Church and its related properties" while the appeal is pending before the Apostolic Signatura, said Penna in a release.

The group is currently interviewing for a canon lawyer to represent it in the proceeding.

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