The Commonwealth Court held a hearing yesterday regarding the “Faithful Laurentians” pending appeal before it. The Court scheduled the hearing because the founder of the “Faithful Laurentians” Venise Whitaker told the Court in a letter that she no longer supported the appeal and was unsure if the group even exists. She asked the Court to remove her as an appellant by letter in June and has told the Court that she is no longer a part of the “Faithful Laurentians.”
We are unsure who the “Faithful Laurentians” are or what their plans are other than to try to ensure the demolition of St. Laurentius Church building, as the Archdiocese of Philadelphia has wanted to do for five years. We are also unsure who the “Faithful Laurentians” are, as we and many others in the community have asked them to hold a public meeting to discuss their promised plans for a cultural center, wedding venue or whatever their next quixotic plan for the church building is now.
The Commonwealth Court has ordered a hearing for August 9, 2018 in Harrisburg at which the “Faithful Laurentians” will have to demonstrate to the Court the reasons why their frivolous appeal of a case for which they were found not to have standing in the first place should not be dismissed. Instead of just abandoning this appeal and allowing the church to be preserved by the only development put forth to save the building, this “group,” which appears to be comprised solely of lone appellant Caroyln Devine, continues this litigation which serves to further endanger the structural integrity of the building and enrich the lawyers who bill our parish to fight their nonsensical court case. They profess to care about the beauty, history, and honoring previous generations. Their stubborn, petty and, thus far legally deficient, appeal demonstrates the exact opposite The colossal waste that they have caused of our parish and school funds spent in dealing with their crackpot scheme from day one is something that we will never be able to recover. The money that could have been spent to improve the parish and school is gone. When they eventually lose their case, this “group” will say they fought to the end, but in reality “they” didn’t. They just acted out of spite for personal reasons and have never once acted in the best interests of the church and parish community of St. Laurentius.
Below is a link to the docket where you can see the course of the appeal and where it stands. We ask that if you have any contact with anyone who is a member of this “group” to please ask them to end this litigation and allow St. Laurentius Church to be preserved for generations to come.
The Faithful Laurentians’ attorney, Hal Schirmer has just filed an appeal in Commonwealth Court on March 20.
Who are the Faithful Laurentians? Who is continuing with this baseless appeal? Why are they intent on destroying the Catholic community in Fishtown? Perhaps their attorney will tell you because he won’t tell us.
Faithful Laurentians, why have you not responded?
Mrs. Curtis, why have you not responded?
PLEASE RESPOND. We know that at least one of the people bringing the appeal has stopped. WHY HAVE YOU CONTINUED? Please advise WHEN and WHERE the public meeting will be. You can send information to us via facebook, or to Fr. Bradley via Holy Name Church, 701 Gaul Street, HNJ Rectory, Philadelphia, PA 19125
Folks, someone is Wisconsin is pushing an agenda that will not work here in Philadelphia. Help us make it stop before history is erased.
In 2014, the AOPs plan was to demolish the church and squander the proceeds of St Laurentius and Holy Name assets.
The community stopped that foolish waste, had the church designated historic, and now a buyer stands poised to fix the church and save the parish funds from being wasted on a frivolous demolition.
Remember when the AOP and some of the members of the parish council were telling everyone the church was a danger? That was over 3 years ago!!!!
Ask the AOP why they continue to allow the church to sit when it could be repaired right now? Why do they hold important funds hostage from our parish?
Is it because they still want to demolish the church? And use our parish money to do so? Holy Name parish currently has over $800,000 sitting in an AOP-controlled escrow account that the AOP refuses to allow our parish to access.
Please call these AOP representatives and ask them why they are endangering the community and not acting in the best fiduciary interests of the Archdiocese and our parish:
Name: Deacon Thomas Croke
Title: Director of Real Estate Services
Name: Timothy O’Shaughnessy
Title: Chief Financial Officer
Name: James Bock Jr.
Title: Secretary for Temporal Services
Name: Karen Egelkamp
Title: Coordinator for Capital Projects
The Faithful Laurentians are trying to demonize Leo Voloshin, a neighbor who has stuck his neck out to save Our Saint Laurentius Church. They have demonized his partners, Linden Lane. It’s shameful, but it is a common tactic when facts and logic are not on your side.
The Faithful Laurentians write that the Philadelphia Historic Commission will not grant the aop a hardship exception once they chase away the only developer who has put forth a plan to save the church and its history. They are confident that the church will not be demolished because of the protections under the Historic designation.
Yet, at the same time, they say the only group who has put forth a plan to save Saint Laurentius Church is actually scheming to demolish it. They are trying to scare everyone that these developers will convince the Philadelphia Historic Commission to throw out all stated protections. Then the developers will demolish.
These statements together defy common sense and logic.
In reality, the developers who seek to develop the church, after Historic Designation, would be held to a HIGHER standard. Leo and Linden Lane do not seek to demolish the church. They have spent thousands to SAVE it and repurpose its beauty.
In reality, the Court of Common Pleas has found every argument to be wrong and dismissed their case.
In reality, these appeals endanger the Catholic tradition in Fishtown that began with the people of Saint Laurentius.