Philadelphia, March 24, 2015 – City Council President Darrell L. Clarke (5th District) on Tuesday issued the following statement on the Archdiocese of Philadelphia’s announcement that it will proceed with the demolition of 133-year-old St. Laurentius Church in Fishtown:
“I join St. Laurentius parishioners in expressing my disappointment in the Archdiocese’s announcement that this historic church will be demolished. After meeting with members of the church and Archdiocese officials, I was hopeful that all avenues toward preservation of this beautiful and sacred building would first be exhausted.
“The public’s safety must always come first, but it is my and others’ understanding that preservation is indeed possible, especially if the Vatican chooses to intervene. I respectfully ask the Archdiocese to hold off on demolition of St. Laurentius until parishioners who have appealed to the Vatican for assistance receive a formal response. St. Laurentius is special and sacred to so many families who have a generational attachment to this place of worship.
“As long as the public is in no immediate danger, the St. Laurentius community ought to be given time to seek the finances and assistance required to preserve the church. Historic preservation is an interest of the City as well. I hope to continue discussions with stakeholders in order to arrive at a more satisfying conclusion for all parties involved.”