Hi. To those who missed our meeting this past week, I will provide a synopsis. It is only a synopsis since the meeting lasted a bit over an hour.
We discussed the generic areas, which impact the integrity of St. Laurentius. It will be for you to personally define the integrity since there are a multitude of factors, particularly within the archdiocese and the Vatican, which we cannot control and which appear inordinately corrupt.
After assimilating all of these variables, some have abandoned the ideal of reopening St. Laurentius as it was because, unless the archdiocese is miraculously instilled with integrity and virtue, there is virtually no likelihood of their resanctifying and reopening St. Laurentius.
Here is the summary:
1) Appeal-Sits in Rome since last spring. It has NOT even been reviewed. The exception is that peculiarly, as a result of speculated intervention by the archdiocese, we were told several days ago that two of the signatures on the appeal were fraudulent. If we did not comply with sending certified signatures, mine and Vince Lipczynski’s, within a narrow window of time, the appeal would no longer exist. Well we got the certified documents and mailed them along with an $1800 check made payable to the Division of the Vatican called the Apostolic Signatura—yes $1800 to review 2 signatures.
Once the appeal is reviewed, it must past through three levels of review. If the first level is denied, we can argue that denial and appeal to the second level. If denial occurs at the second level, the appeal is over. However, if the appeal is accepted at the second level, it moves on to the third level for a required approval to have St. Laurentius reopened,
2) Archdicoese—Here is a representative sampling, though surely not encompassing. Forced Father Frank to stop Polish mass; orchestrated the merger into Holy Name while he was ill; had two representatives visit Father Frank in the hospital telling him he can not live in the rectory when he is discharged and that he needs to sign the merger into Holy Name paperwork; followed no due process in the merger; fabricated an imminent danger of collapse story (interestingly in the storm the other night, the church still stands but part of the scaffolding collapsed); ignored all attempts on our part to meet on multiple levels—Archbishop Chaput, Monsignors Rodgers and Kutys etc etc etc. ; would allow the money from the sale of St. Laurentius Convent and garage to be used for demolition but not to repair St. Laurentius.; hand picked a pastor for Holy Name who would do everything in his power to execute the will of the archdiocese and eliminate St. Laurentius.
3) Parishioners and Friends—Some examples: Raised money in Save St. Laurentius Fund (that money has been used for the attorneys, the recent fee to the Vatican to review two signatures, for the billboard); Sugar House fundraisers; Polish operatic singer at Polish Home; staffed tables at the Annual Festival at the Shrine of Our Lady of Częstochowa; stood guard watching the church; remained vigilant over any troublesome activity; compiled and completed the initial recourse and subsequent appeal; met with representatives of the church in Rome; gave a presentation about our situation at the Polish Consulate in New York.; searched for buyers for St. Laurentius within the Polish American infrastructure. Large business funding for repairs is a paradox in this scenario with distrust for the archdiocese but would surely emerge if St. Laurentius were reopened.
4) Historic Designation—A big victory. Exterior designation acquired in July 2015. An interior application was written and at my request, its review by the Designation Committee was postponed until the June meeting. This was done for multiple reasons. The interior of the church remains protected until the hearing takes place.
5) Repurposing—This option will maintain the exterior integrity of St. Laurentius. The current buyer has every intention of respecting that integrity. The agreement of sale is in evolution between he and the archdiocese. With the inability of us to make any headway at the appeal and archdiocesan level–some have not yet taken this step–this currently seems to be the only way a part of our St. Laurentius richness will remain. If there is no buyer, and the appeal process sits in limbo, and L and I requests repairs, and the archdiocese says they have no money to fix the church, the potential monster of demolition again resurfaces.
6) Ownership—As you know, several letters of petition were submitted to the Attorney General of PA asking for assistance in resolution of the property trust, which appears to have been violated by the archdiocese. I sent the same along with a comprehensive cover letter and copies of the original deed and transcripted deed. I spoke on Friday with the assistant DA assigned to the case. We spoke extensively and she will retrieve the fed ex mailer from Harrisburg this week, She, at the time of our conversation, did not have the deeds or cover letter in her possession. Understand that the state has no authority to tell the archdiocese to reopen St. Laurentius as a church.
7) Structural Repairs—The repair estimates the potential buyer acquired were congruent with those we acquired as part of our recourse. The archdiocese estimates at the time of the historic designation were inflated to $5 million more. Repair remains an issue, which will require imminent resolution.
8) As an aside, it was announced at Holy Name this weekend that since part of the scaffolding fell this weekend, a fence will be placed around St. Laurentius on Memphis and on Berks up to the rectory. Walking and parking in this vicinity will be prohibited. Holy Name pastor says it was due to L and I but recall the archdiocese said they would do this in July at the historical designation meeting.
Have a great day and thanks for your support…. Bóg Zapłać……..John Wisniewski