Vatican rejects St. Pat's appeal
Daniel Zuckerman is reporting for Columbia-Greene Media the Vatican's Congregation of the Clergy has denied an appeal from parishioners to keep St. Patrick's Church on Bridge Street in Catskill, open. The non-profit group, Friends of St. Pat's, received the news last month. The group has 60 days to file a second appeal. “We are very disappointed to see this,” Friends of St. Pat’s co-leader Deb Johnson said. The group believes substantial support exists to reopen the church. According to the Vatican's letter, the repairs necessary to make the building habitable again would be cost-prohibitive. The church's budget is approximately $200,000, but it owes $1.3 million, most of it to the Albany Diocese. The parish is incapable of handling an additional increase in debt of at least $1.1 million to finance the repairs needed to make the church safe, according to the Vatican. Former Albany Bishop Howard Hubbard is partially responsible for the debt service because he must have known the parish’s financial status, Johnson said. “The Diocese can forgive the money if they want to,” she said. Friends of St. Pat’s co-leader Anthony Petrianni plans to bring the fundraising campaign to radio and TV and he will hand out petitions related to the cause. The group will hold an emergency meeting at the Washington Irving Senior Center in Catskill 6:30 p.m., May 30 to discuss ways to raise $1 million for the necessary repairs. Read the full story at HudsonValley360 [dot] com.