24/7 Church Vigil Comes to Forced End, 11 Years Later

Archdiocese closed the church in 2004
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Oct 14, 2015 5:02 PM CDT
In this Tuesday, May 5, 2015, file photo, Marc Dean, a parishioner who has been in vigil at St. Frances Xavier Cabrini Church for the past five years, leaves after his shift is over in Scituate, Mass.   (AP Photo/Stephan Savoia, File)
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(Newser) – Parishioners of a long-closed Catholic church south of Boston have lost their appeal of a ruling ordering them to end their 11-year, 24/7 vigil inside the building. The Massachusetts Appeals Court affirmed a judge's ruling Wednesday that parishioners at St. Frances X. Cabrini Church in Scituate are trespassing on property owned by the Archdiocese of Boston. The archdiocese shuttered the church in 2004 as part of a reorganization effort, and the parishioners have occupied it since. In March, the archdiocese sued to evict them.

The Appeals Court acknowledged the parishioners' "heartfelt beliefs" that they are entitled to remain in the church. But the court agreed with the lower court judge's conclusion that they are trespassing. Members of a nonprofit organization set up to save the parish said they plan to review legal options with their attorney.

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