External: City Wants Land Back From Fall River Diocese.
This is appalling in so many ways. It's always a tragedy when a parish closes. Now we have a municipality asking for it's land for free? I understand the city sold part of the parcel to the diocese 60 years ago but does that give them the right to demand they "donate" it back?
This is alarming on so many different levels but the most notable is where once city official states "the church used it for about 50 years, and like other religious organizations, didn’t pay taxes on it. “They shouldn’t make a profit. They should give it back to the city free and clear.” It would appear that the constitutional right to private property is rendered moot if you don't pay taxes on it.
There are many "private" business and organizations that have benefited from land deals with government bodies. There is never a call for them to give anything back. This looks more like a cash-strapped city taking advantage of a church with a bruised reputation. They fail to mention how many people the Diocese of Fall River have helped over the years and the services rendered by it's Catholic Social Services organization taking the burden off the city.
The current parish has the right to sell this land to whomever they wish and for a price dictated by the market. They are several vacant parcels of land in Fall River owned by the diocese. Please pray for our Bishop and Fr. Andrade as I fear this is only the beginning,