Wednesday, March 25, 2009


A recent article on talked about the closing of a number of parishes as numbers, dollars, and priests decline.

One of the upset nuns states: "Too many bishops are treating parishes as if they were Starbucks franchises," said Sister Christine Schenk, a Cleveland-area nun.

Interesting point. Church as a franchise. Church as fast-food service. Or perhaps more along the lines of what she actually meant: Do church governances have the right to "close down" a local body of worshipers?

The nun goes on to say: "It's about more than money. It's about mission to the people," she said. "This isn't what Jesus would do."

She talks of the many good programs to the poor in the area that will be lost. And I wonder if she, while full of good analogies, is still missing the point. If the Church is the building and the programs, then it seems in line to be upset that someone is arbitrarily deciding to end it. But if the Church is bigger than the meeting place and is in fact a living, breathing, active body of believers, what difference is it if the building is locked up? Perhaps, despite her witty remarks, she is in fact guilty of treating church like a Starbucks; a body that can be encapsulated within a building and is not accessible when locked up. What would Jesus do? He would probably keep helping the poor in Cleveland regardless of whether the bishop decided to close the church, he would likely keep worshiping with a body of believers and probably wouldn't be any worse off for it.


Luca said...

I do not know you, but it seems clear you are very religious. While I respect your belief I think the nun got it right. Of course the church should not be just the building but the breathing and living alltogether, but what she means is that where needs are there but no money to fund the organization (church) it makes no sense to keep them open, so as they are not profitable they should be closed. This is pretty clear.

Eric said...

Hi Luca,

Thanks for the comment. The nun was AGAINST the church closing. I, on the other hand, was arguing that, perhaps, it was okay if the church closed.

As for me being religious... I can't say I would choose to apply that term to myself.

Thanks again for the comment!