All 6 Boston groups lose appeal to Vatican
BOSTON (AP) - The Vatican has rejected the appeals of all six groups in the Boston Archdiocese who argued that the church buildings at their closed parishes should be reopened years after the archdiocese shut them down.
The decisions, handed down over the last two months, came after the Vatican granted similar appeals to parishioners from several other closed parishes, including in New York and Pennsylvania.
Those recent wins had Sean Glennon, a parishioner at Mary Star of the Sea in Quincy, hopeful about their appeal. On Tuesday, he was puzzled why none of the Boston-area parishes prevailed.
"It's just very disconcerting, and it's very disappointing," he said.
In the appeals, parishioners weren't asking the Vatican to reopen the parishes, which include rectories, churches and other buildings. They instead argued that their local diocese hadn't justified its decision to convert the church building from sacred to secular use, a necessary move before sale.
Watchdog group says pastor broke the law
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) - A religious watchdog group says an eastern Kentucky Baptist pastor violated federal law when he urged his followers to vote President Barack Obama out of office in November.
Pastor Ronnie Spriggs, of Hager Hill Freewill Baptist Church, said during a May 13 sermon that he wants Obama voted out because of his support for gay marriage.
Americans United for Separation of Church and State say Spriggs' comments violates IRS rules on political activism by nonprofit religious groups.