Re: Re: reordering and destruction of irish cathedrals and churches

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Nice piece today in the Sunday Business Post.

Vatican refuses to intervene in Cobh Cathedral Argument
By Kieron Wood

The Vatican has refused to intervene in the row over proposals to remodel St Colman’s Cathedral in Cobh.

Bishop John Magee of Cloyne travelled to Rome two weeks ago to enlist the aid of the curia in pushing through controversial proposals to “reorder” the sanctuary of the Pugin cathedral which dominates Cobh harbour.

Bur Cardinal Francis Arinze, the Nigerian prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship, told Magee that it was up to the bishop to persuade local people of the merits of his proposal.

In 1998, Magee told a public meeting that no changes would be made without the consent of parishioners. Although more that 24,000 people signed a petition opposing the suggested changes, the bishop lodged a planning application last July.

At the time, Magee said that the proposed changes had been “submitted by me to the relevant congregation in Rome and received its approval”. But protesters argued that the changes were not mandated by Church law or by the Vatican. Magee travelled to Rome on January 24 with Monsignors Denis Reidy and James O’Donnell. At the bishop’s request, the three met Arinze and three officials of his congregation.

The diocese said the liturgical ordering of churches was the responsibility of the diocesan bishop, so approval by the Vatican was not necessary.

Cobh Town Council granted permission for the changes last September, despite more than 200 objections from individuals and groups. An appeal was lodged in October. An Bord Pleanala was due to announce its decision on February 13, but has now agreed to an oral hearing, which will be held on February 28.

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