Canon 515, which gives a bishop unfettered power in determining which parishes to erect and which to suppress, was cited recently by the Vatican’s Supreme Court in its ruling that Cardinal Sean O’Malley followed church law in closing Boston parishes. The ruling was delivered in appeals by 10 parishes in Boston that had been closed.
In explaining the ruling and some of its implications, CNS’s Dennis Sadowski writes elsewhere on this page:
In Boston, Peter Borre of the Council of Parishes, told CNS that after consulting with a canonist in Rome, he believes the recent decrees essentially mean that “no parish is safe."
"The decision means ... now the center of gravity (in the church) becomes the diocese, not the parish," he said. "The parishes become expendable.
"This is a powerful message for some of these parishes if they think (in their appeals) they can dodge bullets," he said.