France: congregation opposes parking lot replacing church

Saint Rita in Paris ordered to evacuate

25 September, 17:12

    (ANSAmed) - PARIS, SEPTEMBER 25 - The parish church of Saint Rita in Paris, one of the few to admit animals during mass, has been ordered to evacuate. The neo-Gothic-style church built in 1900 has been issued the order by a tribunal as the new owner wants it demolished to build apartments and a parking lot.

    Santa Rita's Gallican Catholic archbishop Dominique Philippe has to leave the premises by today but the spokesman for the church's congregation Franois Lusinchi has warned that pilgrims will ''resist'' and ''occupy the church''.

    Two years ago, the cultural association of Catholic chapels which owned the building (Saint Rita is not under the Vatican's authority) started an evacuation procedure for its occupants and sold the church to a real estate agency that obtained a construction permit.

    A court subsequently rejected an appeal against the demolition presented by the association.

    Now the congregation hopes to buy back the building thanks to donations.

    The parish church was known for blessing motorcyclists and, most of all, for the mass for animals celebrated every first Sunday of November. (ANSAmed)
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