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Three upcoming Church closures in Washington state are prompting liberals and conservatives to question the archbishop's motives. One of the churches is notoriously liberal, but last year, a parish known for being conservative was also closed. Church Militant's William Mahoney looks at the closures in the Evergreen State and what seems to be causing them.
Saint Patrick Church on Broadway East in Seattle will be closing owing to plummeting attendance numbers. Saint Patrick self-describes as "a welcoming Christ-centered community committed to keeping alive the vision and hope of Vatican II," offering Sunday Liturgies "enhanced by the creative arts."
One of the main dancers at St. Patrick also appeared in the 2021 opening ceremony for LA REC, the Los Angeles Religious Education Congress.
Saint Patrick Church has long been welcoming those attempting to normalize sin. The 2007–2008 Directory of Inclusive Faith Communities in Washington State included St. Patrick Church for having a program of acceptance, respect for LGBT concerns and LGBT leadership.
The church has an LGBTQ+ Engagement and Accompaniment Team, the purpose of which "is to authentically represent our identity as a place where everyone is welcome." Among the group's proposed actions is to "advertise in and write articles for Seattle Gay News and other news outlets."
The current priest at St. Patrick is Fr. Bryan Hersey.
Ordained in 1998, Hersey was a seminarian at the NAC, the North American College seminary in Rome, under then-rector Cdl. Timothy Dolan. Cardinal Dolan, along with the NAC's current rector, Peter Harman, and departing vice rector, Adam Park, are at the center of a lawsuit in New York for homosexual predation, retaliation against whistleblowers and cover-up.
Despite efforts to keep St. Patrick open, Abp. Paul Etienne sent a letter to St. Patrick on Friday: "Given the realities we face across the archdiocese of Seattle, I simply cannot change the direction that has been many years in the making."
Those realities include the clergy sex-abuse crises costing the archdiocese over $100 million in the last 40 years.
Etienne clarified the progressive nature of St. Patrick had nothing to do with the closing, claiming he was accused of closing Holy Rosary last year for being conservative. It seems the bottom line has nothing to do with orthodoxy or lack thereof. If a parish isn't bringing in funds, it's not viable for the archbishop.
Archbishop Etienne is brother to Fr. Bernie Etienne, vicar general of the diocese in Evansville, Indiana. Fr. Etienne slandered Church Militant last year from the pulpit, describing the apostolate as "not of God" and warning his parishioners to "steer clear."