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Saving the Sacred

Chicago Catholics continue fight for church

February 2, 2023  0

TRANSCRIPT

Catholics in Illinois are continuing to fight for a church after it was closed by heterodox Cdl. Blase Cupich. In tonight's In-Depth Report, Church Militant's Nick Wylie details the fight to save St. Adalbert's. 

Richard Smaglick, St. Adalbert's Rosary Group: "Getting the sale stopped is a smaller goal along the way. The main goal is to reopen this church as a sacred space of some sort: a shrine, a monastery or an active church."

On Sunday, Chicago Catholics gathered outside Holy Name Cathedral to protest the sale of St. Adalbert's Church.

The demonstration followed speculation that the historic church might be sold to Florida businessman Dan Davidson.

In 2003, Davidson turned an Orthodox Jewish temple in Miami into an event center called The Temple House. It has served as a backdrop for degenerate music videos and a 2020 orgy performance by Madonna's daughter Lourdes. 

Julie Sawicki, president, Society of St. Adalbert: "He doesn't, I think, fully understand the level of resistance that he is going to get and pushback he is going to get from the community."

Julie Sawicki, a real estate broker and president of the Society of St. Adalbert, has attempted to reach Davidson multiple times to discourage the purchase.

She wants to warn Davidson that the location, within a residential neighborhood on Chicago's South Side, makes the church unattractive for redevelopment. 

Sawicki: "The neighborhood is very resistant to seeing St. Adalbert's destroyed. Whether they are Catholic or not, whether they are 18 years old or 80 years old, they don't want to see this institution bastardized in any way."

The former congregation has yet to give up on the church, even after the archdiocese went back on its agreement to give the property to the lay group for sacred preservation.

Sawicki: "This whole property was offered to us once before for free in 2017 and then three months later the archdiocese reneged."

The Society of St. Adalbert even took the archdiocese to the Vatican court, the Apostolic Signatura, over the rights to the church. But the case was thrown out, leaving the decision to the discretion of the archdiocese. 

Sawicki: "It is up to us Catholics to fight for our churches. We have to do that."

The laity must be prepared to battle for their churches as dioceses continue to close parishes with the claim that too many Catholics are leaving — an exodus caused by bishops' poor teaching of the faith and complicity in sex abuse.

The archdiocese announced the closing of St. Adalbert's in 2016, and the last Mass was held on July 14, 2019.

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