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Supreme Court Rejects Appeal From Parishioners Of Closed Scituate Church02:06
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Mary Fernandes, left, and Nancy Shilts, parishioners at St. Frances X. Cabrini in Scituate, react in the church Monday while talking about its closing. The Supreme Court has refused to hear an appeal from parishioners who are occupying the church, which the Archdiocese of Boston closed more than a decade ago. (Steven Senne/AP)
Mary Fernandes, left, and Nancy Shilts, parishioners at St. Frances X. Cabrini in Scituate, react in the church Monday while talking about its closing. The Supreme Court has refused to hear an appeal from parishioners who are occupying the church, which the Archdiocese of Boston closed more than a decade ago. (Steven Senne/AP)
This article is more than 4 years old.

The longest-lasting vigil at a closed Catholic church in the Boston area is nearing its end.

The Supreme Court said Monday it is refusing to hear the appeal of former parishioners of St. Frances X. Cabrini, who were fighting an eviction order from the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Boston.

Pat McCarthy was one of four women who gathered in the Scituate church's lobby after word from the court came. She wondered what will happen to the beloved church building they have occupied for 11 years.

"The authorities have spoken," McCarthy said. "We obey authority. And they can do with it what they will. The archdiocese can proceed to do whatever they want for getting money. That's what they do."

McCarthy predicts the archdiocese will reduce the church to rubble, as happened with St. James the Great, in Wellesley, where the town is planning a sports complex on the site.

"The archdiocese will come here and probably build lots of them," another woman said.

"Beaucoup buildings," another interjected.

"No," replied another woman. "They can't. It has to be, I think, I don't think they can build..."

"They can do anything they want now," McCarthy said.

Margaret O'Brien, a parishioner at St. Frances X. Cabrini, departs the church Monday. (Steven Senne/AP)
Margaret O'Brien, a parishioner at St. Frances X. Cabrini, departs the church Monday. (Steven Senne/AP)

The archdiocese is not commenting on its plans for the property. It's currently zoned for single-family residences on lots that must be at least 20,000 square feet.

John Rogers, spokesperson for the group of ex-parishioners, said in a telephone interview that the group will become what he calls "an all-inclusive, independent Catholic church."

"An independent Catholic church means that everyone is included, and that there are no rules and regulations imposed by the hierarchy or the princes of the church on us," Rogers explained.

In a statement, the Archdiocese of Boston said "[t]he parishes of the Archdiocese welcome and invite those involved with the vigil to participate and join in the fullness of parish life."

The former parishioners said they will obey an order to leave in two weeks.

This segment aired on May 17, 2016.

Earlier:

Fred Thys Twitter Reporter
Fred Thys reported on politics and higher education for WBUR.

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