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Vatican forbids church sales

3 Western Mass. sanctuaries cited

By Mark Arsenault
Globe Staff / November 12, 2011

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The Roman Catholic Diocese of Springfield is forbidden from selling three shuttered churches, the Vatican’s highest court has decided, leaving the diocese unable to dispose of sacred buildings it says it no longer wants. The ruling by the Apostolic Signatura, revealed this week by the Springfield Diocese, could have implications for Boston, where parishioner groups this summer filed appeals to Rome in a last-ditch effort to block Cardinal Sean O’Malley’s decision to deconsecrate and sell six closed churches around Greater Boston.

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