A nearly five-year struggle over the future of a Roman Catholic parish
in SoHo that began with a sudden padlock on the church doors ended on
Tuesday, when New York State’s highest court affirmed that the
Archdiocese of New York had the right to demolish the shuttered building
despite opposition from the former parishioners.
The fight over the yellow brick church, Our Lady of Vilnius on Broome Street, was a reminder of the bitterness left by the archdiocese’s decision in 2007 to close nearly two dozen parishes because of declining church attendance. Parishioners at Our Lady of Vilnius, a church built at the turn of the 20th century to serve the Lithuanian community, fought hard to restore their parish, appealing their case first to the church hierarchy, and then to the civil courts.
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