The archdiocese is very powerful and, in the case of Our Lady of Vilnius, it has consistently applied more force than needed to do the job. This has been evident in:
- Their lack of response to the Administrator and trustees regarding the roof repair for a period of over 2 years
- The citation of low attendance and low sacramental viability as reasons for closure after engineering these statistics by obstructing the sanctuary
- The failure to disclose the unrepaired roof and obstructed sanctuary when presenting low attendance and sacramental viability as reasons for closure in their press releases
- The failure to include our parish in the realignment process which came with instant media coverage and an appeals process
- The abrupt locking of the church, hall, and nearly the rectory, while Father Sawicki was uptown meeting with Cardinal Egan.
- Scheduling Lithuanian Consul General immediately after locking the church in order to receive President Adamkus' plea too late
- The lack of a written decree of suppression
- The lack of a written reply to our canonical appeal
- The emptying and of the church and the painting over of sacred images. Meatpackers used to pride themselves on using "everything but the squeal." The archdiocese seemed to use this paradigm in stripping Our Lady of Vilnius. Even a grimy old electric fan is tagged with an inventory number, ostensibly for safekeeping.
- Covert maneuvers that became known in the courtroom yesterday.
I was disturbed by the agressive demeanor and confident (dare I say "arrogant?") presentation of the archdiocese' case, which basically came down to the hierarchical nature of the Roman Catholic Church investing them with the power to do whatever they want to do.
I enjoyed it when the opposing attorney's voice had gradually become so hoarse and shrill that he aplogized and promised brevity.
Why is an institution that was started by Jesus Christ relying on keen manipulation of the letter of the law to suppress us? Why is our devotion a source of consternation? Why do they have such little care for our minds and hearts? They can, but why do they choose to?