A few years ago, I testified at the meeting of the City Commissioners and wrote a letter to the parish community of St. Jude, affirming the fact that the Melkite Greek Catholic Church has no intention of selling St. Jude Church, nor of constructing any buildings on church property. As is clearly evident, we are currently making improvements to the church and the other buildings on the property for the use of our parish community. Let me reiterate clearly once again: we have no intention of selling St. Jude Church or of destroying the church building, or any other structures on the premises.
We simply ask to be left in peace. Our parish is growing, and we are very happy to be where we are located. We already “saved” the church building from demolition or replacement by commercial buildings by the fact that we bought it. The other property of the former Academy of the Assumption was sold to developers and the results can be seen. This is not going to happen to St. Jude Church.
We are resisting the Historic Designation because of the consequent expenses that will be involved. Other churches in the area which have been so designated warned us about this. The insurance goes up. Any “repairs” must be directed – and could be mandated - by the Historic Commission. They would be restorations, not repairs – at an increased price. Such costs could in fact make it impossible for us to keep the church open and running.
By law, since the primary significance of the building is religious, designation cannot be imposed upon us without our request. The response by the court to the appeals in the former attempt has indicated this.
The continued efforts aimed at intimidating our parish into requesting or accepting historic designation for St. Jude Church appear to have reached the level of harassment. One can only wonder at the motives behind those responsible for such mean-spirited actions.
Bishop of Newton and St. Jude Melkite Church