Developments coming fast and furious at MD.
I will sort this out soon.
Here's a link to the counter-suit that parishioners filed against the Bishop, accusing him of bullying, financial malfeasance and civil rights violations:
Here's the judge's rejection of the Bishop's attempt to throw the parishioners out:
Judge C. Jeffrey Kinder's ruling
In other news, just in time for a major snowfall, agents of the Bishop entered MD recently and disabled the electric panel which controls the heat to the boiler, a development that was deplored by the parishioners.
Not surprisingly, diocesan officials have an entirely different view of the situation.
An article on the diocesan web site authored by Fr. Bill Pomerleau claims that the group inside the church "heckled" the Bishop during the closing Mass, that they have no standing in the church, and that measures are being taken to remove the steeple for the parishioner's own good (and that of neighbors). It also claims that the Bishop's civil suit against parishioners was motivated by concerns about the "stress" of the approaching winter on the steeple.
No doubt this is why the electric panel was altered to shut off heat to the boiler. Since that would certainly increase stress (though on the parishioners, not on the steeple), it appears that the Bishop just wants to give Mother Nature a helping hand. Pomerleau also claims that two written trespassing notices were given (a claim disputed in the parishioners defense to the original suit).
Although Pomerleau's article portrays the steeple to be in drastic condition, it does not explain why the church was kept open for daily and weekly Masses for several months between the time of the engineering reports and the time of the closing Mass, led by the Bishop, nor does it explain why, if the steeple is indeed in such dire condition, this deterioration was allowed to happen under diocesan stewardship, when there were ample funds donated by MD parishioners to repair it.