CATSKILL, NY (NEWS10) – Controversy over St. Patrick’s Church in Catskill continues to boil over. Some Parishioners are trying to fight to keep it open while others have accepted its doors will have to permanently close.
St. Patrick’s Church has been closed for almost ten years. Parishioners raised over $300,000 to pay for church renovations to prevent its doors from closing but it didn’t turn out as they expected.
“I’m just very very sad, disappointed,” said Parishioner Deborah Johnson.
These Parishioners want to know where their $300,000 went.
They thought it would help keep the church doors open but they were one day blasted with the shocking news.
“We were lied to for eight years saying they were going to open the church and at the end, when the parking lot was done, they closed our church,” said Parishioner Anthony Petrianni.
When renovations were taking place inside the church, the Parishioners said they were NOT allowed to go inside.
“Take pictures, let people see what’s in there because nobody knows,” said Parishioner Maureen Murphy.
While there is no answer as to where the $300,000 went, this group of people believes it went towards a million dollar debt from past administration.
“The document said we’re not in debt to the diocese. We had no debt, we had savings. 2006 we’re in debt and we owe the diocese,” said Johnson.
News10ABC reached out to the Catholic Diocese of Albany to try and get an answer from the Bishop but nobody picked up the phone.
However, a devoted Parishioner, who didn’t want to be on camera, told News10ABC the Bishop had written a detailed letter on May 17 to church members explaining the closure and its financial restraints.
The Bishop is expected to make a visit to St. Patrick’s Church on June 18. Parishioners hope to use that opportunity to convince him to get more time raising money.