Demolition of St. Ann would be a last resort
In recent articles, letters to the editor and blog postings, the Diocese of Buffalo is portrayed as being intent on the demolition of St. Ann Church. The truth is that in Bishop Richard Malone’s most recent correspondence with the Vatican, dated Dec. 18, 2013, he said again that adaptive reuse would be preferable to razing the building. This is why the diocese continues to work with Preservation Buffalo Niagara to find a developer that would be interested in the building. However, adaptive reuse can only be accomplished if the bishop is allowed to return the building to secular use as required by Canon Law, and this has been prevented by the former parishioners’ appeal to the Vatican.
Given the serious deterioration of the church structure, Malone has explained to Vatican officials that the church may need to be razed if an interested developer cannot be found. The bishop intends to appeal the recent Vatican decision in order to continue to seek a developer that might stabilize the structure and repurpose the building. Demolition, also requiring Vatican approval, would be a last resort. It has never been a preference.
Monsignor David Slubecky
Diocese of Buffalo