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Future of Saint Laurentius Church Very Much Up in The Air

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Photo of St. Laurentius Church via <a href=""></a>
Photo of St. Laurentius Church via

It's been a rough year for Saint Laurentius Catholic Church in Fishtown. After the dual-steeple staple at the intersection of Berks and Memphis Street was deemed structurally unsafe at the time of its closing in March by the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, it was essentially determined that demolition would be most cost-effective route for the church built in 1885. Archbishop Charles Chaput's recent decision to decertify the building from a Roman Catholic Church to one of "profane but not sordid use" makes it seem that demolition could certainly be on the way, as any future use or development for the building or its land cannot go against rules of the Catholic Church. So, is another church demo on the way or do a group of Fishtowners have one more Hail Mary up their sleeve.

For now, it's a battle to decide the future of the nearly 130 year old church — and this one might go all the way up to the Vatican. From The Inquirer:

"John Wisniewski, a longtime member of St. Laurentius, said that a group of parishioners has hired a canon lawyer and that an appeal of the relegation was being sent to the Vatican.

While an appeal is in process, the church cannot be torn down, [archdiocesan spokesman Ken] Gavin said."

According to the Friends of Saint Laurentius, the group of parishioners leading the charge to save the church, O'Donnell and Naccarato's $1M dollar demolition estimate provided to the city wasn't entirely accurate. After crunching the numbers, they came up with a "more realistic" figure between $2.68M and $3.53M for the demolition. The Inquirer notes that the decree estimates costs of stabilizing and repairing the church to be "between $1.2M and $3.4M."
· Archbishop decertifies Fishtown church [The Inquirer]

St. Laurentius Church

1612 E Berks St, Philadelphia, PA 19125

Saint Laurentius Church

1608 East Berks Street, Philadelphia, PA