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Saturday, February 28, 2009

Fire sale of Churches in Canada

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TheStar.com Canada Quebec's churches need miracle

It might be quite beautiful, with its golden cross next to the steeple, its triumphal arches inside, its extraordinary Casavant organ presiding, but that hasn't stopped Notre-Dame-du-Perpétuel-Secours from steadily becoming abandoned. Barely 100 seats in its pews built for 1,000 are taken on Sundays, and that's on a good day.

"We take in maybe $100 or $125 during the collection," says Father Pierre Charbot, shrugging. Not nearly enough to even pay the heating.

As a result, the church is for sale. But the west-end edifice has been on the market for more than a year, and so far, no one's buying.

Officials are still hopeful, but as of now, the majestic grey-stone church is a white elephant.

The fire sale of Catholic churches in Quebec continues unabated; they are victims of a population that, more than elsewhere in Canada, has turned its back on organized religion.

Fewer than 10 per cent actually attend mass.
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