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Catholics Occupy Church To Keep It Open

SCITUATE, Mass., (UPI) — More than eight years after the Archdiocese of Boston closed a suburban church, former parishioners occupy the building round the clock.

About 100 people take turns keeping St. Frances Xavier Cabrini in Scituate open, CBS News reported. They hold regular Sunday services, although no priest has said mass there since 2004.

Members of the parish say that if they leave the building empty the archdiocese will lock them out and sell the property. The church is about two blocks from a beach in Scituate, 18 miles southeast of Boston.

“From day one, we’ve said our goal is to reopen as a fully functioning parish within the Archdiocese of Boston,” Maryellen Rogers said. “The reason we’re here is to make change and change hasn’t happened. We were a vibrant parish, closing down vibrant parishes is not the solution.”

Sean, Scott and Christian Arnold, 14-year-old triplets, have been spending Friday nights in the church with their mother, Christine, since 2004.

“This is kind of like our second home here,” Christine Arnold said.

The archdiocese in 2004 said the church would be closed because of low attendance. Boston, where the clerical sex abuse scandal began, has been hard hit by it.

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