St. Adalbert’s IS a Basilica
by Artvoice - posted 11:24 am, April 14, 2008
The parishioners of St. Adalbert’s on the city’s East Side gathered on the church steps Saturday to announce they’d received confirmation from the Vatican: St. Adalbert’s is, indeed, a Basilica. They consider this a victory in their fight with the Diocese of Buffalo to keep their church open. Last year, when the Diocese announced that it would merge St. Adalbert’s and St. John Kanty parishes, a coalition of church members called Parishioners and Friends of St. Adalbert Basilica formed, to lobby in favor of keeping the church open.
One of the arguments they made for keeping the church open was its status as a basilica. The word basilica, which was originally used to describe a Roman (Empire, that is) public building, is now used to describe an important church that has been given special ceremonial rites by the Pope. The Diocese of Buffalo conducted research in 1992 showing that St. Adalbert’s was not a basilica. The Diocese continued to maintain its stance last year, issuing statements to that effect. But the Parishioners and Friends of St. Adalbert Basilica pressed on, sending a letter to the Vatican requesting help settling the matter.
They recently received a response. In a letter written to Brishop Kmiec and dated March 26, 2008, His Emminence Francis Cardinal Arinze of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments (say that three times fast!) wrote:
The Congregation received letters from some people in the pastoral area of St. Adalbert in Buffalo, in which we are asked if we can trace in our office some documentation on this church being a Basilica. I think it best to write to Your Excellency and copy the people of St. Adalbert’s to say what information we have.
We have indeed a record in our Congregation that St. Adalbert’s church, Buffalo, NY was given Brief as Basilica by Pope St. Pius X on 11th August 1907.
So there you have it. The matter is settled. The parishioners continue their fight to keep the church open, citing the fact that St. Adalbert’s has a “higher” status in the Church’s eyes than several churches that are set to remain open, including the Bishop’s home parish, St. Stanislaus.
The Bishop has expressed several times his willingness to go forward with the merger, effective September 1. Below are pictures from the interior of St. Adalbert’s and St. John Kanty, the two churches whose destinies appear to be intertwined.
The interior at St. Adalbert’s Basilica.
St. John Kanty, the church where the Diocese wishes to send St. Adalbert’s parishioners.