As I seem to come under sniping fire from some who uphold the Bishop's plans I am posting this extract from The Cambrian News verbatim, sans comments from me:-
This is monumental arrogance by Vatican
False, you hope? Sorry. It’s true. Add to that an unsettling irony. That the decision to smash up a piece of Aberystwyth’s history was taken, of all places, within the walls of a World Heritage Site.
I refer to the Palazzo della Cancelleria, a Medieval palace, part of the Vatican. And our Raymond Burke, who works for the Vatican, from his office within this well-conserved edifice, never for a moment, we may conclude, considering Aberystwyth’s heritage - before striking from his map the church of Our Lady of the Angels and St Winefride and its presbytery annexe.
This the 1870s complex in Queen’s Road - the first Catholic church to be built in Ceredigion since the Reformation – which should be preserved not only as a venerated place of worship and because of its place in history, but because its pleasing unpretentiousness, its green setting, and as it is an important part of Aberystwyth’s Victorian and Edwardian heritage. The diocesan bishop, Tom Burns, wants the site sold to developers because, he claims, it would cost too much to renovate the church, while parishioners insist restoration is entirely affordable.
That Raymond Burke has got involved may seem odd. But not when you remember that the Vatican always knows best. Even when it doesn’t. A wisdom previously thought to be confined to matters religious. Now revealed to extend beyond telling people where they should go to Mass – in a proposed new church in Penparcau – to approving the destruction of a historic Catholic church integral to the Aberystwyth conservation area. This is monumental arrogance.
Such weighty decision-making must of course be easier if you’ve got a weighty title. Like Raymond’s, which the Vatican thinks entitles him to make decisions affecting people and places he doesn’t know and never will. Burke is Prefect of the Supreme Tribunal of the Apostolic Signatura. Note all those capital letters. Formerly Archbishop of St Louis, Missouri, before that a bishop in Wisconsin. Having shinned further up the ecclesiastical ladder, he is now a cardinal and the most senior official of the highest judicial authority of the Roman Catholic Church. One quakes.
No wonder Tom Burns, embracing the authoritarianism (sorry, solemnity) of Cardinal Burke’s edict, thought he’d include a bit of Latin in his letter telling parishioners of Rome’s sanctioning of demolition. “Roma locuta est. Causa finita est”, he thundered. Adding, sotto voce: “Rome has spoken. The case is finished”.
Burns is wrong. The case is not closed. He must agree to the reasonable request by opponents of demolition for their surveyors, and his, to discuss the condition of the buildings and restoration costs.
He must tell us why Aberystwyth’s parish priest, Neil Evans, wasn’t informed about a meeting between Burns and pro-demolition parishioners. Evans has now quit the diocesan board of trustees, saying he does not believe that “secret meetings (are) the best way forward.” He’s right.
Why is Tom Burns afraid of an open debate?"