Friday, May 13, 2011

St. Joseph’s Bethlehem Pa – New LU Parking Lot?

It doesn’t take much brains, especially in real estate, to know when a piece of condemned property is about to be turned into a parking lot or a student parking lot as in the case of St. Joseph’s Church in Bethlehem, Pa..

Property got closed because of a “shortage of priests” in the Allentown diocese. Whats a matta? You can’t insource more foreign born priests to staff St. Joseph’s? Duh!!!

About six churches ended up in some appeal to the Vatican and the Vatican agreed that previous real estate tycoon Bishop Cullen’s reasons for closing these six churches were invalid.

Pa. diocese nixes appeal over 6 church closures
The current Bishop, John O. Barres, has now pulled the plug on any further interference from the Vatican. How convenient.

The parishioners at St. Joseph’s stay boarded up and out on the street and screwed because of some possible sweetheart, real estate “done deal” between the Diocese and Lehigh University?

To extend parking for the Zoellner Arts Center (?) across a street or two from the about to be permanently decommissioned church property? Whatever.

Valuable real estate plum for the Allentown Diocese – any secret commissions in white envelopes to be handed out – with like say a holy card??? Or did outgoing Bishop Cullen already seal that deal and let’s not blame John? That this long term planning scheme of a nearby secular institution has been in the works for well over a decade?

New Temporary Bishop - Allentown - John Barres
I am so cynical.  But the problem is for me, that previous bishop Cullen’s two million dollars (estimated) of personally owned real estate, and the 1.2 million dollar estate of the late founding Joe the Bishop of Allentown, Joe McShea, makes you wonder what kind of bonuses get paid out in Allentown, without accountability to parishioners, to these RC CEOs (and how they get funded) etc.

Cullen’s Assets leave the Flock Aflutter

But don’t take my word for it. Do an internet aerial search map – 416 E. 5th Street, Bethlehem Pa, - St. Joseph’s address, to see that its immediate proximity to Lehigh University makes it a very valuable chunk of real estate.

Hell !

I do rant and rave a lot. And ask a lot of questions.

If there is a secular need to extend this urban university, then eminent domain for a private institution’s needs such as Lehigh University, (and I don’t know the local laws in Pa. regarding eminent domain by private industry), then LU doesn’t have to play the bad urban gobbling entity in this secularization of what looks to me should be a landmarked church property?

It is a pity that the Christian architectural and cultural history of an area like Bethlehem is likely to be destroyed and go the way of a bulldozer in the name of progress.

So it goes in Bethlehem/Allentown Pa..