Decrepit church would cost millions

A decrepit church, facing the Met, twice burned out, and originally built in an eye-joltingly unpleasant style to begin with, is still being considered for rescue and renovation by the diocese. The Journal is pondering the fates of church buildings this weekend, although the elephant in the room – the fact that hardly anyone uses these buildings any more and certainly few people want to tithe to support them – isn’t directly addressed. A church like the massive Saint-Eusèbe in eastern Ville-Marie will never be filled with parishioners again.

Even the $20 million promised by the CAQ to shore up the remaining church buildings is hardly going to touch the problem.

This is what they need to do: pick out the buildings that are either of outstanding architectural value or maintain valuable sociocultural purposes separate from their original religious purpose, and let the rest – like the burned-out St-Bernardin-de-Sienne – go. Most churches are not easily renovated for other purposes, and if nobody needs them, they should go. They certainly shouldn’t be patched together on the public dime.