State Sen. Dan Bosley is asking the Catholic Church to hold off on its plans to close six parishes in western Mass., according to the Berkshire Eagle's Lance Gentile. Bosley is justifying his involvement in the issue by saying that the churches aren't just religious institutions but part of civic life:
"This is more than a church issue," Bosley said... "This is a community issue. These churches in both Adams and North Adams are community churches. In Adams in particular, the pulse of that town goes through St. Stanislaus.
Is Bosley saying that Catholic churches are "third places," like beer gardens and gay bars, where people can interact away from home and work? Perhaps, though church officials say that Bosley is ignoring financial reality:
"I would be interested in hearing how (Bosley) plans to address our lack of priests and our maintenance issues with many of these buildings," said [Springfield Diocese spokesman Mark] Dupont.