RELIGION

Judge orders parishioners to vacate closed church after Catholic archdiocese sues for eviction

  • In this Tuesday, May 5, 2015 photo, Marc Dean, a parishioner who has been in vigil at St. Frances Xavier Cabrini Church for the past five years, leaves after his shift is over, in Scituate, Mass. A Massachusetts judge on Thursday, May 14, 2015, has ordered parishioners of the St. Frances Xavier Cabrini Church to end their 11-year protest vigil and vacate the now-closed Roman Catholic church. In his ruling,  Superior Court Judge Edward Leibensperger said the parishioners are "unlawfully and intentionally" trespassing at the church in Scituate. (AP Photo/Stephan Savoia)

    In this Tuesday, May 5, 2015 photo, Marc Dean, a parishioner who has been in vigil at St. Frances Xavier Cabrini Church for the past five years, leaves after his shift is over, in Scituate, Mass. A Massachusetts judge on Thursday, May 14, 2015, has ordered parishioners of the St. Frances Xavier Cabrini Church to end their 11-year protest vigil and vacate the now-closed Roman Catholic church. In his ruling, Superior Court Judge Edward Leibensperger said the parishioners are "unlawfully and intentionally" trespassing at the church in Scituate. (AP Photo/Stephan Savoia)  (The Associated Press)

  • In this Tuesday, May 5, 2015 photo, Kip Ahern, left, and Veronica Tutunjian talk as they hold vigil in the lobby of St. Frances Xavier Cabrini Church, in Scituate, Mass.  A Massachusetts judge on Thursday, May 14, 2015, has ordered parishioners of the St. Frances Xavier Cabrini Church to end their 11-year protest vigil and vacate the now-closed Roman Catholic church. In his ruling,  Superior Court Judge Edward Leibensperger said the parishioners are "unlawfully and intentionally" trespassing at the church in Scituate. (AP Photo/Stephan Savoia)

    In this Tuesday, May 5, 2015 photo, Kip Ahern, left, and Veronica Tutunjian talk as they hold vigil in the lobby of St. Frances Xavier Cabrini Church, in Scituate, Mass. A Massachusetts judge on Thursday, May 14, 2015, has ordered parishioners of the St. Frances Xavier Cabrini Church to end their 11-year protest vigil and vacate the now-closed Roman Catholic church. In his ruling, Superior Court Judge Edward Leibensperger said the parishioners are "unlawfully and intentionally" trespassing at the church in Scituate. (AP Photo/Stephan Savoia)  (The Associated Press)

A Massachusetts judge has ordered parishioners of the St. Frances Xavier Cabrini Church to end their 11-year protest vigil and vacate the now-closed Roman Catholic church.

In a ruling Thursday, Superior Court Judge Edward Leibensperger said the parishioners are "unlawfully and intentionally" trespassing at the church in Scituate (SIT'-choo-it).

He said they will be barred from entering the church effective May 29.

St. Frances Xavier Cabrini Church was among dozens closed in a 2004 restructuring to address the Archdiocese of Boston's debt. But a group of parishioners has been holding a nonstop vigil inside the church ever since.

The archdiocese gave the group a March 9 deadline to leave. When parishioners refused, it took them to court.

Spokespeople for the archdiocese and the protest group did not immediately comment.