BOSTON – Parishioners of a long-closed Catholic church south of Boston have lost their appeal of a ruling ordering them to end their 11-year, 24/7 vigil inside the building.
The Massachusetts Appeals Court affirmed a judge's ruling Wednesday that parishioners at St. Frances X. Cabrini Church in Scituate are trespassing on property owned by the Archdiocese of Boston.
The archdiocese shuttered the church in 2004 as part of a reorganization effort, and the parishioners have occupied it since. In March, the archdiocese sued to evict them.
In its ruling, the Appeals Court acknowledged the parishioners' "heartfelt beliefs" that they are entitled to remain in the church "as an exercise of their freedom of religion."
But the court agreed with the lower court judge's conclusion that they are trespassing.