Damaged St. Paul's church will be demolished

PASS CHRISTIAN, MS (WLOX) - PASS CHRISTIAN, MS (WLOX) – Parishioners fought to save their waterfront church in Pass Christian. But Tuesday, the Catholic Diocese of Biloxi released a statement saying St. Paul's church building will be demolished. And WLOX News has learned the plan is to complete the demolition by mid-September, assuming the necessary permits can be obtained.

St. Paul's was heavily damaged by Hurricane Katrina. And according to Father Dennis Carver, the pastor of Holy Family Parish, refurbishing the existing structure wasn't possible because of the structural problems noted by engineers.

That didn't sit well with many of the church's members. More than 100 people filed a lawsuit against the church, claiming the members had rights to the church property. That suit went to the Mississippi Supreme Court, where justices ruled, "Plaintiffs have no legally enforceable interest in the St. Paul property, and lack standing to assert a resulting trust, as well."

In the news release, Bishop Roger Morin says it remains the intention of parish and diocesan officials to see if funds can be raised to build a 100 seat chapel on the Scenic Drive property. However, that chapel won't be constructed until the new Holy Family Parish is built in Pass Christian. And that construction project hasn't started yet.

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