Discrimination | Massachusetts | News | Religion

Catholic Diocese Blocks Estate Sale Over Gay Marriage Panic: VIDEO


Alain Beret and his partner Jim recently put in a $1 million offer on a Worcester, Massachusetts, home and land being sold by the local Catholic Diocese. They hoped to renovate the historic location and then rent it out for weddings and other memorable occasions.

Things seemed all well and good until, seemingly out of the blue, the Diocese canceled the sale. Later, while reviewing the paper work, Beret noticed an emailed accidentally forwarded by Monsignor Thomas Sullivan that ordered the realtor to put the kibosh on the sale lest the venue be used for same-sex marriages.

"Because of the potentiality of gay marriages there….we are not interested in going forward with these buyers," reads the memo obstained by CBS Boston. "I think they’re shaky anyway. So, just tell them that we will not accept their revised plan and the Diocese is making new plans for the property. You find the language."

Though the church rejected another, higher offer made by Beret, a lawyer, he says he will continue his efforts, "I have lived almost 60 years quietly in the mainstream, and I would like to continue that, but I will not do that at the expense of my dignity." He also may file a lawsuit.

"This is a state centered transaction, this is not a Church transaction, this is not a theological discussion, it’s nothing more than that. I believe the Church has engaged in an activity that may be illegal in Massachusetts," he said.

Watch video of the CBS Boston report AFTER THE JUMP.

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  1. I wouldn't be buying Anthony from the hierarchy/diocese.

    Posted by: David R. | Jul 26, 2012 7:56:51 PM

  2. "anything" not Anthony. :-)

    Posted by: David R. | Jul 26, 2012 7:57:12 PM

  3. Thou shalt not bear false witness... you find the language.

    Posted by: God | Jul 26, 2012 8:04:13 PM

  4. They were selling the damn property. So they really had nothing to say about what happened with it. Even then, worrying about gay marriages there is beyond silly.

    Well, at least they weren't going to rape children there...oh wait...

    Posted by: Steve | Jul 26, 2012 8:05:27 PM

  5. I really don't think the Catholic Church wants to pick a fight with a gay Massachusetts lawyer.

    Posted by: pete cat | Jul 26, 2012 8:17:04 PM

  6. They should go piss on the grave of the dead catholic who left the house to the church, hoping it would secure his place in heaven

    Posted by: Bob | Jul 26, 2012 8:18:51 PM

  7. Sorry, unless they are alleging breach of contract, I just don't see the benefit of trying to force them to sell their property to someone they don't want to. It would just reinforce the burgeoning meme that gay rights lead to the diminished religious rights of others, and quash gay rights from advancing federally and the majority of states that do not have them.

    Posted by: Luke | Jul 26, 2012 8:29:36 PM

  8. I don't know, it seems to me that knowing your wanting something from the church folk, I don't think telling them I want to buy this place from you so I can have gay weddings here, is exactly the approach I would have taken.

    I would have been the most lilly white, hetrosexual, always wanted to be catholic, married man they could ever pray to God for. . . .

    I would of got the best possible deal, I would of got the papers signed, and I'd be doing whatever I wanted with my property!

    And if that bothered the church folk . . . hey! It's good to smile! ;)

    Posted by: Steve Pardue | Jul 26, 2012 8:58:54 PM

  9. Effing religion
    I say run them through the mud, tell everyone.

    Posted by: GeorgeM | Jul 26, 2012 9:06:02 PM

  10. Heaven forefend that there should be inter-racial marriages, too, at this merely physical property that the Roman Catholics cherish so much that they're selling the God damned piece of realty. Should we incorporate that age old "Gentleman's Agreement," too, that none of those Israelites will step foot on this Holy Ground that the Holy Roman Catholic Church wants to sell simply to further fill their overflowing coffers? The gut wrenching hypocrisy is nauseating, and worse than that, few if any Roman Catholics will tell their male dominated, tainted with girl and boy rape abuse, Hierarchy to back off, take the damned money and refrain from making a simple real estate deal another opportunity for hateful Catholic men to poke the LGBT community in the eye with a Catholic Bishop's Scepter.

    Posted by: Tom Cardellino | Jul 26, 2012 9:09:34 PM

  11. Guaranteed this property will now sit vacant and become an eyesore in that neighborhood.

    Posted by: FRED | Jul 26, 2012 9:21:16 PM

  12. It seems to me that if you own a property and you don't want to sell it to someone because of a future use they may make of that property, thats your right.

    Posted by: andrew | Jul 26, 2012 9:28:00 PM

  13. It's just a building, bricks and mortar. The church doesn't need it anymore, not suprisingly of course. Is this church being sold off because the doicese needs to raise cash for lawsuit settlements, or maybe because of the overall decline in membership in the catholic church because they are losing people disatisfied with the church's actions lately? Both would be ironic.

    The catholic church should know (because it's in their bible) that a church is just a building. God doesn't want or need ornate shrines built in his/her honor to worship in. So, really I don't think he cares what happens to it. Period.

    They should really be using the money to help the poor, you know, the people God really wants us to worry about. It shouldn't be sent to the vatican to support Catholic Incorporated.

    Posted by: FRED | Jul 26, 2012 9:31:55 PM

  14. Probably too many ghosts of abused little boys anyway. Let the devil have it.

    Posted by: StevyD | Jul 26, 2012 9:35:17 PM

  15. Parishoners: you've done it before; you'll get to do it again. Get ready for an extra passings of offering plates to pay for the latest illegal act by the church.

    Anyone remember "restrictive covenants"?

    Posted by: Marco Luxe | Jul 26, 2012 9:36:27 PM

  16. "..may be illegal." ??? I have my real estate license - believe me, it IS illegal. Damn the Catholic Church. Pure hatred and evil through and through....

    Posted by: Tre | Jul 26, 2012 9:38:25 PM

  17. True point Andrew, however most sellers are looking for a quick fix for financial gain. I suspect, based on the recent history of the Catholic Church in Mass. that they need to dissolve this asset quickly. Being from the Detroit area, where so many Catholic churches have been abandoned and sold (usually for use as a off beat protestant church) I find it odd that they care so much about a property that was never really considered "hole ground" to begin with. Sounds more like some plebe trying to fight a mythological battle. Geesh

    Posted by: scotty | Jul 26, 2012 9:43:59 PM

  18. It shouldn't be that difficult to find some kids who were raped by the clergy in that diocese. Really, where hasn't it happened? Those victims should then sue their asses into infinity so that they are forced to sell diocese assets to pay for all their raping of children.

    Posted by: boone68 | Jul 26, 2012 10:03:31 PM

  19. The Religious Wrong appear to be getting crazier and crazier.

    Posted by: PLAINTOM | Jul 26, 2012 10:38:42 PM

  20. "It would just reinforce the burgeoning meme that gay rights lead to the diminished religious rights of others"

    Please point me to the religious freedom right that says you can refuse to sell your property because the future owners might conduct religious ceremonies you don't like.

    Posted by: BobN | Jul 26, 2012 10:50:10 PM

  21. "It would just reinforce the burgeoning meme that gay rights lead to the diminished religious rights of others"

    Please point me to the religious freedom right that says you can refuse to sell your property because the future owners might conduct religious ceremonies you don't like.

    Posted by: BobN | Jul 26, 2012 10:50:16 PM

  22. Oh, I wish I had a spare million or two and enough friends who would go along with forming a fake Satanic coven.

    Posted by: BobN | Jul 26, 2012 10:51:21 PM

  23. This is a commercial transaction, nothing more. How is this different from a seller, ANY seller, refusing to sell to someone of a certain race or religion?

    Posted by: Caliban | Jul 26, 2012 10:57:14 PM

  24. Well, Luke, if there is backlash that comes as a result of this story, quite frankly, we can handle it. But we cannot simply allow these religious bigots stomp on us and treat us like lepers anymore. And if a lawsuit is available here, I hope Alain and Jim go all in.

    Posted by: Francis | Jul 26, 2012 11:40:16 PM

  25. I have seen catholic churches sold and used by other religions. Some of these religions have beliefs that catholics are against, so what is the difference here? I always thought they spouted the love the sinner not the sin mantra? Also, aren't they judging others with this position? I thought they weren't supposed to do that??

    Posted by: FRED | Jul 26, 2012 11:50:00 PM

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