The Catholic Archdiocese Dioecese of Melbourne has sought to allay fears that Elaine’s St Patrick’s Church in Melton in suburban Melbourne could be used as an alternative worship centre, reports the Melton and Moorabool Weekly.
The building was purchased by an anonymous buyer at auction last month after the Archdiocese decided to wind up the congregation.
Parishioner Shane Dunne said residents wanted 'straight answers' from the Archdiocese as to whether the 106-year-old church on the Midland Highway could be used for other purposes. There has been speculation the church was bought by a self-proclaimed bishop wanting to run an alternative worship centre.
'He’s on record saying if the church was to ever come on the market he’d buy it, and we have reason to believe a financial backer has bought it for him,' Mr Dunne said.
The Communications Director of the Catholic Archdiocese of Melbourne, James O’Farrell, said the purchaser had confirmed they would obey the contract of sale. 'Under the terms of the contract . . . the property cannot be used by the purchaser for worship or other activities promoted or defined as Roman Catholic or Catholic without the express ecclesiastical approval of the church.’
Mr O’Farrell also said the building could not be used for ‘any purpose significantly contrary’ to the teachings of the church.