Stop the deconstruction and demolition of our churches
  • Petitioned Religious, political and community leaders

This petition was delivered to:

Religious, political and community leaders

Stop the deconstruction and demolition of our churches

    1. Elizabeth Kucinich
    2. Petition by

      Elizabeth Kucinich

      Washington, DC

Our sacred places remind us not only of who we are and where we have come from, but are sources of inspiration empowering the potential of what we may become.

Our most vibrant communities have reinvented themselves around the model of the urban village with locally grown food, artistic creativity and sustainable community living. Churches are the anchors of beauty and local history from which such villages emerge. Our sacred buildings are central to community stability and sustainable development. They are architectural manifestations of beauty and hope; sanctuaries of peace in an otherwise chaotic and tumultuous world. Built by our ancestors to last forever, they are legacies of faith, imagination and sacrifice.

The picture which accompanies this petition shows the rubble of what had been St. Catherine’s Church in Cleveland, one of our holy sites desecrated not by war, not by time, but by the indifference of powerful churchmen and developers.  Rising above the ruins of St. Catherine,  an inscription of Love  provokes and challenges our sensibilities   Discovered in the demolition debris was a plaque, once a solemn tribute, now a broken remembrance of parish veterans who put their lives on the line for our nation.  Who now remembers the St. Catherine’s veterans?  The recent destruction of St. Catherine’s represents a heartbreaking tale of what happens when institutional leaders lose their commitment to community.

Many of our churches are priceless and rival the best that Europe has to offer. Yet they are being demolished as though they have no value. When we destroy the sacred, it is an attack on the spirit of a community, which weakens our ability to forge a bright future. This is the moment for clarity and action.

Therefore, We the Undersigned hereby declare that we unite for the purpose of protecting from destruction our sacred sites, including historically and architecturally significant churches, synagogues, mosques, shrines and temples.   We actively seek the co-operation of religious, political and community leaders who share a dedication to saving sacred sites.   We commit to organizing at community, city and national levels for the cause of preservation, transformation and ongoing productive use of structures which have embodied sacred traditions and holy uses.

WE ASK that religious and political leaders engage in a new process of landmarking of sacred sites to protect their interiors, exteriors and windows from deconstruction and demolition and working together to look anew at the purpose of church so that we may all experience and benefit from the divine expressed in the architecture and beauty of these places.

We ask that you open your eyes to the extraordinary beauty, craftsmanship, history and heart that are built into these sacred places. Decades and even centuries of worship and community memory are embedded within these structures.

Recent signatures


    1. Preservation effort rises out of Cleveland church closings

      Elizabeth Kucinich
      Petition Organizer

      Today WKYC aired a news story following a press conference given by Bishop Lennon of the Cleveland Catholic Diocese. In the story they interview Elizabeth Kucinich outside the beautiful closed church, Saint James, of Lakewood, Ohio (see photo) and feature the SANCTUS campaign.

    2. Cleveland Community to Gather at St Barbara's Church today, Sunday at 3pm

      Elizabeth Kucinich
      Petition Organizer

      Thank you for signing this petition. Daily, more and more churches are closed and go into disrepair but the work to save them continues and the strength of the movement builds. Parishioners of the closed church of Saint James in Lakewood Ohio gathered today and petition signatures were gathered.

      Today, Sunday, people will gather at the closed church of Saint Barbara's (1505 Denison, at the end of the Jenning's Freeway I-176 exit), Cleveland, in celebration of Saint Barbara's Feast Day, focusing attention on their work to recover and return the church to the community.

      Please join them if you can and encourage those there to sign this petition. So far 150 people have signed this petition. I am hopeful you can help to gather and build support.

      Please also circulate this petition among your friends and family and all the concerned with saving our sacred heritage.

      Thank you,

      Elizabeth K.

    3. Reached 100 signatures


    Reasons for signing

    • Alyson Irvin NASHVILLE, TN
      • over 2 years ago

      I think the sacred places of a people should be protected. Be they a stream or forest, or a rock or a church, from you unholy, Satanic money worshippers.

    • Corby Smith MANSFIELD, OH
      • over 2 years ago

      Because we need more local control and ways of growing our communities and building the world we would like to see.

      • over 2 years ago

      I strongly believe in the efforts and would hate to see the relics lost. I agree with the statement that many people built these churches and a small part should live on for future generations to see.

    • Robert Sefcek LAKEWOOD, OH
      • over 2 years ago

      The majority of these churches were built by people who had recently come (within a generation or two) to this country looking for a better life. They put everything they had into these, time, labor etc.

      These churches were the cornerstone of their communities and the congregation took great pride in what they had built.

      I recently lost my grade school and it's adjoined church to a CVS. It's sad to think that developers and church hierarchy seem to care less about those who have come before them. We were able to save St. Colman's but what about St. James and many others.

      I'm not even Catholic but my wife and her family are and it really irks me that these great churches may be destroyed for no good reason.

    • Deborah Stark DORCHESTER, MA
      • over 2 years ago

      These churches and the exquisite artwork within are irreplaceable. We will never see their like again should we let them go now. I personally think a lot of people would be willing to volunteer their time in the service of caring for these buildings and their contents. Elizabeth Kucinich is an an extraordinary person for bringing this situation to the American public's attention. I support this effort 100%.


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