Shrine of Christ the King Chicago church discontinues Mass, raising concerns for future of landmark

Catholic churches Chicago: Archdiocese asked that Latin Mass citywide follow Pope Francis' recent decree

Sun-Times Media Wire
Wednesday, August 3, 2022
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After the Archdiocese of Chicago asked churches to follow a recent decree from Pope Francis on Latin Masses, a Woodlawn church decided to stop offering services, the archdiocese sa

CHICAGO -- After the Archdiocese of Chicago asked churches to follow a recent decree from Pope Francis on Latin Masses, a Woodlawn church decided to stop offering services, the archdiocese said.

In January, Cardinal Blase Cupich sent instructions to parishes and shrines for continuation of the Latin Mass in a manner consistent with the decree of Pope Francis, Traditionis Custodes, according to the archdiocese. Latin Mass continues in the archdiocese under those instructions.

"On July 31, the Shrine of Christ the King communicated to the archdiocese that they would stop offering Mass and other sacraments at the Shrine. It was their choice to do so," the archdiocese said in a statement Wednesday.

Mass and other sacraments at Shrine of Christ the King, 6401 S. Woodlawn Ave., were suspended indefinitely on Monday.

The Institute of Christ the King Church, previously solely celebrated Latin Mass.

Jennifer Blackman is a member of the Coalition to Save the Shrine - a nonprofit organization aiming to restore the church.

The Coalition to Save the Shrine formed in January 2016.

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Fire damage was repaired, and additional safety features were added in recent years, with help from more than $3 million raised by the church's congregation and Save the Shrine, the organization said.

The Archdiocese deeded the church's property to the Institute of Christ the King in 2016, but Save the Shrine said it continues to monitor the status of the deed because it includes an option for the property to revert to the Archdiocese.

The building was landmarked in 2003 as St. Gelasius. It was constructed in 1927 as St. Clara Church.

Blackman said representatives from Coalition to Save the Shrine will speak in support of preserving the building at Thursday's Commission on Chicago Landmarks meeting.

ABC7 Chicago contributed to this report.

(Source: Sun-Times Media Wire - Copyright Chicago Sun-Times 2022.)