News Briefing
Nov 27, 2013 | 596 views | 0 0 comments | 28 28 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Church gets another reprieve

Commonwealth Court last week temporarily blocked the demolition of an old Catholic Church formally owned by AIDS agency Siloam.

In an eight-page opinion released Nov. 21, the court remanded the matter back to local officials, noting that ownership of the church has changed hands.

The current owners, John Wei and Mika He, purchased the church from Siloam in July 2012. They had no comment for this story.

The church, at 1133 Spring Garden St., has ties to saints Katharine Drexel and John Neumann.

Neighborhood activist Andrew R. Palewski, who wants the church preserved, expressed guarded optimism about the court’s ruling.

Andrew Ross, an attorney for the city, said it’s unclear if Wei and He will continue to seek the church’s demolition.

“If they do, somebody [on the local level] will have to sort out what to do,” Ross told PGN.

The church has code violations dating back to 2009. Siloam continues to operate in an old Catholic rectory adjacent to the church.

Ross said city inspectors will visit the church in the near future.

“If there’s a possibility of public harm, then we’ll take whatever action we think is appropriate to protect the safety of the public,” Ross said.

Couple weds in New Jersey

Kristine Holt and Elizabeth DeLaney were married Oct. 26 in New Jersey,

five days after that state enacted marriage equality.

“Our wedding cake said ‘Third Time’s the Charm,’” Holt noted. “In 2006, we

registered as domestic partners. In 2010, we had a civil-union ceremony. Now

we’re legally married. It’s real!”

Monroe Township (Gloucester County) Mayor Michael Gabbianelli performed the

ceremony inside the township’s municipal complex, Holt said.

Holt, 57, is an attorney specializing in bankruptcy and family matters. DeLaney, 48, is a restaurateur. She owns The Lone Dawg Cafe in Voorhees, N.J.

The couple, together for 14 years, lives on a farm in Williamstown, N.J.

— Timothy Cwiek Conversation about equality

Greene Street Friends School invites the community and allies to a public forum on the state’s ban on same-sex marriage.

The event will take place at 7 p.m. Dec. 5 at the school, 45 W. School House Lane.

The conversation will include remarks from three of the plaintiffs involved in the American Civil Liberties Union lawsuit challenging the ban who are also part of the GSFS community; one is the grandmother of a current student and two are parents of an alumna. The plaintiffs will be joined by Molly Tack-Hooper of the ACLU.

“One of our missions at Greene Street Friends School is to welcome people of all backgrounds into our school,” said Ed Marshall, head of school for GSFS. “When we realized there were members of our own community involved in this case, we thought this would be a wonderful opportunity to show our support, while at the same time help others in the community to better understand the impact of DOMA on gay and lesbian families in Pennsylvania.”

— Jen Colletta

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