In a letter to New York’s Cardinal Edward Egan, the organization’s national president, Ned McGinley, called the 1848 structure “unique” and said that is was his “fervent hope” that it be saved.
Local parishioners and conservationists have been fighting a rearguard action to stop the archdiocese’s plan to demolish the church, which was built by and for Famine immigrants.
“In facing the real problems of a shortage of religious and in coping with rising costs and legal actions, too often a course of action is determined by the ‘bottom-line crowd,'” McGinley said in an accompanying statement.
In the letter to the cardinal — signed with New York State president, John Hennessy, the New York County president, A.J. Smith, and the AOH’s national archivist, Michael Cummings — McGinley acknowledged that St. Brigid’s was a valuable asset that could help pay for diocesan programs. But added: “We ask if it possible to consider those needs without destroying a structure for so long associated with the Irish poor?”
The letter continued: “Would you consider our plea and so many others and review the situation again along with all options?”