Battle over St. Anthony Catholic Church demolition to have a resolution this week

TOLEDO, OH (WTOL) - The battle over the demolition of St. Anthony Catholic Church in Central Toledo could have a resolution soon.

Diocese leaders told Toledo Mayor Wade Kapszukiewicz and Congresswoman Marcy Kaptur that they have 48 hours to respond to their proposal.

The proposal involves putting their money where their mouth is on breaking the demolition contract.

Those involved with the Padua Center, behind the church had to evacuate for the demolition.

The Director of the Padua Center, Sister Virginia Welsh said this back and forth is a tad frustrating, especially that it came at the time that it did.

The group moved out of their building and to St. Martin de Porres in preparation for the demolition.

The Center was set to get the land after the demolition and had plans to turn it into a park.

Now, with the Diocese proposal, the Mayor and Congresswoman would get to decide who gets the building, whether it is the Padua Center, the Lucas County Land Bank or the City of Toledo.

Welsh said those at Pauda Center will stay at St. Martin de Porres for the summer. She added that they do not have the money to fund a project within the building, but would like to be part of the conversation.

The Secular Humanists of Western Lake Erie continued their message Tuesday saying they believe this is crossing the line between church and state.

But, city leaders said that the issue at hand is just about the building.

"I think saving an iconic building is something that would benefit the church and I think to resolve what has become something of an unpleasant issue is in the best interest of the Diocese. Clearly they would benefit from this, but the community would benefit also by being able to retain a historic structure and an anchor to the neighborhood," said Mayor Kapszukiewicz.

The Mayor added that they will have a response back to the diocese before Thursday at noon.

He doesn't expect the demolition equipment will be moved before then.

This is a developing story. WTOL 11 will keep you updated on-air and online.

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