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Tuesday, October 25, 2016
Cardinal petitioned as nuns plan old people's home closure
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¬†Relatives of residents at an Essex old people's home run by Franciscan nuns, presented a 2,500-name petition to Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O'Connor last Tuesday, asking for him to save it from closure. The sisters announced that St Francis home in Braintree, Essex will have to close next June. and all residents - including one aged 101 - will have to leave by January next year. Speaking on behalf of the sisters, Stephen Wallis, said the average age of the sisters was 76, and they did not have enough staff to carry on running the home. He said: "The community, which is a charity, has had over the past several years been running very large losses which have to be supported from funds of the charity. The nuns are not vacating Braintree and running off. It is unfortunate that they just cannot go on any longer." But Noel Riley, vice-chair of the home's appeals committee complained that they had not had a chance to discuss plans with the sisters. She said: "In about 20 years, £1m has been raised for the home. We are not happy for the home to be sold, probably to a property developer and the money we have raised just to be subsumed into something else. "We have raised that money for the nursing home and not for the convent funds. We feel they are dumping their moral responsibility and that is why we feel so sore about it." A spokesman for Cardinal Murphy-O'Connor said: "According to Canon Law, the Cardinal has no jurisdiction over the day-to-day running of the religious orders in England and Wales. The Cardinal hopes that there will be a satisfactory outcome that will benefit all the parties concerned, as soon as possible."
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