Former parishioners at a nearly 120-year-old Roman Catholic church in western Pennsylvania are trying to stop its demolition after it was closed in 2012.

The Beaver County Times reported Thursday that an online petition launched Christmas Day to save St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Beaver Falls drew more than 370 names the first week.

Church officials said Bishop David Zubik of the Pittsburgh diocese last year gave the St. Monica Parish permission to demolish the building because it was deemed too expensive to repair.

Beaver Falls City Manager Stephen Johnson said city officials aren’t happy about the decision, but can’t stop it.

The petition’s author, Tom Soltes, said he sees the church as part of the city’s history.


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