February 11, 2018 11:05 PM
After much debate and despite a lawsuit aiming to preserve the 120-year-old building following a fire, church officials say they will move forward with plans to build a new Church of St. Mary in Melrose.
Arson investigators say the parish's church was intentionally set on fire two years ago.
Since then, a debate on whether to restore the old church or build a new one divided the small town.
On Sunday, church leaders unveiled to parishioners plans to build a new $8 million church near the current one, after the archdiocese told the parish the building couldn't be saved.
"It's tough to have parishioners at odds with each other, but I can certainly understand why there are those who want to retain the historic buildings," parishioner Joan Meyer said.
A group of parishioners sued the church and the Archdiocese of Saint Cloud in an effort to stop St. Mary's from being demolished. The case remains pending.
It's still unclear what will happen to the old church.
Since the fire, parishioners at St. Mary's have been holding worship services in a nearby gym.
No arrests have been made in arson case.
Updated: February 11, 2018 11:05 PM
Created: February 11, 2018 08:02 PM
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