WORCESTER – Longtime Mount Carmel Church parishioner Anthony Petrone, who has also, for more than two decades, overseen the operation of the Joe DiMaggio Little League, which is located on the church property, said today that he, along with the Mount Carmel Preservation Society has formally asked the state for help with the controversy surrounding the church.

The Mount Carmel Preservation Society has formally asked Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey, as well as the state’s Division of Capital Asset Management and Maintenance (DCAM) to look into the Worcester Diocese’s attempts to demolish the church and the baseball field and sell the property.

The Mount Carmel Preservation Society will formally announce it plans to include the AG’s office and DCAM in a 6p.m. news conference today in front of the church.

“We’re asking the Attorney General and DCAM to step up and step in and launch a full investigation into what’s going on with the church and the property,” said Petrone, who is a member of the Mount Carmel Preservation Society. “Our goal is for the state to put an injunction on the diocese in court prohibiting anything be done to the property until this matter can be fully investigated.”

The Mount Carmel Preservation Society, Petrone said, is awaiting decisions on two open appeals it has with the Vatican’s highest court.

Petrone, who had a title exam conducted on behalf of the Joe DiMaggio Little League, recently said the Mount Carmel Preservation Society didn’t want to wait any longer for responses to its pending appeals, so last week the group hired attorney Robert White. After reviewing all the available information and background on the issue, White, Petrone said, has sent letters to the Attorney General’s office and DCAM urging an official and thorough investigation.

“The title exam revealed a deed restriction that stated that if the property was not being used for religious, educational or recreational purposes the property reverts back to the state,” said Worcester City Councilor Moe Bergman. “Obviously that deed restriction is being viewed differently by the two sides. The Mount Carmel Preservation Society thinks it applies while the diocese does not.”

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