Archdiocese spokesman Maurice Healy says the Catholic Church has done its share over the years to keep Children's Village open. Since 2000, when the center opened, the archdiocese has rented Catholic Charities the land and buildings at a nominal rent of $1, he notes: "We've done everything we can to accommodate that facility." Yet parents still complain that the most important accommodation they're now seeking — a direct line of communication to the archdiocese in order to better understand how they can save Children's Village — isn't forthcoming. Healy says church real-estate officials would like to negotiate directly with Catholic Charities, rather than an independent group of parents. But this stance has put the parents at an impasse. "We really need to have the archdiocese sit at the other side of the table," Parra said.

Glen Park resident Arwa Kaddoura and 2-year-old daughter Maya are among those who stand to be affected by the planned closure of Children's Village in 2010.
Josh Edelson
Glen Park resident Arwa Kaddoura and 2-year-old daughter Maya are among those who stand to be affected by the planned closure of Children's Village in 2010.

Whether that will happen, even with nudging from Daly, remains to be seen. In the meantime, one of Daly's would-be successors, SOMA activist and entertainment commissioner Jim Meko, takes a sour view of church officials' unwillingness to meet with parents. "It's really funny. This comes up right at Christmastime," Meko said. "Goddamn. They are cold-hearted businessmen. There's no getting around that."

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