We knew the Catholic Church was sneaky, but we never thought that a cardinal would stoop this low! Cardinal Egan had a meeting with the priest at Our Lady of Vilnius Church yesterday, only to take the opportunity to lock the church while the priest was gone! The Post reports that security guards were dispatched to lock the doors, leaving parishioners to cry when they found a closed church and no mass.

Parishioners held a vigil last night to protest the closing, and Save Our Lady of Vilnius posted video. The impending close of the church, located at Dominick Street near the Holland Tunnel, was announced last month, but no date had been set. Archdiocese of New York's statement, though, explains:

Sunday and Holy Day Masses were regularly attended by six to thirty persons. They were in English, inasmuch as the priest serving the parish for many years does not understand, read, or speak Lithuanian. There have been virtually no weddings or funerals in the church for years. Moreover, persons wishing to participate in Mass and parish activities in Lithuanian are informed of Lithuanian parishes in the neighboring Diocese of Brooklyn and Archdiocese of Newark.

It's a difficult situation - parishes are dwindling, but there are still faithful followers who don't want to commute even longer to a service. This follows the passionate outcry over the closing of an East Harlem church a few weeks ago.