Pagan sect fights town for religious property status
Landmark court battle looms over recognition of the Maetreum of Cybele
By Colin DeVries
Saturday, June 26, 2010
CATSKILL — After four long years of being denied religious property status, a landmark court battle over a cloister of pagan witches is brewing.
The Maetreum of Cybele, Magna Mater, a faction of matriarchal priestesses living in a historic Palenville inn, has filed suit against the Town of Catskill after being denied a religious property tax exemption on their three-acre parcel along Route 23A.
The property has been denied the exemption since 2007, though the Maetreum — which was federally recognized by the IRS as a tax-exempt 501(c)(3) religious organization — was granted the exemption on 2006. the rest