MELROSE. (AP)  Opinions are divided over whether a Catholic church built in 1898 in central Minnesota should be restored or rebuilt after an arson fire torched the interior.

Reports say that the Church of St. Mary in Melrose has been empty for 18 months since an arson fire heavily damaged the inside of the building.

The diocesan building commission didn't approve the parish council's plan to rebuild the church. Instead it recommended building a new church. The diocese says the old church has many problems, including not being up to code, a lack of gathering space and accessibility issues.

A group of parishioners created a nonprofit called Friends to Restore St. Mary's. They plan to file a lawsuit against the diocese and St. Cloud Bishop Donald Kettler to stop the church from being demolished