Archbishop Chaput: Catholic school crisis shows need for vouchers
A teacher instructs his students. Credit: Goodshoot via Getty Images
A teacher instructs his students. Credit: Goodshoot via Getty Images
Facebook Twitter Google+ Pinterest Addthis

.- The “unique value” of Catholic education in Philadelphia is being threatened by a shortage of resources, and Pennsylvania Catholics should encourage their legislators to create vouchers to sustain them, Archbishop Charles J. Chaput says.

“We can honor Catholic Schools Week this year by actually doing something about the fiscal problems hurting our schools. We need to press our lawmakers, respectfully but vigorously, to pass school choice,” the archbishop wrote in his Jan. 26 Catholic Standard & Times column.

“If nothing else, the crisis of Philadelphia's Catholic schools is an unpleasant but finally very healthy wake up call. The bill for our failure to pass school choice over the past decade has come due. Now we're paying for it,” the archbishop said.

The Archdiocese of Philadelphia has announced the closure of four of its 17 Catholic high schools and 44 of its 156 regional or elementary schools. The action will displace as many as 24,000 students.

The archbishop praised the “long record of dedicated service” compiled by Catholic school teachers and administrators.

“Today, scores of our pastors make extraordinary commitments of parish funds to keep our schools open and excellent,” he continued.

But schools run on resources, he said, “not simply good will and heroic service.”

“The resources simply don't exist. Many of our parishes are financially strained. The archdiocese itself faces serious financial and organizational challenges that have been developing for many years and cannot be ignored.”

Vouchers, he said, give parents the power to choose the schools for their children. They make all schools more accountable, and would assist “many more families” than only the poor.

If approved, vouchers will free up Educational Improvement Tax Credit funds and other grant and scholarship monies for “many thousands of other school families.” They could provide “millions of dollars” of additional resources for many families, including Catholic school families.

Archbishop Chaput lamented the failure of vouchers in the Pennsylvania legislature in 2011, which he attributed to “too few people in the pews” listening.

“Very few Catholics called or wrote their state senators and representatives. Even fewer visited their offices to lobby as citizens,” the archbishop reported.

Though the legislation passed in the state Senate, it failed in the House.

“If we Philadelphia Catholics love our Catholic schools, and we obviously do, then the time to get active and focused is now,” Archbishop Chaput said.

He announced that he will be writing every state senator and representative in his archdiocese’s territory to ask them to support school vouchers.

“And I’ll continue doing it until vouchers pass.”

The archbishop encouraged Catholics, including his fellow bishops and pastors, to do the same.

Ads by AdsLiveMedia(What's this?)

* The number of messages that can be online is limited. CNA reserves the right to edit messages for content and tone. Comments and opinions expressed by users do not necessarily reflect the opinions or beliefs of CNA. CNA will not publish comments with abusive language, insults or links to other pages


Ads by Google (What's this?)
Ads by Google

Featured Videos

Cardinal Luis Tagle to Pope Francis
Cardinal Luis Tagle to Pope Francis
Pope Francis in the Philippines: Manila Welcomes the Pope
Pope Francis in Sri Lanka: Highlights
Pope Francis in Sri Lanka: Interview with Cardinal Ranjith
Pope Francis in SriLanka: Inter-religious Faith Meeting
Little Sisters of the Poor press conference in Denver
Family thrilled to see Pope Francis in Istanbul
Syrian Refugee, Sara, 14, Before Meeting Pope
Ebola orphans thousands of children in West Africa
One year after Haiyan: Philippines rebuilds homes, lives
An Indian contribution to the Vatican's Synod on the Family
Christ Cathedral CNA video Sept 2014
Alejandro Bermudez of CNA accepts ice bucket challenge
'The Real Albania,' remembering those who fled
Pope Francis in Albania, "one of the most important visits of the post-communist era in Albania"
Pope Francis greets paralyzed man who risked all to see him
Franciscans on the banks of the Tiber in Rome, working for the New Evangelization
Pilgrimage from Czech Republic to Assisi and Rome for intentions
Testimony of young Indian who met Pope in Korea
Preparations of the Closing Mass of 6th Asian Youth Day

Catholic Daily

Gospel of the Day

Mk 4:1-20


Daily Readings

Saint of the Day

St. Romuald »


Homily of the Day

Mk 4:1-20