Buffalo City Council should withdraw a resolution it passed last week, criticizing the decision of the Diocese of Buffalo to close some schools and churches, said Catholic League president Bill Donohue.
In response to the closures, Council President David A. Franczyk had charged that some neighborhoods were being abandoned, giving off “the whiff of ethnic cleansing.” He said if the Church is having financial problems, it should consider selling the Vatican.
“Dioceses all over the nation look at the changing demographics and make tough decisions regarding church and school closings, as well as openings. They don’t need any lectures from government bureaucrats on what to do. And they certainly don’t need to hear the kind of hate speech they heard,” Donohue said.
He added: “The same city council that wouldn’t dream of giving Catholic parents a dime to support school vouchers—which would help to keep the schools open—has the audacity to bash the bishop over something it has no legal or moral ground to stand on.”
Donohue commented on recent reports that city council is reconsidering its resolution.
“Sober heads among the Buffalo City Council are now arguing that the use of the term ‘ethnic cleansing’ needs to be dropped from the resolution,” he said. “That is the bare minimum that needs to be done. A better way to handle this mess is to withdraw the resolution altogether and appoint a task force to sit down with diocesan officials to discuss their concerns.”
Donohue said Franczyk should sit on the task force.
“If the leader of any religious body in Buffalo were to bash the city council for not providing sufficient funding for local schools, he would be blasted for using intemperate language and for crossing church and state lines,” he added. “The same rules should apply in reverse, and that is why the resolution should be withdrawn.”