.- 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 âthe whiff of ethnic cleansing.â He said if the Church is having financial problems, it should consider selling the Vatican.
âDioceses all over the nation look at the changing demographics and make tough decisions regarding church and school closings, as well as openings. They donât need any lectures from government bureaucrats on what to do. And they certainly donât need to hear the kind of hate speech they heard,â Donohue said.
He added: âThe same city council that wouldnât dream of giving Catholic parents a dime to support school vouchersâwhich would help to keep the schools openâhas the audacity to bash the bishop over something it has no legal or moral ground to stand on.â
Donohue commented on recent reports that city council is reconsidering its resolution.
âSober heads among the Buffalo City Council are now arguing that the use of the term âethnic cleansingâ needs to be dropped from the resolution,â he said. âThat 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.â
Donohue said Franczyk should sit on the task force.
âIf 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,â he added. âThe same rules should apply in reverse, and that is why the resolution should be withdrawn.â