Loading
Philadelphia archbishop recognizes school closing grief, urges charity
Archbishop Charles J. Chaput
Archbishop Charles J. Chaput
Facebook Twitter Google+ Pinterest Addthis

.- The announcement that dozens Philadelphia Catholic schools might close has caused “confusion, anger and grief,” Archbishop Charles J. Chaput acknowledged on Jan. 12, as he asked people to react with Christian charity.

“It's useful to wonder how many of our schools might have been saved if, over the last decade, Catholics had fought for vouchers as loudly and vigorously as they now grieve about school closings,” Archbishop Chaput said in his Jan. 12 weekly online column.

Catholics are “discriminated against” because they must pay once for public schools and again for Catholic schools, he noted.

“School choice may not answer every financial challenge in Catholic education; but vouchers would make a decisive difference. They'd help our schools enormously,” he said, characterizing vouchers as “a matter of parental rights and basic justice.”

The closures affect four high schools and 44 elementary schools. They will displace almost 24,000 students, according to media estimates.

Many parents, students and employees have protested the closures.

The archbishop defended the Blue Ribbon Commission which made the recommendations. He stated that its members were “speaking truthfully” about “enrollment and financial realities nobody wants to face.”

“The resource challenges we face in 2012 are much harsher than 40 or 50 years ago when many of us attended Catholic school. No family can run on nostalgia and red ink,” he said.

Archbishop Chaput praised Catholic schools’ work and stressed the need for schools that are “vigorously Catholic” and “academically excellent.”

The “hardest part” of the commission’s deliberations was considering the burdens that many families and teachers will face, the archbishop said. He made assurances that the archdiocese will try to place students and teachers in new positions and assist those who will lose their employment.

He urged Catholics to remember their duty to treat one another with “charity and civility in Jesus Christ.”

Commission members and archdiocesan staff worked “selflessly” on the report and deserve “thanks and respect,” not “the bitter – and unjust – criticism” shown by some parents and students.

Catholic schools exist to form believing Catholic Christians who are people of the Gospel and of justice, mercy and charity, the archbishop said as he brought his column to a close.

“If they produce something less, then we need to ask ourselves whether they deserve to survive.”

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

RESOURCES »

Ads by Google (What's this?)

Featured Videos

An Indian contribution to the Vatican's Synod on the Family
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
Missionary of Charity, Korea
Testimony of Christian Love during Pope's Visit to Korea
Religious Sisters in South Korea react to Pope Francis kissing a baby
Warm atmosphere during Holy Mass at Daejeon World Cup Stadium
Images inside Pope Francis flight to South Korea
The tombs of the early Christians
Missionaries of Africa, called "the White Fathers"
Italian youth give testimony after mission to Peru
Interview with Iraqi Ambassador to the Holy See on the persecution of Christians
New book 'The Vatican unknown'
Oct
31

Liturgical Calendar

October 31, 2014

Friday of the Thirtieth Week in Ordinary Time

All readings:
Today »
This year »

Catholic Daily

Gospel of the Day

Lk 14:1-6

Gospel
Date
10/31/14
10/29/14
10/28/14

Daily Readings


First Reading:: Phil 1: 1-11
Gospel:: Lk 14: 1-6

Saint of the Day

St. Romuald »

Saint
Date
10/31/14

Homily of the Day

Lk 14:1-6

Homily
Date
10/31/14
10/29/14
10/28/14