Letters: Response to Catholic school closings

Posted: January 12, 2012

UPON SEEING the closing and merging of many schools by the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, one has to wonder why this is being done and what could have stopped it.

With the emergence of the charter schools throughout the city, declining enrollment was to be expected and, of course, increased tuition is always a factor. One factor not brought up by the blue-ribbon commission is the refusal of the Catholic Church to help their own. Growing up Catholic all my life has allowed me to see the church and its vast array of charitable efforts throughout the world.

The Catholic Church, much like the federal government, has deemed this country the money supplier of the world. Both the church and the government have refused to downgrade their efforts to save money.

There is never a week that goes by in my church where the parishioners aren't asked to pay for or donate money to some endeavor. That money is most always sent out of the parish. The Archdiocese has closed or is closing many high schools, but yet they build a new high school in Montgomery County, Pope John Paul II. They build a new school, with higher tuition, to serve the people of Montgomery County. Why?

The money for that new construction could have, should have, gone to the promotion and improvement of the existing high schools.

Finally, the church, like the government, needs to help its own. Take care of those who take care of you, and stop putting the burden of the world on our shoulders.

James Crown

Cardinal Dougherty (now closed), '88

Philadelphia

I'm not really surprised by the announcement of more Catholic schools' closing. Molesting priests is why parents are afraid to enroll their children in Catholic school, for fear that their child is likely to be molested by a priest who abused his position. God is angry at them; punishment is waiting for them in hell.

Robert F. Schaffer

Philadelphia

Is it me, or is anyone else outraged at the makeup of the Archdiocese's "blue-ribbon commission"?

It's bad enough that there was more than a 2:1 ratio of men (11 men to five women) ... after all, as a 54-year-old Catholic woman I'm used to that kind of discrimination from the hierarchy of my church.

The number that made me totally ballistic is one ... only one member of the 16-member commission was a lay woman! Our voice warranted only 6 percent representation on the commission? The misogyny of this is appalling!

Not that I disregard the input of the four nuns or 11 men on the board, but the fact that the Archdiocese could put together what it calls a "blue-ribbon" commission and think it reasonable that only one of the 16 members represent the experiences of its lay female population is insulting.

The misogyny of this is glaring and despicable! Not only is this yet another blatant discriminatory act of disrespect to lay Catholic women, but it is a bad business decision when considering the future of Catholic education in the area!

Lay Catholic females not only represent a large portion of the Archdiocese's population, we also are a huge percentage of decision-makers when it comes to being consumers of Catholic education.

Those of us who are mothers make up a majority of the Archdiocese's customers. Yet, they thought it acceptable to provide only a 6 percent voice to us on their commission.

This begs the question: What consideration was given to the unique perspective that lay female Catholics have (from the perspective of members of the faith community as well as the consumer base) in the commission's findings?

Gerri Chaudrue

Warminster

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