Editorial: It's a sin

Chan­ging demo­graph­ics, de­clin­ing en­roll­ments, tightened house­hold budgets, a tough eco­nomy and the ad­vent of charter schools aren’t the only factors that led to last week’s heart-wrench­ing an­nounce­ment by the Arch­diocese of Phil­adelphia that it will close 45 area ele­ment­ary schools and five area high schools — in­clud­ing St. Hubert — after the cur­rent semester ends in June.

The news is dev­ast­at­ing, re­gret­table and shock­ing, but it ought not be ter­ribly sur­pris­ing to any­body brave enough to ac­know­ledge real­ity.

For Cath­ol­ics and non-Cath­ol­ics alike, the hand­writ­ing was prob­ably on the wall long be­fore Car­din­al Dougherty and North­east Cath­ol­ic high schools closed two years ago and a hand­ful of ele­ment­ary schools shut down a few years be­fore that.

The be­gin­ning of the fin­an­cial woes fa­cing the arch­diocese can be traced back dec­ades, when priests began be­hav­ing badly.

Had it not been for the sins of the Ro­man Cath­ol­ic Church’s per­ver­ted fath­ers, the many mil­lions of dol­lars that the arch­diocese has paid in set­tle­ments to ab­use vic­tims, their law­yers and the arch­diocese’s own law­yers surely could have been used to keep some, if not all, of the tar­geted schools open — at least for sev­er­al years, long enough to phase out the schools and al­low stu­dents to com­plete their edu­ca­tion at those schools without suf­fer­ing the trauma of trans­fer­ring to oth­er in­sti­tu­tions.

To those Cath­ol­ics who have ever looked the oth­er way or oth­er­wise failed to no­ti­fy po­lice when they were made aware that their friendly neigh­bor­hood par­ish priest was mo­lest­ing kids, you have nobody to blame but yourselves.

Your si­lence was deaf­en­ing, and it is partly the reas­on so many good, de­cent people who cher­ish the value of a Cath­ol­ic edu­ca­tion will have to find an­oth­er school next fall. ••

Send let­ters to: pronews@bsmphilly.com

You can reach at staff@bsmphilly.com.

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