Archbishop Timothy Dolan facing schism over New York Catholic Schools closings

In a last-ditch effort to save closing  Catholic schools, religious leaders are sending an impassioned letter to Archbishop Timothy Dolan to condemn his plan to restructure the parochial school system. The letter, from the South Bronx Vicar Josu Iriondo on behalf of the principals and pastors at 13 parishes, charges that the Archdiocese of New York is going against its mission to serve poor communities. “This is a really big deal because you have this group of  . . . people supposed to be obedient to the archbishop saying, ‘We don’t agree with you,’ ” said Michael Brady, board member of the storied St. Augustine elementary school which is set to shutter next week. “These are people the archbishop should be listening to.” The religious leaders want to reclaim their schools by involving families and creating local funding programs. “It’s an ambitious project to try and say, ‘What if we do it on the local level,’ ” said Nelson Belizario, pastor of   St. Simon Stock Church, adding that it’s clear they can no longer rely on outside financial help. St. Augustine Principal Cathryn Trapp said the church needs to listen to the teachers and priests on the “front lines.” “We may be poor in terms of money,” she said, “but we are not poor in terms of intellect and passion and commitment.” The archdiocese is closing 27 schools, including 13 in the city. Dolan’s plan will divide the remaining schools by region overseen by separate committees instead of parishes. A… [Read full story]

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