As the parent of a "consolidated" student from Cardinal Gibbons, I can't express my anger and hurt over how cruel a blow this is to the boys from that school.
I am frustrated at the callousness of the decision to abandon 300 boys. The archdiocese, putting on its political face, promised these boys options for the upcoming year that aren't really options at all. Of the 10 schools named as "receiver schools," most are either geographically or financially not options. Does the archdiocese feel it has served us well by giving us opportunities to attend schools in Annapolis or Harford County? How about Loyola, with its $17,000 a year tuition?
Are these really viable choices for these boys?
The board of Gibbons presented a plan to move forward as an independent school that was viable. The archdiocese, in its wisdom, chose not to listen. I suppose that it feels it, like the Pope, is also infallible and incapable of making a mistake.
I am angry because at the same time the archdiocese is closing schools for financial concerns, it chose to spend $35 million on upgrades to the basilica and a prayer garden. In a March 7th article by Dan Rodricks in The Baltimore Sun, the archbishop was quoted as saying "If we have to chose between saving buildings and saving children, we're saving the children every single time." Clearly, that's not the case. Now the archdiocese will say that the money for those upgrades was not archdiocese money but was raised through other means. In light of the archbishop's comments, what are his priorities and why couldn't an effort have been made to raise the money to save the schools?
I am angry because at Sunday mass, my parish priest, in his sermon about the fig trees, made mention of his vacation at the summer house of the bishop! Pardon me? Summer house? While most families are struggling to stay afloat and still give their children the benefit of a Catholic education, the archbishop arrives at the Catholic center, dropped off by his driver and pronounces that the economy has caused the "perfect storm."
Apparently not for the clergy.
Bill Kresslein, Westminster