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O'Brien insensitive on school closings

Archbishop Edwin F. O'Brien was quoted as saying in relation to the school closings this past year, "It was difficult for me, and in hindsight some are unforgiving" ("Pope Benedict to elevate Archbishop O'Brien to cardinal," Jan. 7).

This demonstrates how utterly tone deaf the leadership in the Roman Catholic church are, and in particular this archbishop.

There was a grade school girl who had to transfer to a different school two consecutive years. She has the right to say, "It was difficult for me." What about the kids who were juniors at Cardinal Gibbons who had to finish their high school careers at a different school? They have the right to say, "It was difficult for me."

Perhaps if he had attended some of the sessions that were held when the Catholic leadership had to explain why they were closing the schools, he could have asked for forgiveness. Oh, I remember, he had a very convenient "scheduling conflict" and was unable to attend any of the meetings.

It finally became apparent to the leadership that the "business model" used (tuition payments and parish subsidies) was no longer sustainable. It was obvious that the schools needed to be closed.

There was probably no "easy way" to make the closings less than a bitter pill to swallow. But Archbishop O'Brien made himself completely unavailable. I am certain that there are people who would dispute the opinion of Carolyn Woo that he has demonstrated "pastoral engagement."

To make the statement "it was difficult for me" was a public relations blunder. But at least he was being honest and displaying his true feelings for the situation that occurred.

Charles F. Ernst, Linthicum

Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun
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