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Archdiocese abandons its mission with school closures

I strongly disagree with the editorial regarding the announcement of the closure of additional Catholic schools in Baltimore. The title "Strategic investment" (Oct. 27) is very telling, as it is increasingly clear that the Archdiocese of Baltimore is strategically closing schools in minority and lower income areas. Archbishop William E. Lori is launching a public relations campaign to sell this terrible idea, as evidenced by his meeting with the editorial board of The Sun and the full page ad in the same edition.

The Archdiocese has a troubling history in Baltimore, including the toleration of racial segregation in Catholic institutions for a very long period. Reparations need to be made.

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We are forgetting a very serious issue when we talk about the closing of schools. We need to investigate and discuss the total financial picture of the Archdiocese of Baltimore. The church is the steward of funds provided by Catholics as well as others. I have questions concerning the stewardship of these funds. With the decrease in church attendance, some dioceses have sold property which is no longer in use. Baltimore Catholics are supporting two cathedrals, many underutilized churches as well as large rectories housing only one priest. I question some of the over-the-top embellishments some pastors have made to our churches. The closure of some parishes has been discussed for some time, but little if anything gets done so the children are the ones who will suffer.

We know that a parochial school in a poor neighborhood cannot be self-supporting. It is Archbishop Lori's job to find the funding. He is a gifted speaker, and when it was in his interest he was able to achieve a high national profile. Now he must do a much better job of advocating for the poor children of Baltimore.

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Archbishop Lori is required to be more than just an administrator. He is to be a pastor. I doubt that the current priorities of the Archdiocese of Baltimore are in sync with Pope Francis' vision of Christian ministry. I realize that we must be practical so I am calling on the archdiocese to divest itself of all and any property that is not well utilized. Our parochial schools are not just brick and mortar institutions. They are beacons of light. To believe that the poor children of Baltimore are not worth the investment is to assert that the Gospel values which we hear preached on Sundays are really just slogans.

Over the years Baltimore Catholics have contributed to many good causes, and I believe that if the archdiocese had better leadership, Baltimore Catholics would contribute to the support of Catholic schools in low income areas.

I depend on The Sun to champion Baltimore issues by presenting the whole picture. The full story regarding the finances of the archdiocese needs to be told so that we can better understand the decisions that are made. I am withdrawing my financial support of the archdiocese as I strongly disagree with the current stewardship of funds

Edward McCarey McDonnell, Baltimore

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