Catholic schools fight to keep doors open as future dims

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Immaculate Conception High School is a Roman Catholic coeducational college preparatory high school that operates under the supervision of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Newark.

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Immaculate Conception High School is a Roman Catholic coeducational college preparatory high school that operates under the supervision of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Newark.

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(RNS) Enrollment in Catholic schools across the country has been on a steady decline since the 1960s.

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  • gilhcan

    The Catholic Church must face the fact that they do not need to infiltrate every study with religion in order to “confirm” the brainwashing of young members. Study should be objective. The only reason for the existence of Catholic schools at any level in the past was to reinforce early training because church leaders are threatened that individual Catholics may begin to think for themselves and challenge official church doctrine.

    In the days of greater Catholic education, the church relied on the low-paid services of teaching sisters and brothers and priests. Their numbers have immensely reduced, and those who have remained have decided to choose ministries that best fit their talents–and those have not been in Catholic schools.

    The fact is that few adult Catholics believe the same even about those matters the church considers doctrine. In the past, in spite of more widespread Catholic education, as people matured, if they continued to study through life, to learn, and to think, they began to think for themselves, and it was not always consonant with the official church doctrine by any means.

    The practice of contraception in spite of the loud voice of the celibate (often pedophile) clergy preaching against it is just one example of the drift of the People of God from the official doctrine of their church.

    Attendance in the old tradition of “Confession” is another. Confession hours have been reduced to almost zero. The same is true for the “Last Rites” for the dying. The so-called sacraments, whose development evolved centuries after the first Jesus communities, are fading fast. Soon, I am sure, the Catholic Church will be like the Reformation churches and only consider Baptism and the Holy Communion as sacraments. “Sacramental power” gave an artificial control of the clergy of the church over the people in the pews.

    Also, to remain alive and vibrant, the church is going to have to end the requirement of celibacy for priestly ordination that was begun to protect church property, not for any spiritual reason. Along with the end of celibacy, so sadly ignored by clerical pedophiles and their justice obstructing bishops, the church must also begin to respect women by extending ordination to them. Not because the church is losing male, celibate priests, but because it is right. Sex and marriage must be respected as well as women.

  • gilhcan

    Another immensely important aspect of all this, Suzanne Alworth, is the fact that Archbishop John Hynes spent much more than the $900,000 debt of Immaculate High School in Montclair, NJ, on expanding the already spacious mansion he used as a weekend and summer get-away in preparation for regular residence as his retirement palace.

    Myers’ spokesman, Jim Goodness, also defended that atrocity with all kinds of distortions. That royal archbishop’s palace is not even located in the Diocese of Newark!

    The main reason diocesan schools are failing is that they no longer have the slave labor of nuns and brothers. Consequently, they have to charge tuition, and the fewer low-paid religious staffing the schools, the higher the tuition must go. People are paying local and state taxes for public education, why should they double-pay for religious education that can be done without diocesan school systems.

    Some dioceses have defied the Constitution and with the compliance of equally defiant state legislators and governors have gotten some states to cough up public funding for their religious schools.

    The people of those states have allowed this to take place, and this is as harmfully complacent as the people who continue to sit in the pews of Catholic churches while the clergy in the sanctuaries have sexually molested their children and bishops like John Myers have tried to obstruct justice by hiding these crimes.

    One can say the people of this nation and the people of our states, like the people in the pews of the Catholic Church, deserve the wicked outcomes of their civil and church governments when they are so complacent in the face of such sins and crimes.

    The Catholic Church does not need its own schools to solidify catechism brainwashing. It could lead its people very well along spiritual paths with appropriate church activities just as the Reformation churches have been doing for centuries so successfully.

  • John McGrath

    My Catholic elementary school was innovative and high achieving. But the church would be askance at what was taught in religion classes. The instruction was not really liberal but directed to some old mystical and thoughtful Catholic traditions. The main purpose of marriage, for instance, was taught as companionable love, not procreation. This view would open the door to gay marriage! Today the school is independent through still parish affiliated. It receives generous donations from alumni, including wealthy Hispanics. Most students are not Catholic but the school is still recognized for its high academic achievement.

    My religion teacher in my Catholic high school was a card carrying member of the French Communist Party, which had broken with Moscow, and rejected historic and materialistic determinism. He did, however, teach us a Marxist interpretation of the history of the church in France. No objection from parents. Quite a fascinating course, even for the Republicans in the class.

    But that was New York City.

  • John McGrath

    Forgot to mention. Both schools are thriving.

  • Atheist Max

    I went to a Catholic school.
    I have sentimental feelings but that is to be expected. I had a great crush on a girl in Catholic school.

    It doesn’t validate the experience nor does it validate the lies I was taught.

    Please close these damn things. All of them.
    ‘God’ is divisive nonsense.

  • Atheist Max

    Religion is nonsense.
    A school which teaches religion teaches nonsense.

    Close them. Let religion die.

  • Dubber

    Sexual abuse scandals have cost the U.S. Catholic Church nearly $3 billion dollars over an eight year period; and according to a report released by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops last month. (The Christian Post 2014)
    So, Catholic Schools are fighting the Catholic Church to stay open.

  • Edith Stein’s student

    How do you propose to close all the Catholic schools? And if you succeed, what do you intend to do to those hard-headed brothers, sisters, and laypeople who start underground schools? What is to prevent your methods from infecting every other government agency? Are you going to spare the Mennonites? Muslims? Presbyterians? Baptists? Mormons? Orthodox Jews? Reformed Jews? What are your criteria for sparing some and shutting down others. As John Lennon said, “We’d all love to see the plan.”

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  • JimmyV

    I wondered at first why the comments from gilhcan and Atheist Max were so left wing nut job talk. But noticed the writer of the article is from the Star Ledger, and that may explain a lot. Possibly both of these commenters read that propaganda. Didn’t realize that left wing rag was still in business and I live in northern NJ.

  • Boycott Catholic schools and hospitals–until the Roman Catholic Church stops opposing women priests, contraception, married priests, etc.

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  • This is so sad! Catholic schools have the best education. It should be available to all students. Catholic schools closing their doors just makes me cry 🙁