I write in response to the letter of Brian Currid, which appeared recently in The Warwick Advertiser. Initially, his letter he speaks with passion and anger about the Catholic Church’s handling of sexual abuse. That’s OK. Most Catholics too are upset about this issue.
However, he presents glibly as facts information that he does not know to be true. For example, he alleges that donations made to a local parish are used to pay legal fees incurred by the Archdiocese. The Archdiocese has denied this. He should raise the issue with them
Secondly, in his letter he makes a rather abrupt transition to the issue of the closing of St. Stephen-St. Edward School. He directs his anger at “the aged leadership at St. Stephen’s,” which is a not so subtle jab at Fr. Jack Arlotta, pastor of St. Stephen’s Church.
I don’t know how well he knows Fr. Jack but I know him to be a straight-talker, a man of integrity who cares about everyone in his parish – young and old. He is a man of great empathy and caring.
Mr. Currid seems unaware that Fr. Jack has no control whatsoever over the operations or educational program at the school. Since 2013, that authority rests solely with the New York Archdiocese. In fact, he only received word of the closing by e-mail from the Archdiocese.
So before Mr. Currid attacks the “older priests” perhaps he should get to know them better. After all, Pope Francis is an “old priest,” too.
Finally, let me say that I fully appreciate the anger and frustration expressed by the parents and teachers of St. Stephen-St. Edward School and I agree that the communication was not well handled by the Archdiocese. I am are retired school superintendent. I have experienced the pain of a community undergoing a school closing. It’s no fun for anyone.
However, it is hard to justify, educationally or financially, a K-8 school with a population of less than 150 children. I believe that the faculties and parents of all the redistricted schools will build a strong educational environment for their children in the newly reorganized St. John’s School in Goshen.
I have seen it happen elsewhere. I wish them luck.
George Reilly, Ed.D.