Article: Catholic Teachers an "Afterthought"

A Philadelphia Inquirer columnist says teachers have been an "afterthought" in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia.

Saint Monica School in the village of Berwyn isn't the only parish school that closed last week. A new report says the teachers in Catholic Archdiocese of Philadelphia schools have been an 'afterthought.'

A column published Sunday morning on Philly.com says the Archdiocese of Philadelphia (which includes St. Monica and all of Chester County) has left teachers as an 'afterthought' amidst the school closings and the Catholic priest sex abuse scandal. The priest sex abuse scandal has cost the archdiocese a reported $11+million in legal and other epxenses.

Also on Patch this Sunday:

This Dad wants a Father's Day gift you can't buy anywhere

The Philadelphia Inquirer/Philly.com columnist points to St. Monica as one example of many schools closing in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia this year to illustrate the plight of teachers, especially women teachers, left unemployed or -at best- in limbo by the closing. St. Monica's faculty was all-female when

Not like public or even most private schools.

The financial realities for small parish schools are much different than for public schools, or even most secular private schools in Chester County and on the Main Line. Small Catholic schools, especially the ones being closed have limited resources.

The size of the school made it "like a family" according to virtually every parent and staff member who spoke to Patch.

That reality is a real financial burden for teachers

In the case of St. Monica School for example, the parish and school staff is so small the church does not qualify to pay into Cobra, leaving fired teachers facing a huge financial burden for health insurance.

The school has no formal severance pay for teachers, who already earned far less than teachers in the T/E School district and many of the area's secular private schools.

St. Monica's Pastor, Father William Trader


What do you think? Are parish schools and their teachers an afterthought for the Archdioces of Philadelphia, especially in the wake of the Catholic priest sex scandals?

Tell us in the comments section at the bottom of this article.

Tom B August 05, 2012 at 06:58 PM
The claim is preposterous. That Inquirer writer simply delights in exploiting indefensible sentimentality in order to bash the Diocese and the Church. There is much for the Archdiocese of Philadelphia to be ashamed of, and it is certainly true that huge sums have been poured into settlements and legal fees that would otherwise have been spent keeping parishes, schools, and other ministries running. But a parish school can only be a parish school if the parishoners enroll their children and pay their (always subsidized) tuition. Catholics need to face the financial realities that proceed from an increasingly indifferent, unbelieving, and even contemptuous populace that is in no small part made up of ex-Catholics. They need also to pray more and to instruct their children more soundly in the Faith. What they do not need to is fall prey to Kinny's species of harmful, wishy-washy, and bigoted editorializing.


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