Wednesday, March 4, 2009

New Archbishop of NY

Congratulations to the Archdiocese of New York on receiving it new spiritual leader. From what I understand, many Catholic New Yorkers will be glad to see Cardinal Egan go. He was unpopular because, among other things, he closed churches and parochial schools. Let me share a couple of thoughts on this.

Any church that is losing members because of demographics can do one of two things: either slowly decline until it is no longer viable, or reach out to its neighbors and hopefully grow with a new demographic. It appears that many churches (of all denominations) are content to slowly die. Hence the closing of many churches in the New York metropolitan area as Catholics move out and non-Catholics move in.

Regarding the closing of parochial schools, sometimes those schools were associated with a dying church, so there isn’t much choice in those situations. However, some of the schools were closed more for economic reasons than for lack of students. I think closing a school for economic reasons is very short-sighted. A parochial school is a ministry, training the next generation of Catholics. If the wealthiest organization in the world can’t invest in its future, it will not thrive and be blessed. I hope Archbishop Dolan has a different view on this than Egan had.

I wish Archbishop Dolan well in his new position, and I pray he seeks God’s counsel in these matters. I pray that the universal Church will seek revival, and will obey Jesus’ commission to be his witnesses in Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria, and to the ends of the earth (Acts 1:8). Some churches are looking more to the ends of the earth rather than right in their Jerusalems, their own neighborhoods.

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