Earlier today, when I heard that our Diocese was going to close several (many) Catholic schools in the area and consolidate them over the course of a few years due to the recommendation of a study group, I felt terrible for the families who will be effected.
Tonight on the News (WBRE-TV), they showed Bishop Martino announcing the plans. The reaction was appalling. Like I said...earlier today I felt bad for the families. That has changed slightly. Now I feel bad for the clergy and the Bishop and those who work for the Diocese. The attacks from those present were vicious. At least that is what it appeared to be on the news. A man was shown screaming at a priest, accusing him of of not praying for the schools to stay open, but only talking about the collection plates to be filled. The priest was trying to say he understood how he felt, but the man just said to him "How can you understand, you don't even have any children!!" (finger pointing towards face, etc.) I won't even go into that the point on that one...
The whole scene was unfortunate. Girls were sitting in the seats, screaming, appearing to hyperventilate while crying. One on camera screamed that this was the most selfish thing they could ever do. I understand they are upset. It makes sense they are upset, but if you don't have people enough people to pay into the system, then the schools must consolidate. Its math, not selfishness. At least this is my humble opinion. And indeed, I am no expert, just an observer. But I do not feel bad for those people who were on camera tonight. I'm sure they only showed the most angry people, because thats how news sells, and that there are some very mature people out there who understand the situation.
So, pray for Bishop Martino and his staff. I doubt they are sleeping well tonight. Pray for them that the Holy Spirit would guide them and comfort them. Pray for those affected in the schools that their hearts would be softened and the anger removed and that patience and understanding will be granted to them.
Here is the link to the WBRE-TV story.
You know what, I actually do feel bad for the people on camera tonight. Probably more so though because their reactions were so embarrassing that it was pretty obvious that in an emotion filled room like that, you don't exactly show your best colors. Obviously, at the moment their hopes were dashed, rage ensued and it looked terrible. So, I feel bad yes because they are losing their schools, but more so because their anger and hurt overtook them in such an embarrassing way.
I still feel bad (worse) for the Priests and Bishop and staff that got screamed at unfairly. The way they were treated was unwarranted. Pray for forgiveness all around.
-Pax et bonum.