Vatican Upholds School Closing Decision
The Vatican Congregation for Catholic Education has upheld Bishop Richard J. Malone's Jan. 15, 2014, decision to close St. Bernadette School (Orchard Park), St. Francis of Assisi School (Tonawanda) and St. Mary of the Lake School (Hamburg).
In response to the appeals of each of the schools, the congregation wrote the appeals cannot be accepted, "and confirms the legitimacy of the Bishop's decision to close the schools as part of the diocesan plan for the viability and good distribution of Catholic schools of the diocese."
Bishop Malone issued the following statement:
I am relieved that the Congregation for Catholic Education has upheld my decision, which was based on extensive research and analysis. It reinforces the authority of the diocesan bishop to make decisions of this nature and reflects my obligation as bishop to take into consideration all Catholic education in Western New York when determining the reconfiguration of our Catholic elementary schools.
Now that the Vatican has weighed in on this matter, I encourage the parents from St. Bernadette, St. Francis and St. Mary of the Lake schools to enroll their children in neighboring Catholic elementary schools, where they will continue to receive a superior education.
I understand this has been an emotional few months for many, but now is the time to come together as a Church family, to work to further strengthen our Catholic schools, and serve as an example to the children of our diocese as we live out our Catholic values and evangelize to bring the Gospel message to all.