Friday, May 03, 2002

Let's think throught the consequences of witholding an offering from the appeal. Here in St. Louis a large chunk of the money goes to Catholic high schools. Let's say that thanks to all of us "sending a message" the appeal has less money to give to these high schools. What will be the consequences?

One might be that these high schools would raise tuition. This may price several students out of the high schools. Some cynics may think this is a good thing since they don't care for diocesan high schools, but we're talking here about parents who want to send their children to Catholic schools but are not because of price, not because of corruption, lack of theological discipline, or anoy other reason. Other Catholic families may afford to pay the higher tuitions, but at the expense of their budget.

Other schools may cut staff, salaries or budget. The pay of Catholic school teachers is already a sad joke. Why make it worse?

So, the people harmed by this "message" would be Catholic high school students, Catholic families, and Catholic school teachers. Sounds like a winning strategy to me!

Again, I encourage any Catholic readers to join me in pledging more than they have before to cover any shortfall that may result.

Some are saying that failing to withold funds shows a lack of courage. I wonder how many of these folks withheld some of their taxes because Congress failed to discipline Gary Condit, or any other massive cover-up. Seems to me this would take more courage, since the consequences are real and personal -- going to jail. The consequences of not giving to one's parish are spread out to, as I said above, Catholic families and teachers. The worst consequence you can face for not giving is a phone call from your pastor asking why.

Let's see how courageous these folks are when it's their own hide on the line.

Again, our Church is in crisis. I don't see how giving less to it is a Christian, loving response.
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