By Mary Ann Ahern
Cardinal Blase Cupich’s decision to close St. Joseph College Seminary is creating sharp disagreement from the seminary’s advisory board.
In a scathing letter obtained by NBC 5, sent this week to Cupich, the 12-member board called the announcement to close the seminary “unexpected and disturbing.”
Cupich told the board the the number of seminarians were too low – 20-plus current students, however the board responded “we’ve been more focused on the quality of young men over quantity” and “we, as a board, expected more from you than just an 11-minute announcement with no warning or dialogue.”
The advisory board says they were totally disregarded and added:
“The complete lack of transparency surrounding this decision (neither the Board nor the Rector were consulted) seems symptomatic of many issues currently affecting the church. Aside from the horrible impact this decision will have on the Seminarians and our church in the future, we feel compelled to tell you that this unfortunate approach to decision-making is driving people away — not encouraging opening and healing to a broken church. Your unidentified “advisors” who apparently recommended this abrupt action could not have considered the effects of this unfortunate decision. When veiled in complete secrecy, how can we, as a Board of Advisors with years of dedicated service and millions of dollars raised conclude anything other than this was a decision bereft of objective criteria and prayerful discernment? While talk about “transparency and accountability” is a noble goal, here there was neither.”
A spokeswoman for the Archdiocese of Chicago confirmed to NBC 5 that Cupich has received the letter.
“Aside from the horrible impact this decision will have on the Seminarians and our church in the future, we feel compelled to tell you that this unfortunate approach to decision-making is driving people away — not encouraging opening and healing to a broken church.”
It is clear there is a need for clarification on the decisions made with regard to the seminary,” she said. “He looks forward to providing that information to them.”
Article first appeared at: https://www.nbcchicago.com/blogs/ward-room/cardinal-cupich-letter-507056971.html