"I am deeply mindful," said Bishop Clark, taking a pause to compose himself as he fought back tears, "as I'm sure you are, that some children will be hurt. That pains me very much. I can only imagine the pain it causes the parents."
"We don't do this to pain anyone, especially the children."
Clark said the financial problems that the Diocese faces aren't going away, and will only get worse. Clark said the Diocese is nearly $5 million in debt, a much bigger number than previously thought.
Lisa Passero, Chief Financial Officer for the Diocese, said that Catholic schools all over the country are in the same boat. Passero said that last year, 36 opened nationwide, while 212 closed or consolidated, and adds that here in Rochester, enrollment is down 45%.
Parents who want to enroll their children to another Catholic school will have an extra month to enroll. Registration has been delayed a month, from later this month to March. "It would be my hope that many of the parents would choose to send their children to other Catholic schools," said Clark.
"I hope that those who are angered or upset, would nonetheless find some peace now."