Monsignor Hartnett addresses questions about the schools planning process

CR: What do people need to know that perhaps they do not understand?

Monsignor Hartnett: It varies from place to place. I think there are people who are disengaged from the process who believe everything is OK in their school, so nothing is going to happen. I think there are people who are in parishes, who believe, ‘We’re not associated with Catholic schools, and so nothing is going to happen.’ I think there are people who are involved in Catholic schools now who are assuming the worst will happen. What I’m saying is, it’s going to affect everybody in some way. For some people, it’s going to mean we’re going to ask them to step up a little bit. For others, it means we’re going to ask them to be more attentive. For others, it’s going to be asking them to be more open to a different experience, perhaps a new experience. I think people are not thinking that way. They’re thinking, ‘It’s the same old, same old. Some are going to close and some are going to remain open and we’re just going to go on like we always have before.’

CR: How big is the challenge that faces you as you move into the drafting and decision-making process?

Monsignor Hartnett: It’s a very difficult thing to do. First of all, to get the best thought, the best plan and to come up with the best ideas is pretty challenging. To think out how they could be implemented is pretty challenging. It’s in some ways disquieting for us to know that we’re in a position that is going to affect thousands of people, or at least making recommendations that can affect thousands of people. I don’t look forward to that piece at all. I do think in the process, everybody can be accommodated. I just don’t think they’re going to be accommodated the way everyone wants to be accommodated. That’s what saddens me that people wouldn’t be open to something else and would choose to reject something before they’ve expressed the willingness to embrace it.

Catholic Review

The Catholic Review is the official publication of the Archdiocese of Baltimore.