So Long, Spin Doctors
True to form, once again Matt Kerr, spokesman for the Allentown Diocese knocks another one out of the park with his response on a Blue Ridge TV 13 news program.
“There were in many cases small towns that had multiple churches. Lansford was one of them that had three churches at one point. There’s just not a need for that many churches in one town,” Mr. Kerr said. Well what’s the magic number, Matt? Looks like zero to me. Throughout the past 10 years I have not heard once from the diocese that it felt bad for what happened here in the coal regions. The bishop did not even have the guts to live up to his duty to tell the parishioners of the closings. Unfairly, the bishop left that unpleasant task to the parish priests.
The attitude of the diocese has always been get over it, move on, shut up, but keep sending us your money. We need it. I pose this question to you, Mr. Kerr and the leaders of the diocese. How many people do you know survive on a three-figure-a-month retirement and still find a way to give to their church? The diocese continues to harp on the fact that they help the poor, and they do. So how do they look at someone who worked, made it through life not dependent on anyone, retired and now exist on minimum Social Security and a meager work pension? Many of the Catholic faithful here in the Carbon-Schuylkill deanery are just that, and the diocese leaders wonder why people are so adamant about losing their church. Well, church wisemen, it’s all they had.
I’m sure the think tank of Allentown will rush to the defense and claim Mr. Kerr was the victim of selective editing and that his statements were taken out of context. That may be true, but cadence, tone of voice, phrasing and diction can expose true feelings much more effectively that any mere words. Mr. Kerr’s demeanor, in my opinion has always been condescending to us Catholic faithful here in the coal regions. With Mr. Kerr’s capacity and experience, the least he could do is sound like he cares.
It has been a long and difficult 10 years from when the church closures started. The only satisfaction I have is that the diocese cannot do any more damage to this area. Take your money, fill your pockets and bags and be on your way. Please don’t come back.