A clarification is being made by the Springfield Catholic Diocese on a policy impacting students of non-Catholic parents in West Central Illinois.
Bishop Thomas Paprocki announced this morning that diocesan schools are “open to all” and took the time to clarify the role expected of parents and guardians who enroll their children in Catholic schools for the 2016-2017 school year.
It was reported in August that Paprocki sent a letter to pastors and principals in the diocese requiring weekly Mass attendance for non-Catholic families who have children attending Catholic school after a same-sex married couple tried to enroll their adopted children at a Springfield school.
In addition, families reportedly had an obligation to attempt to tithe at least eight percent of their income to the parish church on top of school tuition, as part of n agreement approved by the diocesan council in July.
Paprocki addressed the tithing issue this morning, indicating the agreement has been “amended to include an alternative plan applicable to families of other faiths who attend their respective place of worship.” The alternative plan removes specific references to “tithing” included in the basic plan.
Paprocki does stress that the agreement “presumes that families of other faiths financially support the church or other place of worship they do attend and are fully aware that by enrolling their children in a Catholic school that their education will include the teachings of Jesus Christ and the Catholic Church.”
It also says churches in the diocese will “undertake a major effort that, in time, will provide Catholic education without a tuition charge to parents and guardians. Parishes that have schools currently subsidize each student’s education since tuition and fees do not cover expenses alone, according to Paprocki.
Nearly a third of the students at Routt Catholic High School are from non-Catholic families.