By Mike DeNardo

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Archbishop Charles Chaput says he realizes that closing Catholic schools in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia will be  painful, but he defends the work of the panel making the recommendation.

In his weekly web column, Chaput says the Blue Ribbon Commission report that recommended closing 48 schools was not about closing schools but was about putting Catholic education on a firm footing.

He says no family can run “on nostalgia and red ink,” and he says the archdiocese has a moral duty to use its resources wisely.

Chaput adds that having a school voucher law would help.

He acknowledges the pain the closings will cause to students, parents, and teachers, but Chaput says the commission deserves the public’s thanks and respect — not the “bitter and unjust criticism” being sent their way by some.

You can read Chaput’s entire column at

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