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The dioceses of Anchorage and Juneau, Alaska, were joined together in 2021 to form the archdiocese of Anchorage-Juneau. Archbishop Andrew Bellisario wasted little time in targeting authentic Catholics in his new archdiocese. In tonight's In-Depth Report, Church Militant's Trey Blanton reveals the school standing up for tradition.
On Tuesday, Archbishop Bellisario made the decision to remove the status of Holy Rosary Academy as a Catholic institution, halting the celebration of sacraments there. Bellisario notes the school's board of trustees did not meet his "minimum standards" necessary to be recognized as Catholic.
In a letter to parents, the school says some of the stipulations Holy Rosary must abide by are handing over full control of the curriculum to the archdiocese, as well as letting the archdiocese decide who the school can hire and which guests can speak on campus.
Mark Newcomb, headmaster for Holy Rosary:
Holy Rosary Academy was named the top private high school in Alaska earlier this year. We've achieved that distinction using this classical and Catholic curriculum and no other, right? So we've got a great deal of success to show for this model, and the idea here is we want to preserve that.
Holy Rosary consulted with canon lawyers, who determined the bishop's stipulations are beyond the scope of his power under canon law. Parents hosted a prayer rally outside Our Lady of Guadalupe Cathedral on Oct. 22, but the bishop was not moved by the participants' deeply held faith.
Sam Wolfe, chairman of the board of trustees: "They prayerfully and quietly prayed the holy decades of the Rosary, and there hasn't been any response from the archdiocese or the chancery or anyone on that end. And, so, it ended peacefully with benediction back at our chapel."
Joel Davidson, editor of Alaska Watchman, reported an anonymous parent asked, "Who stoops to weaponize the sacraments?" Davidson followed up, noting, "Self-proclaimed Catholic politicians across the nation openly flaunt [sic] Church teaching by promoting abortion yet still receive Communion at Mass."
There are lots of private schools, Catholic schools, that do not have the Catholic designation but are allowed to have the sacraments on campus and have a chapel, and so that part of this does seem to be added on to. It's certainly his prerogative; he could simply leave the sacraments, regardless of the designation.
Bellisario's decision to weaponize the Eucharist against Holy Rosary stands in stark contrast to his participation in a May 13 letter saying pro-abort politicians should not be refused Communion.
The academy's accreditation status is unchanged by the bishop's decree, and Holy Rosary remains a leading institution in traditional Catholic education.
Wolfe: "We're feeling incredibly blessed. We've heard, all across the nation, support."
Newcomb: "We'll continue to be a place that combines deep Catholic formation, genuine joy and a love for the classics. That's not going to change."
Nowadays, the surest way to prove you're a faithful follower of Christ is by running afoul of bishops complicit in abortion.
Holy Rosary Academy is dismayed by the bishop's decision to remove their status as Catholic but will remain obedient and persevere in the Faith.