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Cardinal Dolan Warns Parents More Catholic Schools Will Close Without Additional Federal Aid

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) - Less than three weeks ago, The Archdiocese of New York announced the closures of 20 Catholic schools - six more in Brooklyn and Queens.

But, Archbishop Timothy Cardinal Dolan emailed families Monday morning with another cry for help to save the schools, CBS2's Hazel Sanchez reported.

"I wrote our parents and I said look I never want to close schools again," said Dolan. "But, one of the things that we are gonna need in this emergency situation is consideration in the upcoming HEROES Act."

RELATED STORY: Parents In Shock After Archdiocese Of New York Announces Closure of 20 Schools: 'We Feel Like We've Been Undermined'

Cardinal Dolan urged families to reach out to their elected officials to ensure Catholic schools are included in proposed federal funding for schools.

"If Congress does not provide assistance to our schools within the next few weeks... we will be forced to write you again announcing yet more school closures," he wrote.

LINK: CLICK HERE to read Cardinal Dolan's entire statement to parents

Catholic schools did receive financial help from the CARES Act in March.

According to the Associated Press, the New York archdiocese received at least $28 million in loans from the Paycheck Protection Program.

"That money didn't go to the 'mean old Archdiocese,' that money went to people. That money went to our workers in soup kitchens, our workers in parishes, our teachers, our kids to make sure that they could stay in there," said Dolan. "I don't have that money in my desk drawer. That's all spent the way it was intended to be spent."

Chris Scharbach, principal of St. Francis De Sales Catholic Academy in Belle Harbor, Queens, said the struggle is real for independent schools.

With an already tight budget, the school raised tuition by $100 to pay for basics, and invested a whopping $10,000 to prepare for a safe return to school in the fall.

"We're already facing an uphill battle because so many parents are unemployed right now," said Scharbach. "There's a lot of our families who are not going to pay tuition when tuition becomes due in the next six weeks."

Cardinal Dolan said the Archdiocese is secure enough to open schools in September.

In the long run, however, if financial help doesn't come, the schools' survival is not guaranteed.

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