The above is the self-explanatory introduction to our new series, “Thinking Through Catholic Truth – The Big Questions… Answered”.
Topics already in the pipeline include Scripture, Spirituality, Catholic education and the “Institutional Church”.
If you have a topic you’d like covered tell us in the comments, or if you would like to participate in any of our videos, let us know, either by commenting below or emailing the editor on email@example.com
Young people are ‘leaving the Church in droves,’ says Scots delegate to Vatican youth synod By James Farrell
Young people are ‘leaving the Church in droves for all the wrong reasons,’ according to Scotland’s representative to a global Vatican meeting of young people. Sean Deighan, 23, a youth worker for Glasgow Archdiocese, will be one of 300 young representatives to attend the Synod on Young People, the Faith, and VocationalDiscernment to be held in Rome from March 19 to 24.
The meeting is being held ahead of a Synod of Bishops in October that will focus on youth.
“I didn’t realise it was such a select group [attending the meeting] and it’s a great privilege,” Mr Deighan said. “I hope that my voice will be heard and by extension I hope the representative voice of all young people in Scotland will be heard. I’m optimistic that real results will materialise from the pre-synodal meeting. I think what needs to be addressed is that young people are leaving the Church in droves for all the wrong reasons.
“They are leaving the Church because of what they think the Church is and not the reality. If we want to pursue the new evangelisation authentically then we need to present the Church authentically and young people need to see that.” “When young people see the Church being presented authentically, it’s attractive,” Mr Deighan said. “We have never had to dress things up or use false pretences to get people in the Church. It has always been the reality of the Church’s message which they are attracted to.”
At the Angelus on Sunday February 18, Pope Francis called on young people from around the world to take part in the preparatory work of the upcoming synod. “I strongly desire that all young people might be the protagonists of this preparation,” Pope Francis said. “And so they will be able to contribute online through linguistic groups moderated by other young people.”
The Pope was referring to an initiative promoted by the Secretariat of the Synod of Bishops, under the direction of its general secretary, Cardinal Lorenzo Baldiserri. Young people have been invited to join a Facebook group through the Synod website, http://www.synod2018.va, and from March 12 will have the opportunity to send questions to Pope Francis for the Synod on the group page.
“Pope Francis insisted on showing great concern for the ‘distant’—the young people of the ‘peripheries,’ those who are not part of our network of Catholics faithful,” Cardinal Baldisseri said in conversation with the Vatican website.
“The participants will be able to ask questions, propose ideas and therefore act as intermediaries between the ecclesial institution that derives from the people of God and secular society. The experience that will be proposed to them will consist in getting to know the Church better, discovering what we are more deeply.”
At the end of the youth meeting representatives will approve a document, the result of the work of the entire week, which will express their point of view on the reality of youth in the Church and present their expectations, their doubts and their hopes. This document will then help guide reflections at the synod in October. Source – SCO
I know it’s been a while, but when I was a schoolgirl we were taught about the Faith, that we were Catholics and should be knowledgeable and be able to explain it to those we met outside of school, friends etc. and later, in the workplace, colleagues. There was no mention of, let alone emphasis on, the fact that we were “young Catholics”, a separate type of Catholic from everyone else. We didn’t have “special” Masses for the young, etc. That’s the beauty of the Traditional Latin Mass, with which I grew up – it cannot be manipulated into a performance tailored to particular groups. We were simply Catholics. This contemporary emphasis on reaching out to the young as if they ARE a different type of Catholic has led to a great deal of muddled thinking, beginning with this…
Those young people identified in the above SCO report, are not leaving the Church because they are young. They are leaving it – as the author writes – for all the wrong reasons, and that is because, there ISno “right reason” to leave Christ and His Church. Someone needs to clarify for those youngsters who say they believe in Jesus, admire Jesus etc. but just don’t like the Church or “institutionalised religion” that, like love and marriage, as the old song goes, you can’t have one without the other. Christ cannot be separated from His Church – that’s the way HE has arranged things.
Think of your favourite quotes from Scripture and from saints, to drive home this message to the young. Plenty read this blog, I’m told, so how would YOU convince them that, not only is there no right reason to leave Christ’s Church, but there is no “wrong” reason either – leaving the Church for any reason means that they are risking damnation – spelt out, they are risking suffering Hell fire for all eternity. Not cool. Convince them to begin their journey to the fullness of the Faith which they have manifestly not been taught and which, if they truly knew it, would love it and never dream of leaving it. What’s the first thing you would advise a young person seeking the Faith in its fullness to do… where’s the best place to begin that journey?
Young people urged to ‘change the world’ at Paisley youth Mass – click here to read moreWhile across in Glasgow, St Ninian’s High School in Kirkintilloch has put a stop to the high-sugar and caffeinated beverages, following calls from both teachers and experts in the UK – click here to read about that nonsense...
I don’t remember being made to feel obligated to “change the world” during my schooldays. Some pressure!
Instead, the focus was on God and on our own souls. We were to change ourselves, not “the world”.
What about you? Would you be hurrying to get to Catholic school these days or do you prefer the “old” model where we were brought to understand that it is holiness of life, achieved by being faithful Catholics, that changes us… and thus, the world? Isn’t that the message Catholic educators should be delivering?
As the proud pro-abortion, pro-LGBT rights leader of a country with, as I keep reminding everyone, the values of a progressive, liberal democracy, I’m stunned delighted to be asked to mark the Centenary of the Catholic Education Scotland Act 1918 and the partnership between the Catholic Church and the State in Scotland in the provision of education to our young people in Catholic schools.
And this partnership is working very successfully, with Catholic schools in Scotland now providing safe spaces for LGBT pupils. Of course, we’ve a way to go. I believe Catholic schools in England are now allowing gender neutral uniforms, with one pupil making “their” First Communion in a white trouser suit because that child now wishes to identify as a boy. I’ve not heard of any similar cases in Scotland but maybe Scottish Catholic schools will, er, follow suit, to so speak, soon, not to fall behind in the progressive, liberal stakes.
Abortion is still a bit of a hot potato in the Church, I know. Still, now that the truly wonderfully progressive and liberal Pope Francis has given a pontifical honour to the internationally acclaimed Dutch abortion activist, Liliane Ploumen, it’s only a matter of time before we can get those pro-abortion, pro-contraception posters into every Catholic classroom.
And, of course, we’ll have our spies Named Persons in place by that time, supervising parents and dealing with those reactionaries who don’t like living in a progressive, liberal Church. So, thank you for inviting me to give this prestigious lecture. I knew we were making progress but I’d no idea you were already so stupid enlightened as to invite someone who is not a Catholic and who is, in fact, completely committed to progressive, secular, liberal values to speak on the subject of Catholic education. Oh, and I mustn’t forget to congratulate the Catholic sector on your excellent exam results. The pupils DO learn arithmetic, reading and writing and that is absolutely praiseworthy. Well done!
Thank you, all especially Bishop Keenan for his support for my invitation to address you all here today. Oh and, er, if there IS a God, may he (or she) go with you!
Obviously, the above “leak” is no such thing. It’s our satirical take on the disgraceful invitation from those running Catholic Education in Scotland to a wholly “liberal” politician, who has not a scintilla of interest in supporting Catholic schools. The fact is, if Catholic schools were doing their job, the First Minister would have made her excuses to decline the invite. It’s only because they are failing as Catholic schools that (a) she would be invited in the first place and (2) she could agree to give the Cardinal Winning Lecture. At least one bishop – John Keenan of Paisley – supports this year’s choice of speaker. Click here to read more, vote in the poll below, and then share your thoughts…
Challenge those who attack Catholic schools, Archbishop says
Archbishop Tartaglia said celebrations of the centenary of Catholic education in Scotland should include a robust defence of Catholic schools The Archbishop of Glasgow Philip Tartaglia is encouraging Catholics to get involved in upcoming celebrations to mark 100 years of state Catholic education in Scotland—and to challenge those who attack Catholic schools.
In a letter to headteachers and members of clergy from across Scotland, the archbishop described the centenary as an ‘opportunity to rejoice’ over the successes of Scotland’s Catholic schools and education. “2018 serves as an opportunity to rejoice in the academic, cultural, civic and social achievements of pupils who have attended Catholic schools in the last 100 years,” he said. “It is a chance to mark publicly the ways in which Catholic schools are not just good for Catholics, but good for Scotland.”
He spoke of the ‘positive contribution of Catholic schools’ to society in Scotland, which he described as being ‘well documented.’
“The continuing support of the Scottish Government and all of the main political parties is encouraging for the future of denominational schools,” he said. “However, while this is a time to reflect and thank God for 100 years of serving our local communities, we cannot be complacent that there is universal support for Catholic schools.
“We need to ensure that we continue to challenge the negative voices which exert pressure in the media and in the political arena, suggesting that there is no place for Faith schools in the public provision of education in a modern Scotland.
“What better way to do this than by marking this centenary as a celebration of the distinctive nature of our schools and by telling the story of the people and communities who have benefited from Catholic education in Scotland.”
Archbishop Tartaglia invited parishes, families, schools and communities across the country to ‘consider the ways that they can add to this story,’ as he revealed that a planning group has been set up to look at possible activities and coordinate events for the anniversary celebrations.
The Bishops’ Conference of Scotland has authorised the Scottish Catholic Education Service (SCES) to ‘propose plans’ to be used in the centenary year that mark the education partnership between Church and state.
In his letter, the Archbishop asked that headteachers and priests let parish councils, parent and pupil councils, pastoral planning teams and associated schools’ groups know about the SCES planning group.
“I encourage you to begin a discussion of how your local parish community can support and contribute to the events of this year,” he said, adding that SCES is welcoming submissions of archive material of local school history, stories and photographs of parishioners.
SCES have revealed a number of national events will take place across all of Scotland’s eight dioceses in 2018, while other celebrations will be organised at a diocesan and local level.
The launch of the centenary celebrations will take place in February next year, when a specially commissioned icon of ‘Jesus Our Teacher,’ created to mark the 100th anniversary, will begin its tour across the country, starting in Galloway Diocese.
Glasgow Archdiocese will mark Catholic Education Week, which runs from January 28 to February 2, with a high schools’ Mass in St Andrew’s Cathedral, while a Catholic Education Week dinner will take place at the city’s Central Hotel on February 2.
On March 3 a Catholic education open forum will take place in Argyll and the Isles Diocese and in April a ‘Leadership of Catholic Schools Conference’ will take place in Salamanca.
The Caritas Award ceremony will be on June 7 next year in Glasgow, a highlight in the year for Catholic schools, and a school pilgrimage along the St Andrew’s Way will take place from June 14-15.
Parents will have the opportunity to come together in August for the National Parent Gathering in Paisley and a planned pilgrimage to Rome led by Archbishop Tartaglia is on the cards for October 15-19. Open to all associated with Catholic Education in Scotland, prices cost £850 per person.
Also in October, the European Catholic Committee (CEEC) will visit Scotland and the Scottish Parliament will also mark the centenary.
For the first time, a second Catholic Education Week will be held in November, including a National Teachers’ Mass in Glasgow and a spiritual retreat for teachers. [Emphases added] Source – Scottish Catholic Observer
Not a whisper in the above report about the reason why Catholic schools were built in the first place; not a hint of why the 1918 Education Act was necessary. The generic language used to describe Catholic educationmasks the fact that Catholic schools were built for the key purpose of teaching the Catholic religion, imparting the Catholic Faith, across the subjects of the curriculum – and have manifestly failed to do so since the introduction of content-free programmes of religious (non) education, and other novelties which have polluted Catholicism. Informed Catholic parents in Scotland have now taken this “rule of thumb” (interweaving the Faith into all subjects) into home-schooling, given that the Catholic schools see their mission as excelling in “the academic, cultural, civic and social achievements of pupils” (see above, paragraph 2) and not, as originally, to see to it that students’ world-view is rooted in their Catholic Faith. Even the image used in the Scottish Catholic Observer report has a pupil studying a Bible – not a Catechism. Below, some examples of the kind of material available to Catholic schools by using a sound Catechism – such as the excellent Baltimore series…
Hence, Catholic schools, like non-denominational schools, are now committed to catering for secular values – despite protestations to the contrary. Hence, as we have reported in our newsletter, we find “safe spaces” in Scottish Catholic schools for “LGBT pupils” with gender-neutral pupils, uniforms and language soon to follow, as the instances of such in England indicate. Click here to read a previous post on this subject.
Teachers who have taught in both sectors, say they see little difference between Catholic and non-denominational schools these days. So, is the centenary of state Catholic schools in Scotland really anything to celebrate? Should we not, rather, be mourning the passing of true and traditional Catholic education?