Catholic Awareness Week:You Kidding?

A GROWING number of Scots are converting to Islam – with the majority young women.

Glasgow Central Mosque alone is now seeing more than 200 Scots a year ‘revert’. Due to the rising number of Scots finding Islam, mosques across the country are also setting up support groups for new ‘reverts’. Many are fearful of abuse and intimidation.

Reversion is the preferred term within Islam for those who ‘convert’ – as Muslims believe everyone is born believing in Allah.  Click here to read more about Islam Awareness Week

Comment:

Our Lord suffered and died on the cross, so that we could be saved and come to knowledge of the truth (1 Timothy 2:4)  

Yet,  today we have Catholic schools not only refusing to teach the truths of the Catholic Faith, but actively promoting falsehood – the falsehood that there is another religion that is equally pleasing to God. 

At the same time as Catholic priests, bishops and so-called educators are dumbing down the Faith to make it more palatable to the young (and, no doubt, salve their own bad consciences) they are pushing a religion which has “demanding” for its middle name.  For, the strict fasting laws and dress code are no barrier to the converts who are flooding into Islam. And little wonder, since they have been given a captive audience in at least one Catholic school brought to my attention,  to present their religious beliefs and practices in the most positive way.  When will the Scottish Catholic Education Service host a “Catholic Awareness Week” in schools across the country – non-denominational, Jewish, Muslim?  You kidding? 

Where are the parents in all of this?  Where are the senior management?  Head-Teachers? Chaplains? Bishops?

Our Lady of Fatima, pray for us!

Catholic Schools Vs Catholic Education

First Minister praises Catholic schools
First Minster Nicola Sturgeon praised Catholic schools during a meeting with Archbishop Philip Tartaglia and other faith leaders on Friday January 13.      muslim-schoolgirl

The SNP leader was chairing an annual meeting of Action of Churches Together in Scotland (ACTS) which brings leaders from a range of denominations together, including the Glasgow archbishop, who is president of the Scottish Bishops’ Conference, and the director of the Catholic Parliamentary Office Anthony Horan.

Speaking about a new community cohesion initiative, the First Minister commended the work of Catholic schools and singled-out St Albert’s Primary in Glasgow’s Southside for praise. Acknowledging the fact that the majority of pupils at the school are Muslim children—drawing most of its pupils from areas of traditionally high immigration—Mrs Sturgeon praised headteacher, Clare Harker. “It is fantastic that a school with a Christian Catholic ethos finds a way to respect the values of the children there,” she said.

The First Minister also said churches had a key role to play in community cohesion. “The trust you have in these communities can promote understanding,” she told the faith leaders. “We are at a pivotal moment and we need to try in our small way to give international leadership to diversity as strength and not just weakness. There is scope for us to work collectively.”

Among those at the meeting with the archbishop (above) were Rev Matthew Ross (Secretary of ACTS), Rev Alexander Ritchie (United Free Church of Scotland), Major Steven Turner (Salvation Army), Norman Graham (Baptist Union of Scotland), Rt Rev Russell Barr (Moderator of the Church of Scotland), and Most Revd Bishop David Chillingworth (Primus of the Scottish Episcopal Church).

Mrs Sturgeon also spoke about the challenge, for both government and wider society, of providing social care for an ageing population, particularly in relation to dementia. “We need to learn from you, to understand what the churches can bring [in relation to care for those with dementia],” she told the church leaders, adding that ‘you [the churches] are trusted, particularly regarding older people’s care.’

The SCO has been running a campaign since October to make Catholic churches ‘dementia friendly,’ with two churches signing up to the scheme in recent weeks.

At the end of the meeting, Mrs Sturgeon praised the work of volunteers and the third sector, and highlighted the value of the meetings with church leaders. “It is a good opportunity for me to hear from you and how we can work together,” she said. “I value this tradition.”

Anthony Horan, director of the Catholic Parliamentary Office, said: “The meeting is an opportunity for leaders of a number of Christian denominations to speak with the First Minister and to give her visibility as to the work they are doing in their local communities and wider Scottish society. It was extremely pleasing to hear the First Minister commend the value of Catholic schools.”

Speaking after the meeting, Nicola Sturgeon said: “Scotland is a place where we celebrate our differences, while recognising the many things that unite us and where people of all races, faiths and background feel safe and respected.

“It is important that everyone is open to each other’s values and it is essential that we safeguard our shared vision of a multicultural, open and tolerant Scotland. Our faith communities play a significant role here, and abroad, and we welcome their contribution and input into our nation’s civic life to enrich us all.”

Comment: 

Catholic schools were established to teach the Catholic Faith with conviction, as part of the process of educating Catholic children at home, school, and in the parish – e.g. via preaching.

Manifestly, that is no longer the aim of Catholic “educators”.

If the Muslim community can so successfully target and take over Catholic Schools and if a Protestant First Minister of a Protestant Scotland can “commend the value of Catholic schools” then, self-evidently, they are not doing what they are supposed to do.

Maybe it’s now time to hand them all over to parents who actually care about what their children believe and who want them  to be properly taught how to live in the world in accordance with their religious beliefs. Yes? Muslims seem to fit the bill nicely. 

After all, if the Catholic hierarchy don’t give a toss, and if Catholic parents don’t have a clue, what’s the point of keeping up the pretence?  

Having a bunch of buildings labelled “Catholic schools” is not remotely the same thing  as providing a Catholic education.  Home-schoolers provide a Catholic education without the buildings.  Well?  Is it right to seek to justify Catholic schools when they self-evidently do not provide a Catholic education?  

The Conundrum of Catholic Schools

SCESlogoI’m always very surprised to learn of allegedly informed Catholics who continue to believe that Catholic schools are doing a great job.  It’s as if there were no crisis in the Church, as if everyone involved had the same objective of passing on the Faith. Having led a number of RE Departments in Catholic schools in England, I know differently. At the time of this writing I know of several RE teachers in various Scottish Catholic schools who are having a hard time of it when they uphold the Church’s teaching on sexual morality; in some cases, the same pupils who mischievously (in my view) ask a question about, say, homosexuality, will then lodge a complaint that the teacher is “homophobic ” for doing nothing more than repeating what the Church teaches, based on the natural moral law.  In some cases, parents, and colleagues also complain. Teachers who uphold the Faith are bullied. That’s a fact. So, I decided to check out the Scottish Catholic Education Service website, to see how they’re selling Catholic schools these days.  There was one surprise, showing that they’re paying some attention to the valid criticisms made by informed Catholics for years now, but there was also the usual blurb. More on the surprise in a moment, but first…

Here’s the usual blurb…

Central to Catholic Christian faith is the person of Jesus Christ whose invitation to all people to live life in all its fullness presents the challenge which lies at the heart of religious education. Ways of responding to this challenge are facilitated through regular reflection upon the impact of the message of Catholic Christian faith on learners’ understanding of life and on their personal response to their life circumstances. Such reflective consideration leads to the growth of knowledge and understanding and provides opportunities for the development of beliefs, values and practices which result in the making of religious and moral decisions and commitments in life. Contexts for such opportunities may include:

  • appropriate experiences and celebration of prayer, reflection, meditation and liturgy
  • consideration of relevant life situations which present moral challenges
  • experience of engaging with the community of faith in home, school and parish
  • participation in acts of charity and in service for communities, locally and globally.

Here’s the surprise…

While it is appropriate to include learning about other denominations and other faiths, the aim in Catholic religious education classes will always be to form young people who follow Jesus and to assist them to know, love and serve God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Hence, Catholic religious education is ‘confessional’ in nature. In particular, teachers should avoid taking a phenomenological approach, thus presenting all denominations or faiths as equally true. While respecting pupils’ opinions and faith backgrounds, teachers must propose Catholic beliefs and values as objectively true and eminently relevant. In this way, in the teaching of religious education, Catholic beliefs, traditions and practices must be seen as central: “. . . relativism must be avoided”.  Source 

WOW! Was THAT a surprise. When I did my teacher-training in Glasgow, it was the phenomenological approach all the way.  The very word “confessional” was expunged from the blurb, and we were forbidden to teach the Catholic religion as if it were true. We had to think about those from lapsed home, from Protestant homes, from non-Christian homes, from the cat & dog home – in fact we had to think about anything and everything except the reason for having Catholic schools in the first place which is, of course, to pass on the Catholic Faith – with conviction.

Here’s the conundrum…

 For starters,  the rest of the website is designed,  more or less, to ensure that the “surprise” paragraph remains in the category of “The Theory of Catholic Education”.

 The fact  is, too, that staff are often living in “relationships” which are a counter-witness to the famous Catholic “ethos”.  They are not, therefore, ipso facto  in a position to uphold Catholic teaching on key moral issues such as marriage. Hence the  hostility facing those teachers who do live in conformity with Catholic doctrine and morality, and who seek to pass it on to pupils – as is their duty, and for which they will be called to account before God.  It’s a scandal of monumental proportions, therefore, when Catholic teachers are forced to approach their professional associations/unions for help and support, or take sickness leave, or consider moving into the non-denominational sector or, in one case that I know of, decide to leave teaching altogether, and for what? For doing nothing more than their duty as Catholic educators.

The idea, too, that Catholic education requires not only the active support of teachers and parents, but priests in the parishes, brings problems. I’m losing count of the number of parishioners telling me the most shocking things that they hear from their priests and the liturgical abuses which are now endemic in the new Mass. How can pupils learn true Catholic doctrine on the Real Presence for example, when they are encouraged to receive Communion in the hand and even from a lay person,  or true doctrine on the priesthood if they see lay people distributing ashes, and giving blessings to those not receiving the Blessed Sacrament.

Conundrum? Catholic schools? What do you think? 

Ireland: is Catholic Education Finished?

schoolgirlCatholic and Protestant teachers will train alongside each other in a new institute announced by the Irish Government last week.

The Institute of Education will replace the Catholic St Patrick’s College and Mater Dei Institute as well as the Church of Ireland College of Education and operate under Dublin City University.

The move was announced by the Minister for Education, Ruairi Quinn last week in a document “A New Vision of Education for all the Children of Ireland.”

Speaking at the launch the Archbishop of Dublin, Diarmuid Martin said the new institute reflected something of how the future of education in Ireland is progressing and how people wish it to progress in a pluralist society.

“Pluralism should not produce negative rivalry or antagonism or give rise to elitism or social division, or a culture which seeks to maintain positions based on narrow ideologies,” he said.

The multidenominational institute will train teachers for the Catholic Church, Church of Ireland and other Christian traditions and will provide ongoing development for teachers and educators.

The move has not been welcomed by everyone, with Dr Ciarán Ó Coigligh, at St Patrick’s, describing it as “a takeover” and giving into those who “promote a secularist agenda.”

He said: “It is stated that the core curriculum will be ‘denominationally neutral’. This is a blatant contradiction of the essence of Christian education which requires that the denominational ethos permeates the whole teaching and learning experience.”   Source

Comment

Clearly, Catholic education is set to become a thing of the past in Ireland, with no plans to train Catholic teachers to pass on the Catholic religion. A “denominationally neutral” curriculum just doesn’t cut it. But is this really any different from what has been going on in so called Catholic education in the UK for years now? Is the question “is Catholic education finished in Ireland” OR – perhaps more  accurately – “is Catholic education finished?” End of.  Tell  us your thoughts.

Catholic Education Week Scotland – More Bluff, Bluster & Baloney…

Image

From 23rd February to the 1st March 2014 Scotland’s   Catholic schools and parishes will celebrate how they support children and young   people to ensure that they are “Shining the Light of Faith” in   their daily lives.  This theme has been inspired by the first Encyclical of Pope   Francis: ‘Lumen Fidei’ (The Light of Faith).

Archbishop Philip Tartaglia said: “During   Catholic Education Week, we can all do that little but more to “shine the  light of faith” in our lives. In doing so, not only do we respond  positively to our own vocation, we become lights for our young people, our hope  for the future”. 

To read Archbishop Tartaglia’s message for Education Sunday please click here.

The above report is taken from the website of the Archdiocese of Glasgow

Lanarkshire: Should Syphilis Lead To “Sexplanations” in Catholic Schools?

A very concerned parent passed us a copy of a letter dated 11 November, 2013, which her daughter brought home from her Catholic school.

Read the text below, and click on the picture to visit the “Sexplanations” website.

Then tell us if you think there is ever any excuse to deliver the “safer sex” message to pupils in Catholic schools. Is an outbreak of syphilis a reason to bring in the “sexperts” or is there, categorically, never any excuse for a Catholic headteacher to permit the kind of “information” sessions being carried out in Lanarkshire schools – including Catholic schools.

TEXT OF LETTER GIVEN TO PUPILS TO DELIVER TO PARENTS, INCLUDING PUPILS IN CATHOLIC SCHOOLS…

Dear Parent/Guardian,

Cases of Syphilis in Lanarkshire residents

During 2012 and 2013 there has been an increase in the number of cases of syphilis diagnosed in Lanarkshire compared to previous years. The increase has been most marked in young people under the age of 25.

A series of actions have been taken to increase awareness of the increased number of cases of syphilis, to promote prevention of infection and to encourage people to attend the sexual health service for testing. These have included press statements issued to local and national newspapers and other media outlets; the distribution of leaflets through community services and community groups; and promotion of information about the situation using the Lanarkshire sexual health website, Facebook and Twitter. Additional sexual health clinics have been provided to enable testing of people who have responded to the information provided.

What is syphilis?

Syphilis is a sexually transmitted infection. It can be passed on by direct sexual contact and cannot be passed on by casual social contact such as holding hands, hugging, kissing or sharing cutlery.

Why are we contacting parents/guardians of high school pupils about this?

We collect confidential information to allow us to identify characteristics, including age, of those diagnosed with syphilis and any other sexually transmitted infection. Some of the information shows there is syphilis infection present among young people who may be in senior school. It is important to appreciate that 50% of the young people diagnosed with syphilis did not display any symptoms of syphilis infection.

NHS Lanarkshire is taking action to increase understanding among young people of the importance of preventing infection and practising safer sex for those young people who have sex. It is particularly important for young people to attend a sexual health clinic if they have had at risk sex during the last two years.

One of the approaches being used, in addition to t hose listed above, is to provide an information session on syphilis to pupils in S4, S5 and S6 in each school in Lanarkshire.

The majority of young people in S4 to S6 are not sexually active and you may not feel this information is relevant to your child at present. However, NHS Lanarkshire has a responsibility to deliver accurate messages to populations affected by infections such as syphilis in order to reduce the risk of further infection, and to promote testing of people who may have been infected and who would benefit from treatment.

The information sessions will ensure that all young people in these year groups will be aware of: what syphilis is; the long term impact of syphilis infection; and how to get tested for sexually transmitted infection, which is important even if not experiencing symptoms. The session will also convey key messages around risk taking behaviour in regards to sexual health. The session will be short and any disruption to the school curriculum will be kept to a minimum. The information sessions are being organised by NHS Lanarkshire and will be delivered by health and education staff.

If you have any questions that are not answred by the enclosed information leaflet you may wish to visit the Lanarkshire sexual health website Alternatively, you may wish to use the NHS inform helpline by phoning 0800.22.44.88. This helpline is open from 8.00 am to 10pm 7 days a week.

We appreciate that this is a sensitive issue and hope you find this information helpful.

Yours faithfully,

(Signed) Dr Anne McLellan, Lead Sexual Health Clinician, NHS Lanarkshire – and – Dr John Logan, Consultant i n Public Health Medicine, NHS Lanarkshire. END

Orthodoxy Vs Tradition?

Orthodoxy Vs Tradition?

The Flock, a conservative publication edited by Daphne McLeod, has been, for many years now, the mouthpiece of Catholics in the UK, concerned about the dreadful state of religious education in Catholic schools. The current edition, which arrived in my inbox yesterday, is brilliant in its exposé of the latest text-book to be used in Catholic schools in England and Wales. Click on the picture to read it.

However, the thought struck me that it was very late in the day to be still talking about what are essentially “sticking plaster” remedies.  Is it really possible to be an authentic, fully believing  Catholic just by paying lip service to orthodoxy, or must we commit to the entire Catholic Tradition?  Given the recent utterances of Pope Francis alone, the time has surely come to return to the Faith of our Fathers – without compromise. Writing to bishops and Vatican is not making the required difference. Replacing bad textbooks with orthodox textbooks doesn’t change the fact that pupils in Catholic schools are being contaminated with the modernism now endemic in the Church at large. Why, I asked myself, are not all informed Catholics, voting with their feet to receive the traditional Sacraments from the SSPX priests who, whatever their personal shortcomings, have been sent to us by God to see us through this time of crisis?

I asked a reader who doubles as a friend (well, I have to have at least one….) and received a reply by email with the same thought: The Catholic Church has one-ness amongst its four marks and the gates of Hell will not prevail against it, so there is no possibility of the ship sinking altogether. Unfortunately, the present captain of the barque of St Peter, and his 1st, 2nd, 3rd . . . nth officers seem to be having a problem with the ship’s compass just now and they are in need of guidance and assistance from the Coastguard. Whilst there are many people standing on the shore eager to call out directions, most of them are reading from similarly afflicted compasses, and many of them haven’t even got a compass at all. The Coastguard appears to be the only faction which has a reliable compass due to having upheld its connections with traditional sea-faring rules for the last two millenia.

The Coastguard is too wise to come aboard, where its compass might get contaminated by whatever malign influences pertain there, so it is wisely keeping its distance.

Unfortunately, its voice is not being heard amidst the tumult of other well-meaning, but misguided, advice. What is needed is not sticking plaster, but broad-based, militant support from those who are presently not shouting at all, yet who can see what the score is. They need to be marshalled into line behind the Coastguard to add their voices and make themselves heard above all others.

What I am advocating is that the last remaining bastion of Tradition (the SSPX) deserves the support of The Flock and Christian Order and all the blogs et al. Now that Bp. Fellay has nailed his colours so unambiguously to the mast at his week-end Conference in Kansas, he needs to receive assurances of support for greater militancy (à la Militia Immaculata) for the restoration of all things to Christ through Prayer, Penance and Catholic Action from every source that has a platform in the media circus however small.

Only then, when the barque gets back on course, will it be possible to reintroduce Religious Instruction into our Catholic Schools, and all the other aspects of practising, spreading, and upholding the Catholic faith that will eventually lead to the Restoration of the Kingship of Christ. END

Do you agree? Is the battle for the Faith going to be won with sticking plasters? Is it right to continue to expose Catholic children to the drivel through to poison on offer in religious education lessons delivered in the name of the Church, by teachers who are themselves victims of the crisis of faith? Or is it time for something much more radical, as advocated by our reader?