The sad news of the death of Daphne McLeod [left] has just arrived in my inbox, emailed by a mutual friend who has written to say that she first went into hospital about a month ago. Then, yesterday morning she had “taken a turn for the worse” and passed away yesterday evening, Sunday 3rd January, at about 7 p.m. I’m not sure of Daphne’s exact age but she was somewhere in her nineties.
Daphne was one of the first people to realise the damage being done to Catholic education, following Vatican II. She had been the Head of an infants’ school and was possessed of a strong Catholic sense, which included realising the importance of sound teaching in the Faith.
After she retired, Daphne worked voluntarily in her parish, schooling the Confirmation class. Once, on a visit to her home for a few days’ holiday, I had the pleasure of attending one of her lessons after Sunday Mass. Having been trained in the days before the insistence on the importance of “modern methods” of teaching, I was astonished to see the way in which Daphne wove every imaginable technique into that one lesson; as they indulged in some juice and biscuits, the pupils listened closely to her suitably short introductory talk, volunteered to read a parable, dramatized it (working together as a group), were set to do a related drawing, discussed the meaning of said parable and engaged in a lively Question and Answer session, so that Daphne could gauge their learning. It was a classic A1 performance by any standards. She’d have flown through any Ofsted Inspection.
Daphne was so convinced of the dangers posed to Catholic families by the modernist books being used in religion lessons post Vatican II that she set about studying the diocesan approved textbooks and then alerted bishops, priests, parents and teachers to the dangerous content. To this end, Daphne worked through an organisation called Pro Ecclesia et Pontifice (For Church and Pope), in time taking a leading position (Chairman) within the group. In this way, Daphne was able to organise meetings and larger conferences in and around London, as well as accepting invitations to address audiences elsewhere – happily including a Catholic Truth audience in Glasgow!
As well as being a first class teacher-model, a true Catholic educationalist, Daphne was a good personal friend, as I know myself; when I was fighting modernism in my own neck of the educational woods, Daphne offered sound advice and proved to be a kind and faithful friend. It’s a while since we spoke on the phone now, but I feel a real sense of loss, as will everyone who knew Daphne, I have no doubt. May she rest in peace.
The young people in the above video (published in November, 2018) are just lovely. Each and every one of them is transparently pleasant and sincere. They are obviously proud to be Catholics, God bless their tartan socks 😀
Yet, there is no way to gauge the level of their knowledge and understanding of the Faith. Their assessment of what it’s like to be a young Catholic in Scotland today is generic; there’s no substance to any of their comments. There can’t be substance, really, because they’ve not been properly taught the Faith themselves. We know this is the case because the Faith hasn’t been taught faithfully in Catholic schools in Scotland for (literally) generations now.
Is it likely that these very pleasant and sincere youngsters would be qualified to discuss and debate key Catholic dogma and morals? And if not, how can they really know what it is like to be a young Catholic in Scotland today? Is it not more accurate to claim that they have experienced what it is like to be a religious young person in Scotland today, albeit from a Catholic background?
Reflecting on our forthcoming Education Seminar (23 May), and given that Barbara Coupar, the Director of the Scottish Catholic Education Service (SCES) has ignored my emailed invitation to her to participate in said seminar, I decided to take a look at some of the resources on the SCES website which are used in Catholic schools. As a retired secondary school /sixth form teacher, I am particularly interested in the materials used with the older students, so I ambled along to the SCES website and clicked on the Religious Education section. However, they require login details to access those lessons so, as a follower of the old maxim if at first you don’t succeed, give up, I moved on to visit the section headed Equality & Inclusion Learning and Teaching, and clicked on resources for Levels Three, Four and Senior Phase – see sidebar on right of the SCES page: click here
I had technical problems with the Word documents at Level Three – they just wouldn’t open. However, I did see the video “The Story of Human Rights” which was very lively. Only two “hero” figures stand out in the film – 6th century Cyrus the Great, who freed the slaves in Babylon, thus bringing civilisation to the region and, of course, Mahatma Gandhi. If there were any notable Catholics, missionaries and saints, doing good in the world at any point in history, they didn’t make it into The Story of Human Rights” video shown in Catholic schools in Scotland.
Levels Four and Senior Phase concentrate on driving home the importance of the Equality Act, 2010, with time divided more or less equally between the Equality Act 2010 and the Stonewall Riots – credited with sparking the fight for LGBT+ rights. At the top of the list of resources for Level Four, however, we find a video in which pupils are presented with two dolls, one white, one black, and asked (by white interviewers) to point to the “bad” doll and the “ugly” doll and the “good” doll and the “pretty” doll. In the majority of cases, children pointed to the white dolls as being the good/pretty etc and to the black doll as being the bad/ugly. This “research” is used to point to rampant racism – it will be interesting to see if our bloggers agree…
Take some time to research the SCES materials yourself and then share your thoughts. Should parents be concerned about these materials? And is SCES guilty of embedding the LGBT+ worldview, indoctrinating young people with the philosophy of “gay rights”?
Present in the public gallery watching this recent discussion in the Scottish Parliament, we see Leo Cushley, the Archbishop of St Andrew’s & Edinburgh, Barbara Coupar, the Director of the Scottish Catholic Education Service (SCES), and a group of students.
Not one item on Elaine Smith’s list singles out Catholic schools as being any different from any other school in Scotland or anywhere else in the UK.
Yet, (or which explains why) one Member of the Scottish Parliament (MSP) after another, praised Catholic schools to the skies.
The buzzwords are all there – inclusive, diversity blah blah, how Catholic schools are teaching about all religions, nothing to worry about here. Hiding in plain sight as ever, of course, the fact that the one religion not being taught in Catholic schools is Catholicism. Nobody asked why Catholic pupils are leaving Catholic schools able to name the five pillars of Islam but unable to name the precepts of the Church. I mean who teaches that Sunday Mass attendance is obligatory, any more? Or that sex outside of marriage (between one man and one woman) is sinful? Who teaches that any more? Nothing to see here, move along…
One useful comment in the video comes from Baptist, John Mason, MSP for Glasgow Shettleston – scroll to 39.50, to hear him argue that there should be room in “the public square” for the expression of faith-based values, just as humanists are allowed free rein to express their views.
John Swinney, MSP, SNP Minister for Education, the one and same John Swinney whom we saw squirming in another video as he defended the disgraceful sex teaching materials in use in Scottish schools, also sang the praises of Catholic schools. Pause for thought, right there, folks… He makes a point of telling us that his own son attends a Catholic (shared campus) school, no problem. And why would there be a problem? His son, like every other pupil in any Catholic school in Scotland, is never going to be taught that “outside the Catholic Church there is no salvation” – and other key dogmas. Not in a million years. Which is about as long as it is likely to take to end the current crisis in the Church and get back to teaching the Faith, entire and true, without any watering down to accommodate “society”.
If you haven’t yet booked your ticket for the Catholic Truth Education Seminar scheduled to take place next May, we strongly recommend that you do so as soon as possible – there is, after all, plenty to discuss…
As a matter of courtesy, I’ve emailed the link to this conversation to the three MSPs named in the above commentary – Elaine Smith, MSP, John Mason, MSP and John Swinney, MSP / Minister for Education in the Scottish Government. So, remember the House Rules – no personal remarks, no politics – stick to the issue(s).
Catholic Primary headteachers reject secular arguments as they gather for annual CHAPS conference.
Catholic schools are inclusive, not divisive, headteachers emphasised this week as the Archbishop of Glasgow urged them not to shy away from their Catholic ethos.
The recent debate in the secular world over closing Catholic schools was one of the subjects of discussion at the annual Catholic Headteachers Association of Primary Schools (CHAPS) conference at the Dunblane Hydro on October 3-4.
The conference included a workshop at which teachers discussed the inclusion of children of other faiths in their schools.
Debunking secular argument
Sr Isabel Smyth, secretary for interreligious dialogue for the Bishop’s Conference of Scotland, lead the workshop.
She said that the fact there are many pupils of other faiths attending Catholic Schools ‘absolutely’ debunks recent claims in the media that Catholic schools are the cause of bigotry in Scotland.
“If you look at our Catholic schools, many of them are multi-faith and a lot of the children don’t belong to any faith whatsoever.
“If we teach and promote a Catholic ethos at its best then we are doing what’s best for the country,” she said.
Present at the workshop was Clare Harker, headteacher of St Albert’s Primary School in Glasgow…
More than 90 per cent of the school’s pupils are from a Muslim background, a small percentage are Catholic and the remainder are made up of other faiths and none.
Mrs Harker said she wanted to make sure that ‘everybody is very clear that Catholic schools aren’t just the preserve of Catholics and that they’re not about proselytising or indoctrination, they’re about a way of loving—and I think that’s what Catholic schools are doing.’
She added: “I think people very much choose to come to our school because of the ethos and presence of God and God-like values.”
In his homily during Mass at the conference, Archbishop Philip Tartaglia of Glasgow asked the teachers to ‘deepen’ their schools’ Faith, for people of all faiths and none, stressing that the ‘religious ethos is something that attracts parents.’
Bishop Brian McGee of Argyll and the Isles was a keynote speaker at the conference.
He said: “I’ve spent most of my life in and around Catholic schools. I went to one myself and for 27 years I worked in Catholic schools as a priest. Now, as a bishop, I’ve been involved in Catholic schools for the last three and a half years.
“I’ve never once, in all my time, heard anything sectarian or anything divisive within a Catholic school.”
CHAPS chairman James Kerr, headteacher of St Paul’s Primary School, Whiteinch, said the idea that Catholic schools cause separation among children of different faiths is ‘absolutely the total opposite of what a Catholic school is.’
“We recognise the faith journey of people of other faiths and of no faith,” Mr Kerr explained.
The curriculum for Catholic education in Scotland, ‘This is Our Faith’, governs the teaching of religious education in Catholic schools. In the curriculum there is a section dedicated to inclusion of other faiths in Catholic schools.
Mr Kerr added: “We are in the business of making saints, and saints come from all kinds of backgrounds. “ [Emphasis added].
“It’s not an easy journey for us, but Jesus didn’t have an easy journey either,” he said. “For headteachers there are challenges, but the bottom line is that you know ultimately you are doing God’s work.”
Archbishop Tartaglia of Glasgow called on headteachers to be ‘lead catechists’ and ‘chief evangelisers’ in schools.
Speaking on the day, Archbishop Tartaglia told the headteachers: “You’ve heard often enough that Catholic teachers are called to be evangelists in their schools, they’re called to the mission of evangelisation, and Catholic headteachers occupy the post of chief evangelisers in their school community.”
The archbishop called upon the headteachers to ‘take the next step’ in being ‘more conscious, more informed, more living in Faith and leading in Faith’ in their schools.
“I love all my headteachers, but I can see when I go to a school when it’s on the button and when it isn’t,” he added.
“And what I’m asking you to do is to kind of take that step to make it more conscious, deeper, more felt, lived so that the boys and girls that are in your care will have a great experience of being a Catholic Christian.”
Bishop Brian McGee of Argyll and the Isles, attending his first CHAPS conference, said: “It was great to see so many committed headteachers from all across the country who are here and interested in their Faith and are passing that Faith onto young people in their care.”
Barbara Coupar, director of the Scottish Catholic Education Service, agreed with the archbishop that Catholic headteachers must ‘take the next step’ in ‘building the Faith dimension’ in schools.
She said: “There are a lot of things we are doing very well, but one of the things we take for granted is the underlying Catholic dimension of our schools and I think that we’re at the point where we need to be a bit more up front about that and articulate it more.” Source
I found the above report confusing. It seemed to be extolling the virtues of “the Catholic ethos”/”religious dimension” throughout, as evidence of the success of Catholic schools in their inclusiveness and diversity, and then, bang, right at the end, this from Barbara Coupar: “… one of the things we take for granted is the underlying Catholic dimension of our schools and I think that we’re at the point where we need to be a bit more up front about that and articulate it more.”
Oops! is “the underlying Catholic dimension” the same thing as “the Catholic ethos”? And what does “we need to articulate it more” mean, in practice? Help!
The silence from the Catholic community, however, is embarrassingly deafening.
In the next day or so, I will be emailing each Scottish Bishop (we only have 8) to send them the link to this thread, and I’ll send it, also, to the Bishops of England and Wales.
To date, the UK Bishops have facilitated and thus effectively condoned the corruption of young people in the Catholic (add inverted commas) schools. The least we can do, as informed laity, is to shame them by publicly calling out their negligence.
Don’t forget, as far back or recently, however you see it, as 3 February, 2017, the Scottish Catholic Observer reported the shocking fact that – to quote the headline – LGBTI ‘safe spaces’ [are now provided] in Catholic schools in Scotland; and, applauding this sinister development all the way, was Bishop John Keenan of Paisley, pointing out that this was a response to “LGBTI bullying issues, while respecting parents’ wishes that their children be educated within the Catholic vision of the dignity of every human person.” Note: not educated within the vision of the Church’s prohibition on homosexual activity.
We’re still waiting for safe spaces to be provided for pupils who are bullied because they have ginger hair, are too fat, too thin, or simply not liked. No safe spaces announced for them, so far. We’ll keep you posted, though, be assured…
There will not, of course, be any such “safe spaces” provided for the traditional victims of bullies because the schools, including Catholic schools, are being permeated with homosexual propaganda for the purpose of eradicating all opposition to that “lifestyle”. The “safe spaces” / bullying strategy is nothing more than a tactic, a means of getting the LGBTQ++ message quietly embedded in schools. That’s the plan. Don’t be fooled.
“Hate crime”? The only “hate” accompanying discussions about homosexuality / transgenderism emanates from the “Gaystapo”, who will not tolerate any questioning of their sexual behaviour. We may question the (lack of) wisdom of cohabitation, extra-marital affairs/adultery, you name it, and “hate crime” will not be mentioned. So, before the Pink Brigade and their supporters start trolling us, be assured, we hate no-one. Not a person in this world.
We are not only forbidden to hate anyone – and that by Christ Himself – but we are commandedby Christ to love our enemies, and to do good to those who hate and persecute us. So, let’s get that nonsense-allegation out of the way. It’s a devious means of stamping out all opposition. Don’t be intimidated by it.
Comment on the issues surrounding the ongoing propaganda blitz in schools from those promoting homosexuality, transgenderism etc. with a particular emphasis on the downright apathy of the Catholic community – especially parents, teachers, priests, and bishops.
Finally, please spread the above video around – it’s important that no parent, teacher, priest or bishop can pretend not to know the extent of this infiltration of schools, even at the earliest stages of education, because what is going on, as revealed in the above video, is nothing short of child abuse.
Pupils at an East Kilbride primary school marked Catholic Education Week in a mindful way recently, as they welcomed a meditating priest. Fr Laurence Freeman OSB, who is the director of the World Community for Christian Meditation, arrived at St Vincent’s Primary School in East Kilbride to take part in a special assembly marking the end of the Catholic Education Week celebrations. Ed: claims are made on the WCCM website about this “Christian Meditation” dating from early Christianity, but, as you will see what is being promoted has more in common with New Age meditations than with authentic Christian meditation. For example, Yoga is openly promoted.
Pupils at an East Kilbride primary school marked Catholic Education Week in a mindful way recently, as they welcomed a meditating priest.
The visit coincided with Fr Freeman’s visit to Glasgow, and was a fitting way for the school to recognise its ongoing commitment to promoting Christian meditation as a regular practice across all year groups in the school over the past five years. Ed: it is chilling to think that children are being indoctrinated in this practice of “meditation” – divorced from Catholic devotions such as the Holy Rosary.
Fr Freeman visited classes and meditated with the pupils, before meeting with headteachers from the St Andrew’s and St Bride’s learning community, representatives of South Lanarkshire Council, and parents and friends of the school, and spoke to senior pupils. Ed: so this priest meditated with the pupils in classrooms – did it occur to him to take them to a Catholic church and explain the importance of “meditating” on the Real Presence of Our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament? Why do I get the feeling that the answer to that question is “no”.
He talked about Christian meditation’s value, noting that it promotes goodness, kindness and peace, and helps us to make the world a better place. In addition, he also spoke to youngsters and encouraged them to keep on meditating, explaining how meditation helps us to calm our minds, lower anxiety and to focus ourselves on God. Ed: here again, the modernist emphasis on making the world a better place. Won’t happen unless those “meditations” lead pupils straight to fidelity to Catholic teaching, spiritual, religious and moral. Still, at least “God” got a message. Don’t knock it.
The visit was a resounding success for St Vincent’s pupils, all of whom enjoyed Fr Freeman’s visit. “I was touched by Fr Laurence’s kindness and interested to hear him speak about his meetings with the Dalai Lama,” P7 pupil Emily McManus said. Ed: that a p7 pupil in a Catholic school has even heard of the Dalai Lama is a matter of the utmost concern. He caused quite a stir when he made his audience of 9,000 laugh heartily during his visit to Glasgow some years ago, when he concluded his talk by saying that if they found his teachings too hard, just say “F***” it. I tried to find the original report on that but lost the will to live, and so I’m posting this denial instead – denying that he had said any such thing, this time at a different venue, different country… bit of a coincidence, one might think. Whatever, primary school children whose parents have entrusted them to a Catholic school should not be exposed to false religions in this way. Sound pedagogy requires that young people be fully educated in their own religion before – as senior students at secondary level – being introduced to non-Christian religions.
St Vincent’s headteacher Eileen Tompkins said that the school was ‘honoured’ to have Fr Freeman there as part of their Catholic Education Week celebrations, and said his visit made staff and pupils feel ‘encouraged and inspired.’ Ed: So, presumably, now the Mass attendance in the parishes in East Kilbride will shoot up as these “inspired” youngsters swell the congregations. Or maybe not. Yoga is openly promoted on the WCCM website so they may join the countless other lapsed Catholics who “discover” that they don’t need the Church once they’ve learned to “meditate”. For the record, here is the description of how to meditate, given on the WCCM website:
Sit down. Sit still with your back straight. Close your eyes lightly. Then interiorly, silently begin to recite a single word – a prayer word or mantra. We recommend the ancient Christian prayer-word “Maranatha”. Say it as four equal syllables. Breathe normally and give your full attention to the word as you say it, silently, gently, faithfully and – above all – simply. The essence of meditation is simplicity. Stay with the same word during the whole meditation and in each meditation day to day. Don’t visualise but listen to the word, as you say it. Let go of all thoughts (even good thoughts), images and other words. Don’t fight your distractions: let them go by saying your word faithfully, gently and attentively and returning to it as soon as you realise you have stopped saying or it or when your attention wanders. Meditate twice a day, morning and evening, for between 20 and 30 minutes. It may take a time to develop this discipline and the support of a tradition and community is always helpful.Source
Comments invited… But not before you’ve read the second assault on Catholic spiritual life – again, reported in the SCO, 29/3/19…
Glasgow Archdiocese’s Lentfest play tells Passion story in a new way
The head of Glasgow’s Lent festival has called for Catholics to support their Faith through art as the annual event gears up to present its showcase play Sign of Contradiction: The Passion Story, is a project of the Archdiocese of Glasgow Arts Project (AGAP), and will be staged as this year’s Lentfest nears its conclusion.
So far, Lentfest has this year hosted a variety of events and the new play will act as a finale for the festival.
The play follows on from AGAP’s Sign of Contradiction: The Christmas Story, which became a hit last winter, and playwright Stephen Callaghan believes AGAP’s unique take on the Crucifixion could be just as successful.
“It’s the story of the events that led up to the Crucifixion and death of Jesus, as well as the events following,” he said. Story of Jesus. “But it tells the story differently to other plays about the Passion.”
Mr Callaghan said he hopes people will see parallels in the play with the political world today, with comparisons drawn between political corruption now and in Jesus’ time.
“Another reason I’m doing this is because when I started AGAP you could always assume that people knew the story of Jesus, but I’m not convinced that’s the case anymore,” he continued. [Ed: well, that speaks volumes about the failure of the Catholic Church in Scotland, in both parishes and schools and in its use of the media, to preach even the basics of the Faith.]
“Many people haven’t read or heard the story or might have forgotten it. And it’s a story which still shocks and provokes. This is going to revisit it and hopefully it can teach people”…
The first of the nine performances takes place on Saturday March 30 at St Joseph’s Church in Tollcross, Glasgow, with further performances taking place around Glasgow until the finale on April 15.
Words truly fail. The accounts of Christ’s Passion and Crucifixion are to be re-created to fit the modernist mind in the name of “art” and to (without question) deliver a political message – during Lent. Never mind that Our Lord was at pains to emphasise – especially to the traitor Judas – that His was not a political mission but a spiritually salvific mission.
I’ve put those parts of the above report in bold where alarm bells should be ringing in your head as you read this stuff. Did they? Ring, I mean? The alarm bells? Or maybe you see nothing wrong with any of this? Tell us if you really don’t consider the Catholic Church in Scotland – as it is currently administered by modernists – to be dangerous to spiritual health. If you really don’t see the risks entailed in allowing Catholic primary schools to push a potentially dangerous form of “meditation” – tell us; and be sure to tell us if you see nothing wrong with re-working the Gospel accounts of the life and death of Our Lord for artistic and political effect – I, for one, can’t wait to hear it!
Below, the text of the Pastoral Letter sent from the Archbishop of Glasgow to be read in all parishes tomorrow, Sunday, 3rd March, 2019. Underneath the Pastoral Letter, is the text of the ad clerum – that is his letter to priests – on the same subject. Compare the two – and weep!
We are approaching the time when, each year, young Catholics make First Confession and receive First Holy Communion.
It is incumbent upon the whole community to pray for these children, to support them in their journey of faith and to show them good example of Catholic faith, practice and discipline in the celebration and reception of the Sacraments.
I call especially upon the parents and guardians of these young Catholics to be mindful of the promises they made when they presented their child for baptism. The Church considers you as “the first and best teachers of your children in the ways of faith”. There is no doubt that the influence of parents, siblings and family is central to the faith formation of children. So, please, pray with your children, accompany them to Sunday Mass and be a good example to them of practising Catholics. Please cooperate with your Parish Priest, with our teachers in Catholic schools, with Parish Catechists and with all who are currently preparing your children.
The Sacraments are Sacraments of Christ, of the Church and of faith. Our faith teaches us that the Sacraments confer grace when they are received with the right disposition. When we go to Confession, our sins are truly forgiven through the grace of Jesus Christ. When we receive Holy Communion, we are nourished by the true Body and Blood of Christ. When we receive the Sacraments, the Lord deepens our belonging to his Church.
Please help your children to receive the Sacraments with faith, devotion and reverence. Let your families and friends rejoice with you. Let your enjoyment always be worthy of the “holy things” that you and your children have received.
I hope and pray that this Season of the Sacraments for your children will bring us all an increase of faith and of the immense joy of profound encounter with Jesus Christ our Lord. May Mary, Mother of the Church, intercede for children and families, and bring them to Jesus.
Yours devotedly in Christ,
Most Reverend Philip Tartaglia Archbishop of Glasgow
18th February 2019
Dear Monsignor, Canon, Father, Dear Rev. Deacon
Ad Clerum Letter on Preparation for the Sacraments
As you know, I have written a short Pastoral Letter on the Season of First Confession and First Holy Communion addressed to parish communities and especially to the parents and guardians of the boys and girls they have presented for these Sacraments. My letter to them encouraged them to prepare their children as well as possible for the Sacraments, to give them good example of Catholic faith and practice and to cooperate with Parish and School in the programmes and initiatives designed to prepare the children for the Sacraments. Finally, I wished them and their family holy joy in this Season of the Sacraments.
With this Ad Clerum letter, I wish to address a few words to you. I want to express my support for you in your attempts to prepare the children and their families for the Sacraments. We all know that in this time of apathy, indifference and superficiality, good preparation for the Sacraments is both rather challenging and very necessary. It is such a joy and such a consolation for priests and deacons when children and their families respond to our promptings with sincere faith and regular practice.
At the same time, my dear brothers, you know as well as I do that the faith of many families is weak and that, for them, the celebration of the Sacraments is alarmingly superficial. Much to our frustration, their personal circumstances andometimes mean that they cannot or will not cooperate with the preparation initiatives that we would like them to engage in.
I ask you to have compassion for these families and not to be too demanding with them. The whole weight of contemporary culture is against them. They are the ones who above all need the love and encouragement of their Priest and Shepherd.
I have always taken the following as a pastoral rule of thumb in discerning the threshold for the reception of the Sacraments. If the child is baptised, is a pupil at a Catholic school, if the parents request the Sacraments for their child, and if the child sincerely wants to receive the Sacraments, I believe that the minimum threshold for reception of the Sacraments has been reached. This minimum threshold is not to place an obstacle to the grace of the Sacraments (cf. Council of Trent, Decree on the Sacraments in General, Can 6).
Of course, we want more, and that is why we invite parents and candidates to engage in various initiatives. The Sacraments are Sacraments of faith (Vatican II, Sacrosanctum Concilium, Constitution on the Liturgy, 59), and we want as much faith as possible to welcome the encounter with Christ, which is the core of the sacramental event.
These are our neediest brothers and sisters. Jesus died for them. He loves them. He reaches out to them through you. I do not wish to supplant your pastoral judgment. You are there on the spot and you know your people as the Good Shepherd does. Please consider carefully what you are asking them to do. Please do not place unnecessary obstacles or hurdles in their way. Please give the child and the grace of the Sacrament the benefit of the doubt, for Jesus Christ alone is the Saviour, and we are the priests and servants of his mysteries of grace.
With the greatest respect and esteem for your priestly and diaconal service,
Yours always in Christ,
Most Rev. Philip Tartaglia Archbishop of Glasgow
Well, doesn’t that take the proverbial biscuit? In essence, Archbishop Tartaglia tells parents to practise the Faith, show good example to their children as they prepare for First Confession and First Holy Communion, only to tell his priests not to expect too much, and by too much, he means ignore the fact that they’re lapsed. Just let the children receive the Sacraments and get back to your golf. Honestly, it really does take the biscuit. But don’t take my word for it – let’s examine what, precisely, the Archbishop of Glasgow is saying to his priests in the above ad clerum…
In paragraph one, he mentions his Pastoral Letter acknowledging that he is encouraging parents to do what he later (in his ad clerum) admits they just cannot do, which is to “prepare their children as well as possible for the Sacraments, to give them good example of Catholic faith and practice and to cooperate with Parish and School in the programmes and initiatives designed to prepare the children for the Sacraments… ” [para 1]
He describes “this time of apathy, indifference and superficiality” [para 2] without mentioning the part he and his priests have played in creating and perpetuating this apathy, indifference and superficiality. Think, for example, of the many dissenters given platforms in Glasgow – even to the point of having a female Anglican vicar speak in the Jesuit church, St Aloysius College only a few weeks ago.
The entirety of paragraph three is a damning indictment of the Catholic Church in Scotland, and the Archdiocese of Glasgow in particular: “…you know as well as I do that the faith of many families is weak and that, for them, the celebration of the Sacraments is alarmingly superficial. Much to our frustration, their personal circumstances and low level of Catholic formation sometimes mean that they cannot or will not cooperate with the preparation initiatives that we would like them to engage in. ” [para 3 – emphasis added]. Who, pray, is to blame for the fact that children are now coming forward for the Sacraments, from homes where the parent(s) have not, themselves, been adequately taught the Faith? As he laments this scandal, the same Archbishop is allowing the Scottish Catholic Education Department to push homosexual/transgender propaganda in Catholic schools. Is the Archbishop really that incapable of joining up the dots?
In paragraph four, the blindness becomes even more apparent: “I ask you to have compassion for these families and not to be too demanding with them. The whole weight of contemporary culture is against them.” Talk about missing the point! The whole reason why these families are faithless is because of negligent priests in pulpits and teachers in schools – overseen by “liberal” bishops; it is precisely because nobody has been remotely demanding with them. Can he really not see that? And as for this nonsense about contemporary culture – Muslims, Jews and Hindus live, move and have their being in the very same contemporary culture and they can be picked out on any street as they, literally, wear their religion for all the world to see. So, don’t gimme “contemporary culture” – gimme instead, an open admission of negligent hierarchy, clergy and allegedly Catholic teachers.
The rest of the Archbishop’s letter to priests can be summed up thus: don’t bother your heads if the parents are not practising; don’t put obstacles in their way – if they want their child to dress up in a pretty Communion dress, kilt or nice suit, and have their “special day”, don’t go and be a spoil-sport by talking about off-putting things like Commandments (to keep holy the Sabbath) or Church laws (like regular Confession, Sunday Mass etc)
Left unsaid in the ad clerum: do you really want to have to say you had no First Communicants this year? Think of the field day Catholic Truth would have with that little nugget…
Consider: what SHOULD priests do when presented with non-practising families; child is baptised and attends Catholic school – should they be permitted to make First Confession, Communion and, later, Confirmation? Does it make sense to be confirmed in a Faith you know little to nothing about and don’t actually practise – except when weddings and funerals come around? Let’s hear it…
From the Scottish Catholic Observer… MP’s comments on Catholic education ‘very disappointing’ The director of the Scottish Catholic Education Service has described comments made last week by MP Mhairi Black (pictured, left) on Catholic schools are ‘very disappointing.’
Barbara Coupar, SCES director, spoke following a report by the Sunday Herald, which claimed the SNP MP had said there should be a debate on the future of Catholic schools in Scotland.
The Paisley and Renfrewshire South MP, who herself attended a Catholic school, reportedly made the comments in a interview at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, and offered a ‘personal’ view on the subject.
When asked if she and the SNP believed it was good for the future of Scotland to have children educated along religious lines, she said debate was needed, the Sunday Herald reported.
“Just when I am thinking of some of the damage that was done to me in an LGBT sense, growing up, [that] is something that I wouldn’t want any other child to ever have to suffer, ever again,” she said. “That’s a debate that has to happen.
“What the answer to that debate is I honestly don’t know.”
Ms Black shared her views during an ‘in conversation’ event at the Fringe on August 4 with journalist Graham Speirs, at which she discussed a number of other subjects including her scepticism on having another EU referendum.
Her comments come two months after First Minister Nicola Sturgeon publicly voiced her support for Scotland’s Catholic schools, in what is the centenary year for the provision Catholic state education in Scotland.
Mrs Coupar has expressed her disappointment with Ms Black’s remarks.
She said: “The comments which MP Mhairi Black reportedly made on Catholic schools are very disappointing and I’m sure that Catholics within her Paisley constituency will also be upset by them.
“Her views seem to be a stark contrast to that of her boss, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, who only a few months ago gave a very public backing of Catholic schools when she delivered the Cardinal Winning Lecture at Glasgow University.
“We have always felt very supported by the Scottish Government, especially this year when we marked 100 years of the Catholic Education Act.
“Therefore, it is somewhat perplexing that Ms Black would make such comments which show complete contradiction to the SNP public stance on the place of Catholic schools in Scotland and their ongoing, excellent contribution to Scottish society.”
Delivering the Cardinal Winning Lecture at Glasgow University in June this year, the First Minister spoke of how state-funded Catholic schools helped to ‘shape modern Scotland for the better,’ praising the 1918 Education (Scotland) Act as a ‘national success story’ and a ‘very courageous and far-sighted compromise’ between the Church and state ‘with very few parallels elsewhere.’
“When you consider the immense contribution the Catholic community as a whole has made to Scotland in the last century, it seems to me to be inarguable that the settlement arrived at in 1918 is one which brought benefits, not just to the Catholic Faith, but to all of us,” Ms Sturgeon said.
“The Scottish Government is an unequivocal supporter of Catholic schools. We value the contribution that Catholic schools make to modern Scotland. We want that contribution to continue in the years ahead.”
She said that celebrating the centenary of the Act was important because ‘100 years on, you are an important and valued part of Scottish life.’ “As we do so, we should celebrate the progress the legislation enabled. We should appreciate the contribution Catholic education makes to modern Scotland. And we should endeavour to work even harder to raise standards in Catholic schools and all schools.” Source
Miss Black is somewhat behind the times or she would know that the Scottish Catholic Education Service has long caved in to the demands of the LGBT lobby; as a result, “safe spaces” for allegedly homosexual pupils are to be found in Catholic schools. And the staff in Catholic schools are highly unlikely to be causing “damage” to pupils who allegedly “identify” in this way, by passing on Catholic teaching (which is nothing more than repeating the natural moral law) out of fear of being accused of “hate speech”, so it seems that, while Miss Black is right to call for a debate on the future of Catholic schools, she’s got the wrong reason for so doing. A debate is necessary because Catholic schools are failing to do what they were established to do – pass on the Catholic religion, including true morals, which, in turn, would mean an end to “safe spaces” for those intent on rewriting the moral law. Here we go round the Mulberry bush… Share your thoughts…
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?