Archbishop of Glasgow On “Low Level of Catholic Formation” … So What? 

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!

ARCHDIOCESE OF GLASGOW
Curial Offices, 196 Clyde Street Glasgow, G1 4JY
E-mail: archbishop@rcag.org.uk / http://www.rcag.org.uk          

Pastoral Letter for Sunday 3rd March 2019

My dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

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

Comment: 

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…     

Scottish Catholic Education Service Actively Promoting LGBT Agenda…

St Maria Goretti, please intercede to protect the innocence of pupils in Scotland’s Catholic schools…

The following extracts are taken from the website of the Scottish Catholic Education Service, section entitled Equality & Inclusion Learning and Teaching

The Usual Introductory Blurb… Editorial comment injected

All schools should have robust policies that seek to ensure the safety and inclusion of all children.
Ed: except those whose parents send them to a Catholic school foolishly expecting them to be protected FROM the “inclusion” baloney, “inclusion & equality” being cover terms for permissive sex “education” – more accurately described as “exploitation”

Anti bullying, Nurture, Safeguarding and Safe Spaces are all positive aspects of the Equalities and Inclusion work of our schools.
Ed: these would be the “safe spaces” for “gay” pupils, as reported in the Scottish press In 2017

However, there is always more that could be done to ensure that staff feel confident, informed and enabled to put the policies into practice. Therefore, as well as creating resources for use in classroom, materials will be added to this page for use at whole school level and to inform policy and practice relating to the Equality Act and the protected characteristics.
Ed: yet again, we see the so-called Catholic educators showing more concern for the law of the land, than for God’s law. They use the law of the land as an excuse to corrupt children. In fact, no Inspectorate could find against a Catholic school refusing to teach this garbage, because, by defending the right of Catholic schools to teach Catholic Faith and Morals, they are, in the very nature of things, unassailable. By teaching immorality in Catholic schools, all of those responsible, from the Bishops down, are – literally – Hell bent. Millstones and depths of the sea, spring to mind. Check out Matthew 18:6

All of the materials note that the starting point for any work with young people in the area of Equality and Justice is rooted in a vision of what it means to be in relationship with others.
Ed: note, “a vision…” not “God’s plan…”

The materials hosted on this page should be used in conjunction with the existing RSHP/HWB/RERC resources for Relationships and Moral Education – Called to Love (Secondary schools) and God’s Loving Plan (Primary schools)

Extracts from year themes follow – after setting the scene with wish-washy emotionally based thinking in the first two years, the attack of the morality of the young attending Catholic secondary schools gets down to brass tacks…

THIRD
Put aside differences and starting anew
Rights of the Child
Justice, Respect and Equality
Challenging Prejudice – case study homophobic language and bullying

FOURTH
What is the Equalities Act & why should I know about it?  *
Hate Crimes – case study on homophobic, transphobic and biphobic  *

SENIOR PHASE
Growing up in the 21st Century
Values V Tolerance (I don’t need to agree with you to like, respect or value you?)
Catholic Social Teaching – preference for the poor, protection of the vulnerable
Protected Characteristics – why are they protected, what is the history, how can we remove prejudice

Learning still to be developed:
Modern Studies/ History
What has influenced the law in Britain regarding the protected characteristics.
A historical review of the facts that led to the various changes in law and what that has meant for people within these protected characteristics – women’s rights movement, race relations act , religious hate crimes, stonewall riots, disability rights etc.

Cyber bullying  Ends.

Comment:

Regular readers of this blog will know that the above involvement of the Scottish Catholic Education Service in the corruption of young people using the excuse of Government legislation is not exactly breaking news.  We have discussed it before, more than once. What IS new, however, is the likelihood that those ultimately responsible for this corruption of young people will face justice – and not just in the next world.  Little by little, we are seeing victims of sexual abuse turning on the perpetrators of their abuse and demanding that heads roll.  To date, this has been  limited to those who have physically sexually assaulted children and young people,  but the day will come when those who have effectively groomed the young will also be called to account.  Bishops take note.  

The key question for this discussion has to be this:  why are the educators so keen to follow the secular laws of so-called equality and inclusion when they are diametrically opposed to Catholic teaching – i.e. to God’s moral law? Why not just explain to  the Inspectorate that by teaching elementary Christian purity, pupils will learn to live in a healthy manner, in time building stable homes, and, by learning basic Christian charity, they will know how to live by the Gospel imperative to love everyone – even enemies!  They will learn NOT to be unkind to people who are different.   

* What is purity and why should I know about it?
* Young famous Catholics – case studies: Maria Goretti [ and others…]

What’s wrong with those for challenging headings in a teaching programme for Catholic schools in Scotland?   

Scots MP: Debate Needed on Future of “Damaging” Catholic Schools… 

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

Comment:

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…

Scottish Catholic Education Service Guilty of Institutionalised Child Sex Abuse

Recently, January, 2017, we discussed the distinction which has to be made today, between Catholic schools and authentic Catholic education. The two are no longer the same thing. This, in the context of the large numbers of Muslim pupils populating Catholic schools. Click here to read that discussion

Previously, in July 2016, we had addressed the issues surrounding the compliance with the LGBT agenda, of the Catholic education service in Scotland (SCES) here

Barbara Couper, Director, Scottish Catholic Education Service

Barbara Couper, Director, Scottish Catholic Education Service

Now, today, we look at the utterly shocking report in this week’s Scottish Catholic Observer (SCO) detailing the sheer scale of the apostasy and depravity within the Scottish Catholic Education Service (SCES) where, says Barbara Couper, Director of the SCES speaking on behalf of the Scottish Bishops, “gay” pupils in Scottish Catholic schools are to be given “safe spaces” to talk to specially trained (in LGBTI issues) teachers or other adults, under the patently obvious pretext of “bullying”.  No such provision for pupils bullied for any other reason is made.  Just those who imagine themselves to be called by God to a life of depravity and moral corruption. Ms Couper was addressing the Scottish Parliament’s Equalities and Human Rights Committee about a “range of measures that would be taken in Catholic schools to prevent bullying of any lesibian, gay, bisexual, transgender or intersex (LGBTI) pupils”  Bishop Keenan of Paisley “praised Ms Coupar’s performance before the committee saying she gave an ‘excellent account to the Holyrood Equalities Committee of how our Catholic schools are responding to LGBTI bullying issues while respecting parents’ wishes that their children be educated within the Catholic vision of the dignity of every human person.” (LGBTI ‘safe spaces’ for Catholic schools, Scottish Catholic Observer, 3rd February, 2017.) At time of this writing, the report is not online – if it appears later, we will link to it. This week’s SCO can be read here   

Bishop John Keenan of Paisley

Bishop John Keenan of Paisley

It goes without saying that if Ms Couper’s version of Catholic education had remotely reflected the truths of Catholic Faith and Morality, it would have made headline news – as a “hate crime” – for weeks if not months to come.  And Bishop Keenan must know that, so he – with his brother bishops – are seriously complicit in this depraved (literally) version of Catholic education. 

Lest anyone be ignorant enough to think that this move has anything to do with bullying, take a look at the Stonewall booklet (A Guide For Schools) which argues for ways and means to encourage young pupils to “come out” – this is what is actually going on here; Catholic schools encouraging this vice among young people, who, half the time can’t make up their minds whether they want to be bus drivers or brain surgeons, cops or high court judges, yet they are exposed to the possibility that they may engage in depraved sexual behaviour and be actively encouraged to do so by none other than so-called  Catholic educators. Barbara Couper, Director of the Scottish Catholic Education Service, insists that Catholic schools “propose the Gospel, not impose the Gospel” – ignoring the fact that the LGBTI community have no problem imposing their counter-gospel.  Thus, with a red-hot warning that if you visit this comment from an Anglican gentleman posted by me on our General Discussion thread recently, you will be faced with the sheer depravity of homosexual activity; if you are a parent or a teacher, however, you ought to grit your teeth and suffer the filth, for the purpose of knowing precisely what it is that Barbara Couper and the Scottish Bishops are doing by their ‘safe spaces’ initiative in Catholic schools.  They are exposing children to everything you will read there, and more – the commitment of the  SCES remember, as quoted in the SCO report of 3rd February, is to put pupils in touch with “help inside and outside the school.”   

Below, is the substance of my comment copied from the July thread, with some additional remarks, because I think it applies today, in the context of this latest dereliction of duty by the Scottish Bishops. 

Comment: 

The Scottish Hierarchy continues to keep a disgraceful silence on the undermining-through-to-destruction of traditional marriage and sexual morality  – always taking their lead from the enemy; secular society and, specifically, the homosexual lobby, whose list of deviant behaviour is ever growing.  Not one Scottish Bishop has come out plainly to warn the faithful against the heresy in Amoris Laetita.  Far from it.  Archbishop Tartaglia has advertised training for teachers and priests on how to teach, preach, implement it and you can bet your bottom dollar that if he were instructing Catholic teachers and priests to preach traditional Catholic doctrine on marriage, and ignore the heresy, we’d have heard about it, with banner headlines in the secular press about the “infidelity” of  “disobeying” Pope Francis the Great. 

There’s a push now for the normalisation of “transgenderism” and “intersex” and goodness knows what else will be added to the list once that’s firmly in place (and they’re almost there, with few questioning the idea that a man may become a woman and vice versa)  – bestiality? Why not?  

Children and young people are, therefore, effectively being groomed for sexual deviance, with the full and knowing complicity of the useful idiots currently running the Education Service of the Catholic Church in Scotland – and their episcopal bosses. Click here to see who’s who….

Nobody but nobody will convince me that these self-styled education “experts” and the Bishops do not know perfectly well that “addressing LGBTI+ matters in an appropriate and sensitive way” (and providing “safe spaces” for pupils to “come out”) means condoning sexually deviant behaviour and accepting its normalisation – and imposition – by those guilty of this grave sin, which Christians have always believed, is a sin “crying to Heaven for vengeance.”  

It seems self-evident then that what is going on in Catholic schools today amounts to institutionalised child sex abuse. If you agree, why not write to the Scottish Catholic Observer to complain about their report published in the paper, 3rd February and entitled: LGBTI ‘Safe spaces’ for Catholic schools – email the Editor, Ian Dunn at  ian@sconews.co.uk   I’m about to write to him myself, having sent him this comment in advance, in an effort to make absolutely sure that he understands what is at stake for the young people entrusted to Catholic educators. [Later that same day – I’ve now emailed a letter for publication. Let’s see if it makes it onto the SCO Letters Page.]

I would add only this, for reflection: I have long been of the opinion – and said so for years in our newsletter, well before the Cardinal O’Brien scandal broke – that bishops who permit and promote deviant sexual behaviour have placed a huge question mark over their own sexual morality and integrity.  It’s called “fair comment”. 

Anyway, back to the immediate issue:  perhaps you think that providing ‘safe spaces’ in Catholic schools to encourage “gay” pupils to “come out” is just fine?  Let’s hear it… 

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?