Tuesday, 14 August 2007

The Point Of Catholic Education?

When I first decided that teaching was my vocation, I was convinced that Catholic schools were a great thing. Good discipline, good results, and good moral standards. And while there were plenty of state schools which could provide good discipline and good results, the Catholic schools won hands down on the moral teaching. After all, they were promoting the teachings of the Church, handed down by Christ to his Apostles...

I wasn't totally naive: I knew that many teachers failed to live up to the teachings of the Church in their everyday lives: but, well, we're all sinners... and at least the party line was that there was an ideal which should be striven for.

I soon realised that this was far from true. In my experience, in most secondary schools, the teaching of the Church was presented, at best, with a rather apologetic air, a sort of "this-is-what-we're-supposed-to-say-but-we-don't-really-believe-it" attitude. At worst, the teaching was derided as "unrealistic and medieval."

Having experienced this first-hand (I was threatened with disciplinary action for bringing the school into disrepute after I protested publicly about the promotion of condoms and the morning-after pill in sex education lessons) I began to have my doubts about the rationale behind our Catholic schools. However, most people assured me that the primary schools were still worth keeping.

The discovery that Channel 4's highly sexually-explicit and quite revolting programme was being used in at least one primary school in Southwark made me question this assumption. And now we have further proof that the raison d'être for our Catholic education system, namely the passing on of the moral teachings of the Catholic Church, has been dealt a body blow.

The Archdiocese of Liverpool has been unable to take action against Charles Coyne, the Head of St Cecilia's primary school, who has registered a partnership with Richard Jones, who is believed to work at a nearby school. Lawyers have told the Church that the Head cannot be sacked. You can read more about it over at the Telegraph.

I was under the impression that, at one time, being in an irregular relationship was a sackable offence for the Head or Deputy Head of a Catholic school (or a Head of RE for that matter.) A civil partnership is, according to the teachings of the Church, a very irregular relationship, and a homosexual civil partnership is even more so.

So, if we can't insist on being allowed to deliver the teachings of the Church to our pupils (as the SORs say this is homophobic and discriminatory... and therefore illegal) and we can't insist on moral standards being passed on by example, then what is the point of Catholic schools?

Ditch them, and use the money for something more worthwhile.


Fr John Boyle said...

Shameful. Couldn't agree more.

...and use the money for something more worthwhile.
such as employing properly trained people in parish catechesis, subsidies for youngsters going to Faith Summer Break/Session...

Mark said...

This might be a quite countercultural response, but if they cannot sack him, or require him to resign, can't they speak to him awfully sweetly about his position and make him realise how his position is incompatible with his relationship?

Anonymous said...

I agree, I came through 13 years of Catholic education and all I learnt was that Gandhi was a nice man.

George said...

Mark - however 'sweetly' you might wish to talk to these people they have but one mission and that is to homosexualise society and destroy the family. It is clearly spelled out in the Gay Lib Manifesto 1972/1978.

This is how it starts ...

Gay Liberation Front: Manifesto

London, 1971, revised 1978


Throughout recorded history, oppressed groups have organised to claim their rights and obtain their needs. Homosexuals, who have been oppressed by physical violence and by ideological and psychological attacks at every level of social interaction, are at last becoming angry.

To you, our gay sisters and brothers, we say that you are oppressed; we intend to show you examples of the hatred and fear with which straight society relegates us to the position and treatment of sub-humans, and to explain their basis. We will show you how we can use our righteous anger to uproot the present oppressive system with its decaying and constricting ideology, and how we, together with other oppressed groups, can start to form a new order, and a liberated lifestyle, from the alternatives which we offer.

HOW We Are Oppressed


The oppression of gay people starts in the most basic unit of society, the family. consisting of the man in charge, a slave as his wife, and their children on whom they force themselves as the ideal models. The very form of the family works against homosexuality.

At some point nearly all gay people have found it difficult to cope with having the restricting images of man or woman pushed on them by their parents.

It rants on like this for several pages - Google search if you want to read the whole load of twisted drivel. Point is that they, homosexuals, are not content with the traditional family as the cornerstone of society and want to socially engineer a whole 'new world order'.

So, it doesn't take rocket science to figure out that this particular Head of the school (possibly there as a 'sleeper') has another agenda. All I can say is that this guy will 'use' the school as a means to an end. It is not just sad Mac, it is sickeningly evil and a disaster!

There ARE however Catholic Schools out there that are fighting hard, but I fear that it is a 'rear guard' action. Our Catholic Education experts and Bishops must make this issue absolute TOP PRIORITY and not brush it under the carpet. I can see the battle lines being drawn but are WE ready, are we armed with skill, cunning, knowledge, prayer, mortification and absolute faith in the teaching of the Catholic Church.

Holy Mother of God, Help of Christians pray for us.

WhiteStoneNameSeeker said...

How many parents will just put up with this? Will they shrug and look away or will they pull their children out?
Imagine if the children did not go back in Sept until a moral leader could be found for the school.

But as with the 'book' and other attacks on the faith-no one will fight because those who have positions of leadership in the Church both lay and ordained run behind the sandbags when a fight starts.
I'm spitting mad over this whole debacle.

Mrs Jackie Parkes MJ said...

Except we don't want to be like the secularists who want rid of them too! Anyway our Catholic schools are excellent..so we can't tar all of them with the same brush..

Mac McLernon said...

Jackie, I have to disagree with you. I'm sure that a few (and oh, how very few) schools are really good, but they are so rare that it really isn't worth the expenditure...

Oh, and just wait. The new "Every Child Matters" agenda of the government will get sex ed (government approved, naturally) put high up on the agenda, and under the SORs it will be ILLEGAL for schools to condemn anal sex as practiced by male homosexuals as something abnormal...

Anonymous said...

But is it illegal under the present SORs? I don't think so (I asked a friend of mine who is an authority on the law of free speech). They concern action, not free speech, though there may be new laws that extend to that as well.

Carolina Cannonball said...

Many Catholic families are opting for Prot. private schools in my area as an alternative to Catholic schools that don't teach the doctrine and shove religious diversity down kid's throats.

William said...

"Gandhi was a nice man..." No, actually he wasn't. He was an Egomaniac, drunkard and paedophile. However, I digress.

Catholic schools - what are they for? Duhhh. Don't know. So far as I can see, if they won't teach the faith, if they are staffed better than 80 % non catholic or non practising catholic, how then do we define 'Catholic School'?

Lets just be honest and kick 'em all into touch.

Mark said...

George, with respect I disagree. Most gay people have never seen the GLF Manifesto. Just because something was true in the 70s/80s, do not assume that modern generations of gays and lesbians subscribe to its theories.

William, are you sure? Gandhi was purportedly teatotal, being a Hindu. I have never heard the paedophilia accusations.

a thorn in the pew said...

The "Safe Touch" programs here in the states make me want to cringe. I have to opt my children out this year. I agree with Mac. Good Catholic schools are not the norm but the exception. I pray for the day when there will no longer be a need for homeschool. It should be an option not the only way to protect our Catholic children from garbage and heresy.

Elizabeth said...

I'm sure the reason our Catholic schools are becoming 'uncatholic' is because prayer is no longer at the centre of the school.

Parents don't pray together or with their children and schools no longer hold a daily assembly where hymns are sung and prayers such as the Memorare are recited.
Please correct me if I am wrong??

We have lost the knowledge of the POWER OF PRAYER.

I recently received a text message on my mobile asking for me to say a Hail Mary and an Our Father as soon as I received it and to send the text to 5 other people.
Now normally I have no time for such chain texts - but what a wonderful idea, and everyone I forwarded it to prayed.

Pray Catholics Pray!!!!

White Stone Name Seeker said...

Actually could the Church ditch the present crop of 'Catholic' schools and perhaps start again with smaller and actually Catholic schools. You know, schools where the children actually leave having learned the faith?

IS there a way to break free of the national curriculum with its sex ed, citizenship and just the whole twisted view of how children learn?

George said...

Mark - the 'modern' homosexual as you put it, agenda is the same, perhaps even more extremely perverted and violently so. You need to have a look at The Gospel of Life video shot in Canada some years ago by Human Life International.

Boy, will that open your eyes to the almost demonic aspect of their hatred of heterosexual family and Catholic values.

Please, don't let's be under any illusions as to what is going on here. What was 'true' for homosexuals in the 70's/80's is just the same today, it's just that it has progressed and some.

Mark said...


Your thesis is wrong. You work from the basis of two assumption, viz.: that future behaviour will and must follow past behaviour, and that all are the same. Of course I admit that there are a number of gay men and lesbians who do have a family-hating and anti-Catholic set of values, but equally there are many who are so caught up in their own little worlds that they have little interest in these topics. The fault here is not of homosexuality, or of faults of lust; rather, it is the modern secularist agenda, that allows persons who give in to their corrupted and fallen natures to then demand rights that appear to come automatically from that 'fall'. I would not start with homosexuality, gravely disordered the acts may be, but rather with laissez-faire secularism. Gay lib is not the same now as it was (though the 'breeder' jokes are, sadly).

Mark said...

P.S. Apologies for my tone, but it was still a bit early in the morning for me.

Alnwickian said...

Ditch the Catholic schools? Well there is a radical thought!

Most of my friends who went to Catholic schools do not have happy stories to relate, telling of repression and violence.

And did not a recent report say that Catholic schools still have a very poor record on bullying?

They have certainly 'educated' a generation who know nothing of Catholic music.

Mac McLernon said...

Alnwickian, speaking as a teacher, I can say that Catholic schools have as good a record on tackling bullying behaviour (sometimes better, because they cn appeal to "Gospel values") as state schools, and I suspect that your friends would have encountered just as much "repression and violence" in a non-Catholic school (a very large proportion of pupils at catholic schools are actually non-Catholic, and the majority of the rest are non-practicing)

The whole point of Catholic schools, funded by the Catholic church-going population, was the passing on and upholding of the teachings of the Catholic Church. If that aim is no longer being fulfilled, then we might as well save the expense and leave the government to pay for the promotion of the values it considers important.

As to the music education, I have to agree with you wholeheartedly.

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