Catholic Education: Does He Who Pays the Piper Call the Tune?


Torch of The Faith News on Tuesday 09 May 2017 - 17:58:00 | by admin

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I'm happily back from the dentist with a temporary dental fix and, less happily, reading about the Catholic Education Service's attempt to defend the remarkably un-Catholic ''homophobic bullying'' document, which we critiqued here yesterday.

The CES's defence is presented in an article at yesterday's online edition of the Catholic Herald. Under the circumstances, both the CES's defence and the Catholic Herald's article can at best be described as tepid.   

Mark Lambert at De Omnibus Dubitandum Est rightly pulls the Catholic Herald up, for lamely suggesting that some of the document's critics have, ''pointed out that there are similarities in wording in the document to that of materials produced by gay rights groups Stonewall and lgbtyouth Scotland.''

As Mr. Lambert states: ''Errr no, critics have demonstrated beyond a shadow of a doubt that the document contains exactly the same text as huge swathes of the Stonewall and lgbtyouth Scotland websites!''

And if you click the links provided by both the Catholic Herald and Mark Lambert to the Countercultural Father blog, you will indeed see, from the scanned-in pictorial evidence, that this is certainly the case.

Mark Lambert also raises the important question about a ''donation'' which the CES has said that it received towards the costs of circulating its new document. In light of the fact that the content looks to have been directly lifted from the works of these pro-homosexuality organizations, Mark wonders: ''Were Stonewall the mystery contributor who financed the distribution to every school in the country?''

It is a question that is as interesting as it is troubling...

I think that there is also another intriguing angle.

The Catholic Herald cites the following words from the CES's own defence of the document: ''How schools tackle homophobic bullying is something to which Ofsted is now paying specific attention. As such, both schools and dioceses have asked for guidance on this and how it can be approached within a Catholic context.''

The fact that such guidance looks to have been taken pretty much verbatim from the very promoters of homosexual ideology suggests that those in charge of Catholic Education are looking for post-modern secular society to enlighten the Church, rather than for the Church to be the leaven of Christ in the heart of society.

Any tuned-in Catholic must surely want to know why this is happening.

Is it about the freedom to admit a majority of Catholic students? Is it about money? What else is it about?

At the beginning of the Guardian's recent interview with Archbishop McMahon, the paper's writer Peter Wilby alluded to the CES's schools' admissions policy regarding the Church's required freedom to admit only children from Catholic families. Wilby noted that Theresa May's government had recently agreed to this policy.

Later in his portrayal of the interview, Wilby develops this theme in his description of the removal from free schools of the requirement of ''a 50% cap on places that could be reserved for children of a particular faith.'' This removal has encouraged the Church to look into the available options. This is why Wilby then noted, ''to McMahon's great pleasure, May has abolished the cap and the church (sic) will embrace the opportunity to open free schools. Taxpayers will meet the entire cost (as they do for its 433 schools converted to academy status) whereas, under the voluntary-aided arrangement that covered most faith schools until now, churches must contribute 10% of building costs.''

Something that people like Peter Wilby appear to overlook is that Catholic parents are tax-payers too. It only makes sense that they should be able to get something back for their money, in terms of the education of their own children; whilst also having an important input into their children's education and moral well-being at school.

I can well understand the concerns of those Catholics who fear that the CES is agreeing to become increasingly compliant to government policies, in order to avoid rocking the boat and thus enjoy the practical and fiscal benefits of having tax-payer funded schools, which require no cap on the number of children from faith-based families.

Folks wonder whether some deal has been cut with the government. A kind of going along to get along, if you will.

Whether it is because of money, practicality or, as I suspect, something more sinister in terms of bringing Catholic schools and students into the new order en bloc, it is an observable fact that supposedly Catholic schools are becoming ever more compliant; and thus increasingly walking in lock-step with policies, programmes and curricula which seem to directly contradict the authentic nature and mission of truly Catholic schools.

The question is why?

Whilst we all ask that question, I must also say that it baffles me that, even though the facts are in the open for all to see, so many Catholic clergy remain silent on this matter, shun all discussion of it, or worse still, even promote it and its propagators, by drawing attention to only half of the story.

At the end of the day, it will be the children and families in their schools who will be impacted by these changes of policy from above.

Sometimes it all leaves us chaps in the laity feeling like the Dutch kid of popular legend; standing out in the cold, with our fingers stuck firmly into the hole in the wall of the dyke, and trying our level best to keep back the hostile surge of water...


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