The recommendations of the The Forum on the future patronage of Catholic schools make sober reading. It is all still all at the proposal stage, but as a catholic parent I am not impressed. I have no problem divesting some catholic schools, but it seems that the catholic schools we will be left with, will not be worth having.
One proposal that needs to be shot down immediately is that our Catholic schools will only be allowed to be Catholic at certain times in the day. Do these people not realise that good teaching is not done in this way? Religious instruction will be restricted to a particular periods in the day. It seems that Catholic schools will only be allowed to have a catholic ethos at these times. When I sent my children to school, I choose a Catholic school, I wanted a Catholic ethos.
Now I do not begrudge non-catholics a secular education, but I would question their right to have it in my catholic school. It is not the fault of the Catholic Church that there are few non catholic schools. Our state has failed to provide them, so blame the state and leave our Catholic schools alone.
In a few years time, our Catholic children in our Catholic schools may not be allowed to learn, or sing Christmas carols in school. The mere mention of Christmas may be banned, as someone might get offended. There will be no nativity plays or carol services! Christmas is after all a christian celebration, and therefore it excludes all non Christians, so Christmas will have to be cancelled, as far as school is concerned. The teacher may get in trouble for handing out pictures of the baby Jesus, the sheperds, or the wise men to colour-in. There will be no colouring of shamrocks for St Patrick's day. There will be no mention of lent. Will my children get detention if they mention Jesus or our Blessed Mother outside of the allotted time?? There will be no mass, no prayers for the dead etc... These suggestions really are unbelievable!!!!!!! We will not be allowed to do anything, say anything, or celebrate anything that might exclude someone.
The Forums proposals are all about inclusivity, but this inclusivity seems to be all about excluding the viewpoint of Catholics! How can we celebrate our christian life without excluding Muslims, or atheists? We can not.
The images below are from the presentation of the recommendations of the Forum on the Future of Catholic schools.