01 March 2009


In this week's Catholic Herald I read, in the Schoolboard column an article which began by reiterating that the Church teaches that raising children is a three way partnership between family, school and parish. This has been niggling away at me for a few hours until I finally realised why: what happens if there is a fourth party, who is pulling two of the others in a bad direction.

There is nothing wrong with most Catholic schools; quite the reverse: most are excellent. But who specifies their RE syllabus and what does it contain?

There is nothing wrong with most parishes, but there is, throughout England and Wales systematic if low level abuse of the rubrics; stuff like invented prayers, unscripted interpolations, ad lib variations on litugical forms, lay people purifying communion vessels; I could go on! Who is responsible for maintaining the standard of the liturgy in the country?

Cardinal Pell, in another context, got it spot on:

"I have long been disappointed by The Tablet's persistent subversions of some Catholic teaching and mystified by the inability of the English bishops to nudge it towards a more productive line of witness"
What do our Bishops actually stand for? I know they are very busy dealing with poverty in the Third World, global warming, and the plight of Palestinians in Gaza, but, in their spare time, what sort of Catholicsm do they believe in? What sort of Catholicsm do they want to foster in the young? Is what we've got what they want and what they've worked for?

Perhaps he ought not to be so mystified.

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