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Accountability (letter)

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 Contents - Mar 2003AD2000 March 2003 - Buy a copy now
Editorial: War in Iraq? Questions to be considered - Peter Westmore
Sydney Archdiocese RE test: behind one school's success story - Michael Gilchrist
News: The Church Around the World - AD2000
Ten years on former Anglicans enrich Church - Fr Peter Geldard
Vatican tells politicians: Don't hide your light - Michael Casanova
Good priest, bad priest - my faith remains - Frank Mobbs
Religious faith and modern culture: responding to a secular critic - Bill Muehlenberg
Liturgy: The Mass is the same sacrifice as the Cross - Msgr. Peter J. Elliott
New Age ideas: how Catholics should respond - Fr Peter Joseph
The media and evangelisation - Moira Kirkwood
Letters: Brisbane Synod (letter) - John F. Nolan
Letters: 'Partner' or spouse? (letter) - Peter Hannigan
Letters: Women's Commission (letter) - Leon Voesenek
Letters: Church renovation (letter) - T.E. Geraghty
Letters: Government proposals (letter) - Dr Arnold Jago
Letters: Last things (letter) - Kevin McManus
Letters: New springtime (letter) - Errol P. Duke
Letters: Apostolate (letter) - Barry O'Brien
Letters: Catholic websites (letter) - John Carroll
Letters: Third rite (letter) - Norm Power
Letters: Invalid (letter) - Maria Lossberg
Letters: New Age? (letter) - Dr Lance Eccles
Letters: Accountability (letter) - John Leach
Letters: Infallible teaching (letter) - Peter Howard
Poetry: From Tradition (For my mother) - Andrew Huntley
Books: Life's Worth: The Case against Assisted Suicide, by Arthur Dyck - Bill Muehlenberg (reviewer)
Books: Human Cloning And Human Dignity: Report of the President's Council on Bioethics - Bill Muehlenberg (reviewer)
Books: The Self Evident Proof, by Richard Kouchoo - Catherine Sheehan (reviewer)
Books: The Latest from AD Books
Reflection: Lenten self-denial - at the very heart of our lives with Christ - Fr F.E. Burns

Having spent many years as a teacher and as a parent for more, I cannot claim any real familiarity with what Eamonn Keane describes as one of the most defective religious education methodologies in use today - Thomas Groome's "Shared Christian Praxis". However, the connection between content and presentation cannot be divorced.

It was 30 years ago that Canadian sociologist, Marshall Macluan coined the phrase "The Medium is The Message." He identified the fact that Western society had replaced form with feeling: it wasn't so important what you said any more, rather the way you said it. Its form or medium is its purpose; form shapes content. The medium becomes the message.

What is certain is the deep concern parents have for their children's faith, no better justified than from the terrible statistics exposed recently by Professor McLaughlin showing how ineffective current faith education is. Yet most of our schools continue to have glowing CEO assessments each year, despite over 80 percent of students not practising the faith.

Those paid to be accountable say that the responsibility rests with parents, not with the schools. Meanwhile, until we find a better way, the prime reason Catholic schools exist is to give sound formation in the faith to children. Unfortunately nothing will be done until those accountable are prepared to admit that there is a problem rather than praising the Emperor's new clothes.

Castle Hill, NSW

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Reprinted from AD2000 Vol 16 No 2 (March 2003), p. 16

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