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Attending Mass at our Hobart Cathedral recently, my family and I had the opportunity to listen to a seminarian from Victoria. It was inspiring to hear the faith journey of a man who had committed himself to God and the priesthood in such difficult times for the Church and laity.
This man was one of 35 currently studying at the Corpus Christi seminary in Melbourne, although there are no seminarians for Tasmania. However, it was encouraging to see that our Church leadership was taking active steps to promote the priesthood as a vocation choice for our youth.
Unfortunately, one wonders what the point of this is in light of the menu delivered to our children in some Catholic schools in what could loosely be described as "religion" in their classrooms.
It is clear to me that too many "religion" teachers in Tasmanian Catholic schools simply do not share the faith they are meant to be promulgating. This has become clearer year after year. The following are examples of what is dished out to my children on a regular basis.
My daughter attended a religion class recently where the discussion centred around "gay marriage". She was criticised by a significant proportion of the class for suggesting that children were better off growing up with a mum and dad because of the example this union provided.
Her religion teacher, whilst defending her right to her point of view, told the class he supported "gay marriage".
This is simply unacceptable. Remarkably though, he is better suited to the job than my daughter's previous religion teacher who marginalised Church-attending pupils like her in the class, but, in the same discussion stated that going to the "footy religiously each week" was worthwhile.
Meanwhile, one of my other daughters is receiving part of her education in a Catholic school from a teacher who is living in an openly "gay" relationship having recently left his wife.
I sent my children to Catholic schools in order to have the faith we have shared with them enhanced and supported. It is quite clear to my wife and myself, and many others I talk to, that we have wasted our time and money.
Reprinted from AD2000 Vol 19 No 7 (August 2006), p. 15
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