The loss of Catholic culture documented by Br Marcellin Flynn's latest work is usually shrugged off by the school establishment as due to the poor example of parents. On that basis their dismal performance is not due to the aberrant views of many teachers, but parents - salt in the wounds of many ordinary parents whose children have lost the faith and who feel the deep failure of seeing those most precious go astray.
More should be made of the fact that despite three decades of highly creative catechesis 34% of Catholic parents still expect their children to go to Mass. Since less than 5% actually do (Catholic Church Life Survey), that means that less than one child in seven whose parents practise the faith follows the parental lead.
The other six out of seven must have lost their faith somewhere else. Any practising Catholic who has investigated the doings of the typical systemic school can tell you where that happened. The Australian bishops courageously established the Catholic school system barely a century ago to protect the faith. Perhaps we should all pray that they be given that grace again before the light goes out in Australia.
DR GARRICK SMALL
Property Studies Program
University of Technology,