Catholic schools (letter)

Catholic schools (letter)

George Simpson

Elizabeth Alderton's claims about the theological qualifications of many of today's teachers (May AD2000) give no cause for comfort. The same claims could be made of the most notorious heretics in Church history.

Because theology is the study of the infinite God by finite minds, it must surely be more a spiritual exercise than a mere academic pursuit. It should, therefore, be undertaken with profound humility and a willingness to submit completely to the guidance of the Holy Spirit. I would suggest that those theologians who are numbered among the Church's greatest saints have adopted this approach. The prayerful environment of a good seminary would seem to best foster the right attitude.

How can Catholic schools provide such a rigorous curriculum and opportunities of deepening of the Spirit, when over 40 percent of teachers freely admit they do not believe in the Real Presence and over half dispute other Church teachings? How can there be such an appalling lapse rate of over 90 percent of students if these opportunities exist?

Our Lord said, "For no good tree bears bad fruit, nor again does a bad tree bear good fruit; for each tree is known by its fruit" (Luke 6:43-44). On documented evidence, today's Catholic education system on the whole cannot pretend to bear good fruit.

My eldest child started school in 1966 and my youngest graduated in 1998. During those thirty-two years I always had at least one child at school and I observed the system steadily deteriorate from being barely adequate to the sorry mess that it is in today. The problem has worsened because many of today's parents and teachers are products of the same ineffectual system.

It distresses me that so many good Catholic teachers and even a few good Catholic schools tend to be suppressed or side-lined by the system.

Modernistic feel-good humanism is no substitute for sound doctrine taught by those knowledgable of and loyal to the Faith. The success of the revised texts in Sydney and Melbourne will ultimately depend on the faith of the teachers.

North Blackburn, Vic

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