New RE program (letter)

New RE program (letter)

Paul Chigwidden

On the front page of the June edition of the diocesan paper Together, the Bishop of Wagga Wagga announced that his new religious education program, already used in other dioceses, "is sufficiently comprehensive to be endorsed by the NSW Board of Studies as suitable for the Higher School Certificate."

This is cold comfort when I think of Blessed Mother Mary of the Cross McKillop who stated in early 1870: "We never, never can be connected with any secular Board of Education - otherwise endless evils would ensue and the work of the Sacred Heart would not go on". Again, on 27 March: "At any cost we must be true to all that in so important a matter our first duty requires of us - [that] our schools be Catholic ones not government ones" (Vol 1 pp 283-284, Positio of Mother Mary of the Cross).

I have always deplored the Studies of Religion (NSW) as a subject aimed mainly at showing our Year 11 and 12 students that one religion is as good as another. It is basically put in to stop any sort of catechising by the churches.

It also greatly concerns me that our Catholic Education Office is "trialing" a new sex education program for Kindergarten to Year 6. Trialing is bureaucratic code for "fait accompli".

I can only assume that the Cross is to be replaced by the dollar bill as the symbol of our Catholic schools and faith.

Ganmain, NSW

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