I was very heartened to read the letters from Fr James Brasier and Mrs Coral Phillips (July AD2000) both pertaining to our school children being "short-changed" as regards learning the Catholic faith. I have been wringing my hands on this issue for a very long time and trying hard (unsuccessfully) to arouse my fellow Catholics to "do something" about the gross dereliction of duty taking place in many of our schools. This was in addition to writing protest letters to Catholic newspapers.
I could not believe that so many bishops - seeing year after year the grim survey results showing most Catholic school graduates abandoning the faith - would apparently do so little to address the problem.
If our children are not taught the basic elements of the faith, including the Ten Commandments and the Law of the Church, then of course these children cannot be blamed for not bothering to attend Mass or confession.
This situation contrasts with the 1960s and earlier, when the faith was taught thoroughly. However, in the late 1960s, lessons became "fuzzy" per medium of programs and projects that left voids in spiritual formation and commitment. It soon became evident to concerned parents that fundamental beliefs were not being taught to our children.
As Mrs Phillips noted, the pathetic failure of Catholic schools over the past 30 years has compounded our faith problems into the future to the extent that it may already be too late to introduce remedial measures.
Meanwhile, today's parents are themselves the products of a disordered era, most of them incapable of feeling any longing pangs for the authentic and more satisfactory faith inculcation of earlier years.
Aberfoyle Park, SA