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Save Our Catholic Schools! Send This Article To Your Bishop!

June 12, AD2013 35 Comments

\"Francis

My concerns over our Catholic schools are increasing as we are seeing a perfect storm developing which could cost our schools dearly in terms of treasure and reputation. I have written previously here at Catholic Stand about the general failure of our Catholic schools to be saint-producing factories, instead churning out lukewarm young Catholics for the most part. I pointed out that the primary cause is the home life- the domestic church is not functioning well on the whole. I postulated that divorce was a principal cause for the lack of fervor or interest in the Faith. Of course, there are multiple causes, many related to the Sexual Revolution’s success in bringing to the mainstream: divorce, promiscuity, pornography, contraception, and a type of feminism which is seemingly hardwired to abortion on-demand. Homosexual “marriage” is just the latest and greatest hit to the traditional morality as relates to sexual activity and the family life where children are supposed to be nurtured in the saintly art of living as lifelong Christian disciples. In short, too many parents are failing to provide the kind of saint-nurturing our Catholic youth deserve, but this is no reason for the Catholic schools to fail to do their best since they are institutions under the direct gaze of the local Bishop. And this is where my article really begins.

One of the most depressing features to teaching the Faith in a typical Catholic high school is the reality that most of the faculty are not enthusiastic, orthodox Catholics. They sit in the meetings with the Diocesan brass who make nice speeches, saying that “All teachers in our Catholic schools are religion teachers”. But the sad fact is that this is a throwaway line- no one takes it seriously. Some teachers are not Catholic, so they obviously don’t celebrate a Eucharist-centered spirituality. Some will dutifully sit through the school Masses, some will stand in the back and chat with other disinterested teachers if they have a big enough venue. This is bad enough, but you should not be too surprised that a non-Catholic is not too-interested in Catholic worship or theology in general. The real kicker is the professed Catholic teacher who has deep reservations about the Faith, and is even in relative or obvious dissent on important Catholic doctrines- all-male priesthood, contraception, premarital sex, divorce, homosexuality, even abortion are common hot button teachings where dissent is common. The rule-of-thumb to try to address this embarrassment is to try and prevent all teachers from being religion teachers. You see teachers are like everyone else- they don’t like being hypocrites in teaching one thing and living and believing something else entirely.

In the day-to-day world of the classroom, many moral and/or Church-involvement issues come up in all kinds of disciplines- especially in Literature, History, Social Studies, and even some Science courses. The issue may come from the official text, or just some random question from a student who really wants to know a teacher’s opinion on something (or just wants to divert attention or stir something up). Problem #1 is that most Catholic schools have textbooks (outside of religion classes) that do not even pretend to engender a proper and true Catholic worldview. I have seen Anatomy texts in a Catholic

School that gave positive approval of condoms and ridiculed Natural Family Planning as the unreliable rhythm method. In Literature courses, the readings are the same as in public schools, with all the embedded lessons about how annoying and dangerous overly religious people are. The second problem is the teacher himself is often inclined to go against the orthodox Catholic perspective, and this comes across either openly or more discreetly.

So, the beat goes on in our Catholic schools. The dissenting Catholic or openly non-Catholic faculty are doing what they do- most do not seem to come in with a real agenda to secretly undermine the orthodox Catholic faith in our young. But even without bad intent, there are the effects of simply not believing and feeling the Catholic Way. The effects make for an uncomfortable situation for the few true blue orthodox Catholics, and if they are in the Religion department, the sense in the religion classroom is that what is taught there- stays there- it isn’t likely to be repeated or reinforced in other classes. You could write up the catch phrase, “What Happens in Religion Class, Stays in Religion Class” and put that on the door to indicate the compartmentalization of the real Catholic theology and worldview happening in many or most Catholic schools. This presupposes you have orthodox believing and loving religion teachers!

Now it is time to discuss the Perfect Storm approaching, and already upon some dioceses. We are seeing the rapid rise of the Homosexual Agenda; we are a heartbeat away from Homosexual “Marriage” being the Law of the Land. When this occurs we will not only have our Disney/Pixar movies for kids going hog wild with same sex couples and families in order to cement the propaganda already drilled into every other age group. This would be bad enough news, but with the legalization comes the sanction for going after the Catholic faith and Church organizations full tilt, as a racist thing to be challenged in every imaginable way. Think law suits, think money. Here they come!

Columbus Diocese Takes Heat for Firing Lesbian Teacher

Lesbian Teacher Wins $170,000 Court Award From Cincinnati Archdiocese

Our schools are filled with these faculty landmines — folks who have been hired to teach in a Catholic school, but have zero interest in living or otherwise witnessing to the complete Catholic vision. These teachers may be active in a homosexual relationship, premarital sexual relationships, they may be using contraception, they may be promoting political agendas which go contrary to core Catholic teachings. If someone “outs” these folks and they refuse to see the light, they are not going to go quietly into that good night. They are going to sue. It is not that any of us would like to see some kind of witch hunt for those living outside the bounds of Catholic decency. It is the fact that these lifestyle choices can become known through all manner of means- read the first article where the lesbian teacher was outed by her mother’s obit- ugh. Of course, many private lives are just that, and should be, but what should be troubling all of us is the fact that there has not been a serious effort made by all the Bishops in America to lay down the law for all school administrators to do everything they can to hire in competent, enthusiastic orthodox Catholic faculty. The Bishops are respected because everyone wants to keep their job, the Bishop says “jump”, and everyone jumps. The USCCB could help out as well by getting textbook companies together who will authentically embed the Catholic worldview in the gamut of different courses. Make it easier for the well-meaning teachers and harder for the dissenters to pass through a non or anti-Catholic worldview.

Finally, it is time for a more airtight contract for all personnel in our Catholic schools. It is not enough to just make a pretty speech at a diocesan convention that “all teachers are religion teachers”. The stakeholders in a Catholic school need more assurance, and more protection from costly lawsuits. We are embarking on a new phase of intense anti-Catholic attacks in America. The Church is almost alone in holding the line on contraception, abortion, traditional marriage and teachings on the nature of homosexual acts. Think that the schools where we teach our young about such things are going to be safe zones much longer? The smart thing is also the right thing here. Let’s look at having every school in every diocese do something along the lines of what the Bishop in Santa Rosa did.

Bishop Vasa Stands Up for Catholic Identity in Santa Rosa’s Diocesan Schools

We need these contracts to give all Catholic school teachers the chance to check their conscience before signing on for the next school year. These are not necessarily bad teachers or bad persons; they just came in without any real sense that the Catholic schools are profoundly serious about Catholic identity, Catholic worship, Catholic theology, and Catholic worldview. We see that the domestic church is in really bad shape, this makes the Catholic schools that much more important for these saints-in-the-making. I’m not writing a hit piece on our school leaders and Bishops, I am writing a wake up piece, I am writing out of love for the Church and for all those young kids who deserve our very best. If they fail, I don’t ever want it to be due, even in part, to an uninspiring, contradictory Catholic school education. Send this article to your Bishop!

Filed in: Education

About the Author:

I am an adult convert to Catholicism. I take on the name of Francis to honor Pope Francis I, and to acknowledge my place of theological studies. St. Francis is a Saint who inspires so many of us, and in all of my travels, Assisi is one place I felt such incredible peace. I am now a Catholic school educator with a wonderful wife, and adorable children. I am keenly interested in promoting the Social Doctrine of the Church, having some experience on the campaign trail, and some leadership background with a pro-life organization. As an educator who is trying to assist in the reform of Catholic education, I find it necessary to conceal my name so that I can be as honest as possible without jeopardizing my professional career. I am focused on issues relating to family, to education/evangelization, and to political activity with the goal of promoting the universal common good.

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  • Luke Arredondo

    Hey Francis,

    I’m a former religion teacher at a Catholic high school, and I definitely share many of your concerns. I don’t have an answer for how we solve all of the problems in Catholic education, either, and they are legion. One thing though is I’m not sure that there would actually be enough enthusiastic, orthodox Catholics to staff the schools we have open right now. It’s hard enough, as I’m sure you’re aware, to find non-dissenters to teach the theology courses. I doubt it we could round up enough orthodox Catholics who were also qualified to teach other subject matters and run a school, but it would be awesome to see that happen.

    Praying for a solution,

    Luke

    BTW, how long have you been teaching?

    • Francis

      Over 15 years Luke

    • Francis

      Luke- I hear you on the difficulty in finding enough solid orthodox Catholics to staff our schools- but if all the schools started heavily recruiting at the known orthodox Catholic universities- you would have a heavy market pressure for other Catholic universities to get on board- but you see I don’t see a lot of concerted effort on the part of the dioceses and administrators to start an aggressive campaign or such recruitment. Without a bell weather change in recruitment, we will continue with the same old approach of hiring without even trying to find the pool of enthusiastic Catholics- and we know that is a self-fulfilling destiny – a dead end.

    • Gresu

      The Sodimization of Innocence
      Homo-Church Invades the Catholic Kindergarten

      By Randy Engel

      Is this what you are attempting to salvage, Francis??
      http://www.unitypublishing.com/Newsletter/Innocence.htm

    • Luke Arredondo

      Absolutely, and that’s a great idea. I’ve actually seen the opposite. In schools that are trying to stay alive by keeping enrollment numbers high and desperate to get people excited about their school, I know of several instances of people being screened out of the interview process based on their school. And you know who gets shot down frequently? Stubenville graduates. Silly, I know, but it’s the reality.

    • JQ Tomanek

      FUS grads do get filtered. I think some of it is our fault though. We come in gung-ho (a good thing) but this energy is too much for a school that set in many ways. FUS needs to offer some immersion course on how enter these places and evangelize. The university may already have such a thing.

  • JQ Tomanek

    I remember teaching Church History to sophomores. These youth also took a World History course from a different teacher. At one point, I was asked what an indulgence is. The students were perplexed because I had taught them that sacrament of Confession forgives sins. They “our history book says ‘An indulgence is forgiveness of sins.’”

    Textbooks matter. Thankfully today, we have the Didache Series. Hopefully, a Catholic publisher can produce other textbooks in other sciences.

    • Francis

      JQ- it is such a non-brainer- you have secularist textbook companies providing the texts in all the subject areas except theology- and they are full of the secular biases- so when you have a matter of history or science come up in a religion class and you give your students a truthful Catholic viewpoint- the secular text in the other discipline is oftentimes giving a contradictory view. The students will likely go with the secular text in the specific field falsely believing that the religion class is offering up religious propaganda and the mainstream text is giving them unbiased information. Of course, the teacher outside of the religion department is usually not going to offer anything to contradict their secular text- so the end result is a negation of the attempt to inculcate a Catholic worldview. Worse case, the students come to distrust their religion teacher and text on specific events and issues like the Middle Ages, Crusades, Inquisition et al and artificial birth control, gay rights etc..and once the trust is gone- everything else about the faith becomes suspect or rejected as so much Catholic propaganda.

    • kcthomas

      The Bishops’ Council has to publish Catechism text books for all classes. Then there will be authenticity. Classes I to XII can have texts and like other subjects, monthly or quarterly tests, results awards etc. can be arranged. In India, some Bishops’ conferences have been doing this job for a long time. It is reported that the standard is very good.

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  • Gresu

    Bishop James T. McHugh and the Origins of Sex Education in Catholic Schools
    by Randy Engel

    This should be read by all. Priests introduced sex education in to classrooms before Planned Parenthood and were rewarded for their deeds. Sex education was supremely condemned yet we witness the advancement of this evil aggression by the hierarchy that has never corrected nor excommunicated the priests:
    _____________________________________
    INTRODUCTION -A TALE OF TWO MEETING

    Bishop James T. McHugh

    and the

    Origins of Sex Education

    in Catholic Schools

    by Randy Engel

    The date of our first meeting is 8 to 14 September 1929. The

    place is Wigmore Hall, London. The great cosmic event is the

    Congress of the World League for Sexual Reform (WLSR)

    led by the gurus of sexology — Havelock Ellis, Mangus

    Hirschfeld, and August Ford. The conference boasts a starstudded

    cast of international players giving no less than 101 lectures and
    http://uscl.info/edoc/doc.php?doc_id=62&action=inline
    ….

  • Gresu

    If
    anybody cares about our youth, and if anybody cares about the preservation of
    truth and the Roman Catholic Church, they would demand the bishops to close
    down their schools. U S bishops mandate sexualized catechetics series such as “Growing
    In Love” with imprimatur that is more dangerous than bullets. Sex education secures abortion! Sex education focuses upon “SELF” and selfish
    gratifications. Sex education removes the mystery of married life intimacies at
    an age when youth have not the capacity to understand. Sex education is raising the new barbarians
    Randy Engel speaks about in her book, “Sex Education the Final Plague”.

    Francis,
    you have not done your homework. What
    can be worse than preparing little girls for their later abortions in
    sexualized teachings of the parochial schools?
    If the series is not safe for the babies to survive can you imagine
    other reckless activities these series introduce such as homosexual
    practices. Don’t take my word for
    it. Check it out! http://www.motherswatch.net

    Only
    10% of lay religious teachers now accept Catholic Church teachings on birth
    controlling (which of course the practice we know secures abortion rights
    because of often failure to prevent conception).

    53% of lay religious teachers believe Catholics can have an abortion and remain
    a good Catholic.

    65% believe that Catholics may divorce and remarry.

    See
    “Tumultuous Times” by Fathers Radecki, page 496

    Every U S bishop’s school must be closed if we want to protect our most valuable resource – our youth.

    • JD

      There was a Catholic teacher, she quit on her own merits, that had an affair and divorced. She then moved in with her boyfriend during the 2011-2012 school year, her children attended the Catholic school that she taught at. The priest, the principal and the whole school community knew it was going on. Yet, she was able to teach, and was praised by the priest for good morals and Catholic faith. I wrote a letter to the bishop, it has fallen on deaf ears. This is happening all over my former diocese. One of the local Catholic high schools tried to participate in a “dance” to support abortion rights. Hello? It only stopped after I raised a ruckus with the diocese’s officials. I tried to get in to their schools, and was told I am too Catholic. It’s just not my diocese but the 50 or so, I have tried to get into.

  • Used to Love Catholic School

    I pulled my daughter out of Catholic school because the teachers were terrible. At parent conference time, the teacher couldn’t tell me anything about my daughter other than the grade she had in her grade book. When I asked questions about how my daughter was interacting with the other students, all the teacher said was, “The kids – they’re all doin’ real good. Real good!” And she was considered one of the best teachers in the school! This was probably because she had been there for 17 years, while most teachers left after two or three. One teacher walked out in the middle of a school day, leaving the children to wonder what had happened.

    My point is that many Catholic schools are so desperate for teachers that asking them about their beliefs is a luxury. At one point in my life I thought I would go into teaching. I told some teacher friends of mine that I would like to spend a few years in a Catholic school, before moving into the public school system. They advised me against it. They said teachers only work in Catholic schools when they can’t get a job anywhere else. It would be the kiss of death on my resume.

    I see your point, but it seems to me that you are bailing water on a sinking ship. And with the college loan crises that is starting to hit us, very few parents will be able to afford private school anyway.

    • Gresu

      Francis – Do you encourage writing to this former ‘bishop’ kicked up stairs to be cardinal with a reputation that supports what Holy Mother the Church condemns? See this news item:

      Tuesday, June 29, 2010

      Cardinal Schönborn Buries Pornographer

      The late Hans Dichant, editor of the street-magazine, ‘The Crowns Times’ [Die Kronen Zeitung] was known for his docility to the Cardinal’s concerns, and the Cardinal praised his paper for being “friendly” to the Church in Austria, but little to no mention of the pornographic adds there, or indeed, the support Dichant gave to the late hyper-nationalist and Freemason, Jörg Haider. [Ewald Stadler maintains as much in 2007 in his lecture on Masonry in Linz.]

      This is especially interesting in light of the Cardinal’s high level meeting with the Holy Father, the Secretary of State and Dean of the College of Cardinals. Mercifully, Whispers in the Loggia mentioned Cardinal Schoenborn’s pro-homosexual statement, which he wasn’t required to retract, apparently, here, that the Church:

      “should give more consideration to the quality of homosexual relationships,” and that “a stable [same-sex] relationship is certainly better than if someone chooses to be promiscuous.”…….

      ________________

      He’s also the editor of the new catechism and author of YouCat that was recalled for its errors.

    • JQ Tomanek

      I think it may be a good time to consider education ethic similar to a pro-life ethic, from conception to natural death. If you go to a Catholic school, loans (or a percentage) should be discounted if you teach in Catholic lower education. My wife and I are experiencing this right now, my college loans (from Catholic graduate school) are contributing to the problem of not allowing us to afford Catholic education for my children.

      I am hoping, as Catholic schools continue sinking that someone will pull the emergency lever or call Superman.

    • Francis

      JQ- some states have “Step Up” programs for lower income parents who wish to pay for private schools- initially it was for those who tried public schools and wanted to opt out- many Catholic schools have benefited- at least at the elementary/middle school level- not sure about high schools- it is a state fund I think with private monies as well- works great though the paperwork provides a lot of hoops to jump through to prove your income levels.

    • JD

      Those schools that take those government funds have to teach state curriculum, and use no Catholic textbooks. The biggest problem is Catholic schools have become lovers of money, lovers of themselves and lovers of sin.

    • JD

      With classroom discipline issues, heavy government paperwork and more, this has begun to change. There are some solid Catholic teachers that grew up in the Catholic education system and want to give back, or teachers that want escape the public school system to be in very disciplined environment with less paperwork However, Common Core is changing this system.
      The problem is more so with the leadership in Catholic schools. If you are an awful teacher who wants to be an awful principal, you do to a Catholic school. The Catholic principals, I have known (with an exception) could not pass the public school leadership test. I have known more than one principal who overthrew the board of directors, and the school was a 501(c)3 organization. Yikes!
      if you want to see a more orthodox school system, the Lutheran and Reformed schools have done quite well for themselves.

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  • Sancho

    This is an eloquent plea Francis, and certainly raises many important questions to consider. Based on my own personal experiences, however, I feel a little skeptical about some of what you’re proposing. For one, I agree with those who point out that there’s a major demographic challenge – simply not enough talented orthodox Catholics willing to make a career out of teaching (though as you say, this shouldn’t preclude us from better recruitment efforts). Still I suspect that the schools are just a symptom of the larger problem that on many key issues, a large minority and often a majority of Catholics don’t agree with the Church. Until the classroom held in the pews on Sunday is more effective, I don’t have much hope for the schools. So basically in the short term, the Church either needs to close a bunch of schools for the sake of making the ones that remain more orthodox, or continue to benefit from non-Catholics or more liberal Catholics who are willing to do the job, and implement some of your reforms that don’t rely on an orthodox teacher.

    My other concern relates to the question of orthodoxy itself. I began my teaching career as a volunteer teacher at a poor Catholic school right after I graduated from a liberal Catholic university. In fact dozens of my classmates did the same thing, and I doubt too many of us were orthodox. I certainly wasn’t, nor were the other young volunteers I served with. But we served well, and at the risk of sounding immodest, I think we modeled many of the Christian virtues for students who otherwise would not have had such exposure, given that the local teachers were often quite irresponsible and lacking in dedication. In my case as well, it was because of people that I met working in that school that my own faith was restored. So just based on my own experience, I worry that the new regime you envision might never have given me the chance to serve the way I did (and the way so many others did, and continue to do).

    It’s no secret that people tend to become more conservative as they get older, and I imagine this is also true about developing orthodox religious views. If we establish some kind of orthodoxy litmus test (if that’s even what you’re proposing, I’m not sure), then we may be unnecessarily excluding lots of young talent who are ready to serve our kids in an honorable way. While it may be ideal to staff our schools with typically older, more experienced orthodox educators, I fear that by excluding the younger liberal Catholics (and non-Catholics) who are anxious to teach, it will be the students who suffer. Many poor Catholic communities in this country rely on young, enthusiastic recent college grads as volunteers to help staff their schools, and I think it’s probably safe to say that many of them, if not most of them are not orthodox (I’m thinking of organizations like Jesuit Volunteer Corps, Alliance for Catholic Education, et al).

    A third consideration relates to the question of whom we are serving. I taught at a Catholic school where most of the students were not Catholic. I was proud to teach in a school that didn’t leave the struggling neighborhood when most other church schools did. While we didn’t shy away from our Catholic identity, I think we were sensitive to the fact that many (if not most) of our parents sent their children to us for a strong Christian education, but not to be aggressively proselytized in the Catholic faith. Our resident priest taught orthodox Catholicism in his religion classes, but was also careful to cultivate a respectful environment where the students could express their own churches’ views. So on the one hand, we were carrying out a Catholic mission of serving the poor, but I suspect that if the reputation of the school was one where orthodox Catholics were making Catholic saints, half the parents would have sent their kids to the public schools and we would have closed. On the one hand, perhaps we should close if we can’t be too enthusiastically orthodox and fill the desks. On the other hand, I’m quite certain that the students we served were much better off (both intellectually and spiritually) than they would have been in the public schools.

    Anyway, thanks for giving of us lots to think about Francis, and for your dedicated service to Catholic education.

    • Francis

      Sancho- very well-considered points you have made. I suppose I am starting from the premise that first and foremost, if at all possible, in the best of all possible universes- if we can staff our Catholic schools with enthusiastic, orthodox Catholic faculty- by all means let’s do it! As long as they are competent in their field and good communicators- then the extra bonus of what they bring to the table- hopefully the life witness of living and understanding the Church teachings re: contraception/nfp, pro-life v. pro choice, traditional marriage, non-exploitative economics, stewardship with respect to the environment, and of course, having a eucharist-centered spirituality, with Marian devotions- the whole nine yards of Catholicity!
      Now- short of having these type of teachers available- I think you address the compromise position well. Many of us have developed a more accurate orthodox Catholic worldview with more time on planet, and also have become more consistent in our life witness- so yes, I think excluding many young Catholics who are more “in process” could backfire- though I would go back to original point here- if you have a kid in school right now do you want to take a risk on a younger less solid, less sure orthodox teacher if one is available who is solid and can better guarantee not to lead your young one astray?
      As is- I think on the practical level- to make sure we have a product that is consistent with our branding and vision statements- we should tighten up our teaching contracts to make clear that we do expect a certain standard of morality that conforms with core Catholic beliefs, and definitely that the teaching in the classrooms will either buttress or at minimum not contradict Catholicism or a proper understanding of the Church role in various historical and current events. This is necessary on even the practical level to prevent the sort of law suits that we are seeing when things go public and head south with a teacher living or teaching outside the boundaries I describe above.

  • St_Donatus

    I wonder what Bishop Bruskewitz did in the Diocese of Lincoln Nebraska. They have more Catholic Schools per Catholic than any other diocese in the US, they have more seminarians than any other, per capita. All I know about that diocese is that it is a model of conservatism in the Catholic Church. I understand that Bishops must balance the needs of the liberal Catholics along with the conservative Catholics, but in Lincoln, Bishop Bruskewitz basically cleaned house when he started, he made a lot of people mad, some even quit the Church. But by the time he retired he has a wonderful place to raise children as Catholics and the Catholic Church is thriving there. This unlike most every other place in the US. The masses are full. Those that don’t believe in portions of Catholic teaching are not happy, but God has blessed that diocese.

    There must be a reason that he blessed it. I think all diocese in the US should follow his example. I just can’t understand why most of the other Bishops don’t follow his example. In business, you imitate success. Maybe the opposition is just to much for most Bishops to handle. There are entrenched bureaucracies in most diocese that make change very difficult.

    • Francis

      Excellent point- The Church has a great hierarchical framework which would work great if the Bishops used some of their time in gathering together to review exactly what you noted- what’s working, where and why? Ideally the head of the USCCB could give effective marching orders and the Bishops would come back home with a plan and hopefully get the best advisors and getter done types to come with them. The beauty of a hierarchy is that the direction of the organization can turn pretty much on a dime. My frustration is that I have written the letters, I’ve written the blogs to try to get word to the top- but it seems like I have been spinning wheels- I won’t give up or give over to depression for I know that I can do is speak the truth and try to pass it around. Being on the inside of the Catholic school scene, it seems like so many of the reforms needed are so incredibly simple and commonsensical- yet the reform just aren’t getting implemented in a comprehensive fashion. We have a Bishop here or there setting up shop, but even many orthodox Bishops aren’t taking the simple steps to lay down the law. If the USCCB just got going with the textbooks on a national scale to get Catholic worldview in all subject areas- that would stem a lot of the damage done by individual teachers in disciplines outside of religion who don’t provide correction to secular texts. If the Bishops just took the time to look at the crisis of Catholic identity in Catholic schools and hired in a layer of fired up, orthodox administrators and diocesan officials- we could have a Renaissance in Catholic education with pressure then bumped up to the colleges where the Bishops have less power- if you have students who have been exposed to solid theology and apologetics they won’t be easily suckered by dissenting professors in secularized pseudo-Catholic universities.

    • St_Donatus

      I am so glad that you don’t allow yourself to get depressed about this even though you are in the thick of it. I think that a lot of the younger priests and bishops see the problem while many older ones are still in the 1960s when things were great. Things will change. We know that Israel turned away from God several times and each time it had to be punished in order to understand that it needed to turn around. Perhaps we are being punished now for our sins. How many of us sit back and complain about what is going on but don’t really get involved and try to change minds and make a difference. Our priest recently told me in an illustration in private conversation. Several of our parishioners were evacuated (one lost their home) in the Black Forest fire here in Colorado Springs. He said that the people of the Catholic Church are like people who live in a forest that is on fire (the fire is our society which is falling into ever greater sinfulness and attacking the church in every area), but most Catholics are ignoring the fire thinking it will go out on its own. We are in need an evacuation order from the USCCB but the controlling Bishops don’t seem to be worried. He told me that most in our parish know that we are in an evacuation and have started moving everything out of the house (remove themselves from all influences of society that we can) and get to safe ground (Put our children in good Catholic schools or if that is not possible, home school. Get rid of the TV and everything that contaminates you and your children’s minds. Teach them how to recognize the influence of Satan in society and avoid it.)

      I thought it was an excellent illustration and very pertinent. Who wants to leave their home to watch it burn? It would be so much easier to just not worry about the fire. You can’t see the fire. Yes there is some smoke drifting in but why worry. Just go back in the comfortable house. But while you were sleep, the fire gets to your house, it is too late, you don’t have time to get out and you die.

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  • Francis

    Does anyone know how to get this article to Cardinal Dolan?

  • JD

    I have a very Catholic resume. My very Catholic resume took me nowhere; it was too Catholic! I had many administrators tell me I was too Catholic. So, I picked up the Bible rewrote my resume, left the Church and got a job in on fire for God, Christian school.

    • JD

      For clarification: I took the resume, inserted Biblical quotes instead of the tri-fecta of scripture, history and tradition, and provided it to strong Christian schools. Where the Catholic schools didn’t want a lesson on homosexuality, it’s sin and the problems, the Christian schools ate it up. So, I interviewed and got hired by one. But, I had to sign a moral code that makes me go to a Protestant church. I hope to return to the Catholic church some day!

  • Rann

    Of course at this point you have to wonder if truly Catholic schools could survive. If you had a school that clearly and unambiguously taught about the evils of fornication, contraception and homosexuality, would you attract any students? Here in New Orleans, Catholic schools are the normal schools of the middle class. One thing I’ve often heard is “if the Pope wants to pay my tuition bill, then he can tell me how many kids to have”. Few families trying to live the idealized Catholic life portrayed on many blogs (many kids, sahm) can afford tuition for all those kids.

  • Interested Observer

    FYI. Further to your point, Francis–Just looked at the website of the ACE program at Nortre Dame. It clearly states that potential applicants do NOT have to be Catholic. ACE stands for Alliance for Catholic Education. (!)

    • GetUp

      The ACE program is a huge supporter to push every Catholic school into a Charter school. Catholic schools will no longer have a Cruxifix on the wall.

  • Retro

    The author’s criticism is wholly unjustified. Orthodox, competent Catholic school teachers cannot succeed where Catholic parents have failed. Has the author spent a week in the shoes of a Catholic school teacher…..a day……an afternoon? Many of these orthodox, competent teachers (if not all) are seriously underpaid and overworked. The word exploitation comes to mind. Don’t lecture others on situations you only observe from afar.

    • GetUp

      That’s a lie! Where I live the Catholic school teachers only make 10% less than the public school teachers, and can make $50.00 an hour afterschool tutoring.