Orthodoxy Vs Tradition?

Orthodoxy Vs Tradition?


The Flock, a conservative publication edited by Daphne McLeod, has been, for many years now, the mouthpiece of Catholics in the UK, concerned about the dreadful state of religious education in Catholic schools. The current edition, which arrived in my inbox yesterday, is brilliant in its exposé of the latest text-book to be used in Catholic schools in England and Wales. Click on the picture to read it.

However, the thought struck me that it was very late in the day to be still talking about what are essentially “sticking plaster” remedies.  Is it really possible to be an authentic, fully believing  Catholic just by paying lip service to orthodoxy, or must we commit to the entire Catholic Tradition?  Given the recent utterances of Pope Francis alone, the time has surely come to return to the Faith of our Fathers – without compromise. Writing to bishops and Vatican is not making the required difference. Replacing bad textbooks with orthodox textbooks doesn’t change the fact that pupils in Catholic schools are being contaminated with the modernism now endemic in the Church at large. Why, I asked myself, are not all informed Catholics, voting with their feet to receive the traditional Sacraments from the SSPX priests who, whatever their personal shortcomings, have been sent to us by God to see us through this time of crisis?

I asked a reader who doubles as a friend (well, I have to have at least one….) and received a reply by email with the same thought: The Catholic Church has one-ness amongst its four marks and the gates of Hell will not prevail against it, so there is no possibility of the ship sinking altogether. Unfortunately, the present captain of the barque of St Peter, and his 1st, 2nd, 3rd . . . nth officers seem to be having a problem with the ship’s compass just now and they are in need of guidance and assistance from the Coastguard. Whilst there are many people standing on the shore eager to call out directions, most of them are reading from similarly afflicted compasses, and many of them haven’t even got a compass at all. The Coastguard appears to be the only faction which has a reliable compass due to having upheld its connections with traditional sea-faring rules for the last two millenia.

The Coastguard is too wise to come aboard, where its compass might get contaminated by whatever malign influences pertain there, so it is wisely keeping its distance.

Unfortunately, its voice is not being heard amidst the tumult of other well-meaning, but misguided, advice. What is needed is not sticking plaster, but broad-based, militant support from those who are presently not shouting at all, yet who can see what the score is. They need to be marshalled into line behind the Coastguard to add their voices and make themselves heard above all others.

What I am advocating is that the last remaining bastion of Tradition (the SSPX) deserves the support of The Flock and Christian Order and all the blogs et al. Now that Bp. Fellay has nailed his colours so unambiguously to the mast at his week-end Conference in Kansas, he needs to receive assurances of support for greater militancy (à la Militia Immaculata) for the restoration of all things to Christ through Prayer, Penance and Catholic Action from every source that has a platform in the media circus however small.

Only then, when the barque gets back on course, will it be possible to reintroduce Religious Instruction into our Catholic Schools, and all the other aspects of practising, spreading, and upholding the Catholic faith that will eventually lead to the Restoration of the Kingship of Christ. END

Do you agree? Is the battle for the Faith going to be won with sticking plasters? Is it right to continue to expose Catholic children to the drivel through to poison on offer in religious education lessons delivered in the name of the Church, by teachers who are themselves victims of the crisis of faith? Or is it time for something much more radical, as advocated by our reader?

Comments (85)

  • Yorkshire Rose

    It is essential that children are taught their Catholic Faith properly using traditional books. However, most parents just have to do that at home and explain to their children that what is being taught at modern ‘catholic’ schools is not right. Many feel that it is less confusing to send children to secular state schools where nothing is taught. That way, parents have a free hand to teach the Catechism at home. Home-schooling is very onerous and not for everyone.

    However, for modern Catholic parents to attend SSPX Mass centres with their children can also present problems. If children are not welcomed, and in some case, subjected to verbal abuse by ‘elders’ then that is not going to endear them to the one True Faith. I am aware of three large families who have been ‘driven out’ of Society Mass Groups by this kind of treatment. They had two options. 1. Return to the Modern Church, or 2. Attend LMS Masses. The only remaining option would be to lapse entirely – and just how many have done so? Fortunately, most chose LMS Masses where this ‘bad spirit’ does not seem to happen.

    October 24, 2013 at 5:41 pm
  • Yorkshire Rose

    ‘STICKING PLASTERS’ Well, the best place for them would be across the mouths of uncharitable persons who attack mothers and children. Also, I have yet to hear of any trad Priests taking the side of the families, and that is also extremely confusing and upsetting.

    October 24, 2013 at 5:47 pm
    • editor

      Yorkshire Rose,

      You are, unfortunately, mixing the issues here and, moreover, pushing an agenda which has its roots in your own experience and made you, understandably, angry. However, this is not the thread for that discussion.

      I agree that there are some nuts who object to children in Society chapels but there are many more who welcome them. We have a number of new young families who’ve been attending our chapel and tearoom for some months now and they are very welcome. Indeed, one middle-aged man said to me a week or two ago that he loved to hear the children call out at Mass, as it made him think that the congregation was alive and well, in more than one sense.

      You’ve now had your say on this, and since none of us here has any authority over the priests whom you accuse of not doing anything about bad behaviour towards parents and noisy families, I’d ask you to drop the subject. If those parents don’t take up the issue themselves with the priest, and choose to go elsewhere then on their own heads be it, because all they will get at the LMS Mass, apart from a friendly welcome, is exposure to the Modernism infecting every diocesan parish at the present time. Only a couple of weeks ago I met a couple of people who told me they have just abandoned the Una Voce (LMS) Mass in Glasgow for the SSPX because, they said, they had come to realise that by not doing so, they were actually supporting Modernism.

      That is the issue, Yorkshire Rose. Not “where are the nicest priests and people to make life pleasant for us all on Sundays and Holydays of Obligation” but where will my spiritual safety be assured. Given what the martyrs went through to defend our Catholic Faith, it’s surely not asking too much to put up with a few old fogies who can’t suffer the little children for an hour unless they are quiet as church mice – if you’ll pardon the pun.

      Please let’s stick to the issue of the thread and not get bogged down in arguments about children at Mass. That is NOT the topic of this thread – I understand your point, but please respect my request to put an end to noisy children right here and now – so to speak!

      October 24, 2013 at 6:06 pm
      • Yorkshire Rose

        Well, it’s more about a general attitude which is extremely uncharitable in general and sustained over years sometimes. A ‘bad spirit’ which also does a great deal of damage to souls – young and old. Also, it can spill over into the tea rooms/halls where families need to relax after long journeys etc. My own family is now grown up and we did NOT have these problems, so I am not talking about myself here. However, in recent times, I have come to know a number of people who have, and I have witnessed some quite upsetting things. Lack of charity and bad example can lose other adults (with no family) to a Mass group. So ‘spiritual safety’ for all is then compromised.

        October 24, 2013 at 7:39 pm
      • editor

        I have asked you not to continue this conversation, Yorkshire Rose. I believe you. You haven’t got to convince us – we’ve had this conversation before. I’m sorry you felt the need to continue, so allow me to say this in conclusion:

        I know from past comments that you have done as much as you can to deal with the situation where you live. Now, once we have done so, the right thing to do for our peace of mind and to avoid spiritual pride, is to leave it in God’s hands. To persist with it, when there is nothing practical that you can do now, is to risk cultivating pride. A great deal of it. It’s as if you are refusing to trust God, and will not rest until you see that your efforts and your prayers have “worked”. That is about as Catholic as Tony Blair.

        I really don’t want to have to delete your posts to please do not put me in that position by continuing with this off topic issue.

        Instead, please offer your opinion on this: imagine that there are no daft moany old people who are incapable of recollecting themselves during Mass in the face of a few noisy children in any SSPX chapel in the land. In that case, do you think the crisis in the Church is so far along now that parents should seek out an SSPX chapel – or am I wrong to suggest this? If I’m wrong to suggest this, please give a reason other than the complaint given in your previous posts.

        October 24, 2013 at 8:08 pm
      • Yorkshire Rose

        It is indeed right to seek out the Traditional Mass if at all possible. Hopefully, most people are within a reasonable distance of a Society Mass Centre. It is right for parents to catechize their children at home, as if they attend a modern ‘catholic’ school, they will be confused at best and grow up thinking that the Catholic Faith is only one of many. However, to save this confusion, some feel that attending a State school is the lessor of two evils. Some do homeschooling, and I have the greatest admiration for them, but it’s not something everyone can cope with.

        October 24, 2013 at 8:29 pm
  • catholicconvert1

    Yorkshire Rose:

    ‘However, for modern Catholic parents to attend SSPX Mass centres with their children can also present problems. If children are not welcomed, and in some case, subjected to verbal abuse by ‘elders’ then that is not going to endear them to the one True Faith. I am aware of three large families who have been ‘driven out’ of Society Mass Groups by this kind of treatment’.

    Would you elaborate? Are you saying that people would grumble about crying babies or toddlers? How did the Church go on before 1969-70, before the Tridentine Mass was replaced?

    I would like to know what the lapsation rate is at Burghclere, or at the other 100 or so SSPX run educational establishments.

    October 24, 2013 at 7:44 pm
    • editor

      Catholic Convert,

      I asked Yorkshire Rose NOT to elaborate. Am I here or not? She will NOT elaborate. Please read my previous posts.

      If you recall, this issue has been discussed many times on our blog, not least on occasions raised by Yorkshire Rose. It is not a problem in most of the SSPX chapels. Like everywhere else, there are selfish and uncharitable people in the SSPX so if its perfection you are looking for, avoid. Avoid also every other parish.

      Now, would you please stick to the thread topic, as I really do not want to return here to delete a batch of comments – but I will. I have form on this. Ask any other persistent off topic blogger who ever touched base here.

      October 24, 2013 at 8:11 pm
      • catholicconvert1

        Er, well as it happens I did not know that YR had raised the issue on other occasions, hence, that is the reason why I asked her to elaborate on what she said. It seems to me that you can’t tolerate criticism of the SSPX.

        October 24, 2013 at 11:10 pm
      • Yorkshire Rose

        Well, it’s not a question of criticising the SSPX, but speaking plainly. For most, their experience in Mass centres etc., is very good (myself included). For others, however, it has not been good, and that is a great pity. A blog is a place where people give their views, opinions – and their experience! If something is said that is not liked… well, that’s just the way of things. I do feel that it is extremely important to remain calm and polite as ‘gentlefolk’, and NOT descend into a ‘slanging match’. That is not befitting a Catholic. We simply agree to differ. If one of us is in error, then we gently admonish and guide the person back onto the right path.

        It could be that the Editor is concerned that my comments may have discouraged some potential new recruits for the Society Masses. Well, that is the LAST thing I would ever want to do, and if I have given anyone concern, then I sincerely apologise. I have already set aside some specific prayers to ‘undo’ any harm my comments might have made. WISHING FOR ALL THE BLESSINGS OF THE HOLY MARTYRS OF ENGLAND AND WALES, whose feast is tomorrow.

        October 24, 2013 at 11:32 pm
      • editor

        Yorkshire Rose,

        Being “gently admonishing and guiding you back onto the right path” doesn’t seem to be working.

        I am concerned that you are leading us off topic into another futile discussion about noisy children. Who, frankly, cares, beyond a couple of moany bachelors. I doubt very much that anyone reading this blog is so stupid as to imagine that everything and everyone in a Society chapel is perfect, of course, but I can think of young mothers who have recently been asking me about Mass at the SSPX chapel who, reading your posts above, will be completely put off. There is really no need to belabour the point that there are some selfish people who complain about children. Your own experience with your own children was good, you tell us, so thank God for that and move on.

        As a matter of interest, a few weeks ago I met with some bloggers visiting Glasgow who attended our Mass. They’d read previous discussions led by you on this topic and had been astonished to read of “screaming children” in the Glasgow chapel. They recalled this discussion expressing astonishment. The children were, as usual, very well behaved with mothers removing babies who became noisy during the sermon. So, let’s not make a drama out of a few silly old men moaning about an occasional noisy child or two, for goodness sake.

        What did you think of Daphne McLeod’s review of “Come and See”?

        October 25, 2013 at 12:32 am
      • Yorkshire Rose

        Some confusion here I think folks! I do not live in Scotland nor have I ever attended any Masses in Scotland, so nothing I have said refers to Scotland.

        Ed: nobody said YOU said anything about Scotland.

        You forgot to answer my question – what do you think of Daphne’s review of “Come and See”?

        October 25, 2013 at 1:12 am
      • editor

        Catholic Convert,

        You could not be more wrong. I have permitted criticism of the Society on this blog – in a particular context – and as a result, Catholic Truth is none too popular with Society priests.

        But I will not use the Catholic Truth (or any other) blog to wage a vendetta against the Society because of the behaviour of any individual priest(s). The SSPX may not (clearly don’t) like Catholic Truth but that won’t stop us from promoting the Society.

        You see, I attended parishes all over England, in Aberdeen and in my home town of Glasgow for the majority of my post-Vatican II life and I never, not anywhere, found a parish that was perfect. No perfect priests, no perfect parishioners, not even one.

        Therefore, I didn’t choose to attend the SSPX chapels because I thought everything and everyone would be perfect or even particularly good. I attended to get away from the novus ordo Mass and the feeling of a rising temper every time I scanned the church bulletin. I wasn’t sure whether to be more mad at the latest ecumenical meeting being advertised or the advert encouraging me to go and listen to yet another heretic speaking on diocesan premises

        So, in response to the blog article I’d like to say two things:

        Firstly, Daphne McLeod is to be commended for her hard work over the years exposing the disgraceful RE books used in Catholic schools, and for providing information for teachers about where to find sound textbooks.

        Secondly, as I pointed out in a newsletter article once – and Daphne contacted me to say she agreed fully – even with the most orthodox textbook and terrific, committed teachers, the issue remains of how to protect pupils from the Modernist influence around them.

        One example suffices: teachers and parents are delighted if they find that an RE textbook describes the Mass as “the Sacrifice of Calvary” but when pupils actually attend Mass, they witness something very far removed from Calvary. They experience a very informal event, a light-hearted affair, usually with enjoyable pop-“hymns” and so on. In other words, the parents I speak to, especially those who have opted to home-school, don’t want just sound textbooks which contain all the expected doctrine – “Tradition” is much more than mere orthodoxy, if you know what I mean…

        And there is, sadly, only one place where Modernist influence has not permeated – SSPX chapels.

        That, I emphasise, does not mean things are perfect in SSPX chapels. Very far from it. But this thread is intended to help parents and teachers who are concerned about the content of religious education in Catholic schools and concerned, generally, about the worsening crisis in the Church. If they really do wish to protect their own Faith and that of their children, I’d encourage them to find an SSPX chapel, all the while stressing that they will not find perfection there. They will, in fact, find some nonsense – it takes all sorts – but hopefully they will soon learn, as I have learned, to ignore silliness and extremism if they find any, and, instead, focus on thanking God for giving us Archbishop Lefebvre! Our Lady of Good Success said Her Son would send a prelate in the 20th century to restore the priesthood and He did!

        Our Lady of Good Success, pray for us!

        October 25, 2013 at 12:18 am
    • Yorkshire Rose

      I would like to know the lapsation rate at these places. I know someone who tried Burghclere for a short time and the example of the girls there was as bad as the local comprehensive. The girls’ conversation and outlook was as ‘worldly’ as their secular counterparts, and they had little interest or fervour in their Faith. The parents then returned their offspring to the State school and they are now model trad Catholics.

      You have asked that I elaborate, so I will do my best. (Editor will hopefully understand).

      No, editor does NOT understand. Rest of this comment has been removed. Now either participate in the topic or put your feet up and read a book. I recommend the life of Archbishop Lefebvre.

      October 24, 2013 at 8:15 pm
  • Alexandra

    I could not agree more that the time for “sticking plaster” solutions to the crisis in the Church is long past.

    Friends of mine are heartily sick of their parishes and the stuff coming out from the Pope but they are stuck in the time-warp question “will I be excommunicated if I go to the SSPX”.

    Frankly, I have no patience any longer with people who cannot see the wood for the trees. To me, it’s simple. If you want to be a modernist, go to the novus ordo. If you want to avoid the novus ordo but don’t mind everything else, go to the LMS Mass. If you want to be a traditional Catholic, go to the SSPX. It’s plain and simple, IMHO.

    October 24, 2013 at 8:19 pm
  • Yorkshire Rose

    For anyone thinking of trying a Society Mass Centre, BY ALL MEANS DO SO. You have nothing to lose, and for most everything is fine. It is not my intention to discourage anyone (and particularly young couples and parents) from moving over to the Traditional Mass and other services. My own experience with my children when they were younger was GOOD.

    October 24, 2013 at 8:41 pm
    • editor

      Yorkshire Rose,

      Thank you. You won’t be fired after all and your Christmas bonus will be paid as usual…

      October 25, 2013 at 12:42 am
      • Yorkshire Rose

        Oh thanks gel, I could do wiv a bit o Wonga!

        Choicest blessings dear lady, and on all here.

        October 25, 2013 at 12:53 am
  • Clotilde

    I can’t understand those folk who profess to be traditional in their faith and yet continue to attend the Novus Ordo Church. They justify this by saying that it is a bad example to not go to the modern church as there is no alternative. However having spent a lot of money and patience on getting a traditonal education for their kids they take them to the NO. To me this is confusing and if the children keep their faith I congratulate them.
    However is it the true faith that they believe or a compromise to keep their parents satisfied?

    I have a few friends ( yes, one or two) who- must -go to Mass daily (NO) and yet honour the traditional beliefs in their lives. It must be difficult for them to see all the abuses and hear the ecumenical nonsense that permeates the liturgy and sermons ( sorry I mean homilies, prayers over the gifts, terrible meaningless hymns.

    I have listened to the Catechism talks by Daphne McLeod on Dei Ecclesia so full of sound doctrine and yet the modern church still continues to produce Catechisms which undermine most catholic truths. So how is it that such a staunch believer as Daphne continues to support modern faith with its protestanised liturgy and vacuous and misleading teachings.

    October 24, 2013 at 9:11 pm
    • Lily


      It’s difficult for younger Catholics who ask their PP about the Society and are told they are dangerous etc, to avoid them. Then they are afraid to involve their families. They don’t seem to notice that the same priests are not discouraging them from attending ecumenical services!

      October 24, 2013 at 10:29 pm
      • Clotilde

        I am not sure what you mean exactly. Do you mean it is diffcult for the parents or children?

        October 25, 2013 at 12:42 pm
      • Lily

        I meant young parents when their PP tells them better not to go to the SSPX, dangerous to faith, and they don’t want to risk getting their children involved with the Society because they trust their own priest’s opinion. They just can’t believe that their priest is not right.

        October 25, 2013 at 1:38 pm
  • Clotilde

    One of the many things I have come to appreciate in the Mass of all time as said in SSPX churches are the ‘readings’ of the Roman missal which keep to the original calendar of saints. Not only the saints who have been neglected over the years and especially those who remind us of the heroism of their lives, but the beautiful Collects, the ember days, the extended epistles and gospels and so much more which have long since been forgotten in the modern church.
    I wonder if the TD Masses in the modern church keep to the original Roman Missal or do the follow the new readings? I dont understand how Mass can be concelebrated by several priests (as in the modern church) when in the Mass there is only one priest and one victim. Maybe someone could explain this to me.

    October 24, 2013 at 9:23 pm
  • 3littleshepherds

    My family all loved Michael Davies but not Una Voce. I think, probably because it seemed not valiant enough. If you read St. Louis de Monfort’s understanding of and prayers for the organization of Blessed Mother’s heel, the priests who will band together and crush the devil’s head, they are brave, firm, and know exactly what’s going on. It also looks like various kinds of priests all over the world band together, united by their loved for the Immaculate Heart, and fight under her banner. Who better to lead the cause than the SSPX? And if you read the Apocalypse the dragon is thrown out of heaven and they do it through the blood of the lamb and the word of their witness and they loved not their own life in the face of death. It looks like God is going to somehow for the glory of His mother unite priests of goodwill to overcome the terrible evils trying to destroy the Church. Maybe a massive, public, persistent rosary crusade

    October 24, 2013 at 11:58 pm
    • editor


      I believe you are completely right about priests of good will uniting. I am finding that, notably since the election and scandalous utterances of Pope Francis, I speak with more and more priests and laity who are warming towards the SSPX – or, at least, the chill has thawed!

      October 25, 2013 at 12:29 am
  • leprechaun

    Madame Editor,

    I read Mrs McLeod’s latest issue of the Flock over and again, majoring as it did on what is being foisted on Catholic schoolchildren today as “the Faith”, and the two things that struck me in particular were firstly, the atrocity that the “Come and See” programme is being praised and supported by bishops of the Catholic Church, and secondly, the distress that Mrs McLeod must be feeling after all the years and determined effort she has put into campaigning for Catholic children to be taught Tradition. “Tradition” said Archbishop Lefebvre “is the Deposit of Faith transmitted by the Magisterium down through the centuries“.

    I say that it is now manifest that the time for sticking plaster treatment has passed irretrievably.

    As your reader and (not) sole friend said in your leader, the time has arrived for coordinated opposition. I agree that there remains only one bastion that can be trusted with this task, and it is the SSPX. The District Superior for Great Britain, Ireland and Scandinavia is Fr. Paul Morgan, and in the short time I have known him, he has opened a new Priory at Carluke in Scotland and has commissioned a church in Liverpool, and has contrived to make the Mass available to much of his area with only a dozen or so priests at his disposal. He has done this with puzzlingly low levels of support from the laity.

    Those of us who have discovered Tradition and who really try to do God’s will are aware of what a wonderful treasure we have found. We all need to speak to lapsed Catholic friends, to Catholic friends who still attend the Novus Ordo Masses, to Catholic friends who attend Indult Masses (Latin Masses which the priests are allowed to offer on condition that they accept all the documents of Vatican II, that they accept the legitimacy of the Novus Ordo Mass and that they will not speak out against either of these conditions). We each need to persuade these friends of the need to support the SSPX with prayers, with financial support and by our attendances, setting an example for waverers to follow. We are talking here about saving souls!

    There is only one truly Traditional Catholic School in the country, and as a former headmaster of it, Fr. Morgan well knows how much money it takes to keep it going, let alone to open up further ones. The children formed at that school are probably our only sure source of future vocations. Vocations enable growth. Growth leads to strength, and strength will give us the opportunity to influence Rome, especially when they see the numbers and level of commitment of our troops.

    I am with your reader. This is an unashamed rallying cry to all who love Christ to encourage others to join the ranks of the laity who support the SSPX as we draw towards Advent, and to signal the arrival of the Cavalry to assist the beleaguered defenders of the Faith. Rebuilding the Kingship of Christ is no mean task and we all need to make an ongoing contribution.

    Fr. Morgan has had the District web site brought up to date and it includes details of the Chapels throughout the country, and Mass times, and of the priests serving the Order, and much else besides. It can be seen at http://www.fsspx.co.uk and the “Chapels and Mass Times” button reveals their details.

    October 25, 2013 at 9:49 am
  • Yorkshire Rose

    Among a group of trad Catholics and their Priests, no-one is expecting perfection; just basic Christian Charity and honourable behaviour.

    October 25, 2013 at 10:07 am
    • Josephine

      Yorkshire Rose,

      The problem with banging on about the lack of charity in other people, is that it can lead us into the sin of uncharitable-ness ourselves.

      On the topic of the “Come & See” programme of RE, I am shocked at it. I copied some of the points from Daphne McLeod’s review and my first thought was to ask if this is the same sort of stuff being taught in Scotland?

      From Mrs McLeod’s Review:-

      “Were I to cover every heresy – explicit and by omission – in this Programme my review would have to be as long as the 200 pages which cover the teaching to be given, so I will cover just the more serious omissions, remembering that we can commit Heresy by omission. Pages 44,45 and 46 have Grids showing all the Scripture references, Topics and Themes taught throughout the Primary school, covering ages 4/5 years – 10/11 years. When these grids are compared with the 1994 ”Catechism of the Catholic Church” (CCC) which Bl. Pope John Paul II declared “the Norm for teaching religion” they reveal some of these serious omissions.

      For example –

      1. The attributes of Almighty God are not taught, such as He is everywhere so always close to us, though these are found in the CCC;

      2. Spirit and what the word Spirit means. They need to know this for

      3. Angels, Guardian Angels, the Devil and his evil spirits who are all omitted as well, even though covered in the CCC;

      4. That we are in the Image and Likeness of God because we have Spiritual Souls with Intelligence and Free Will,( 7 paras in the CCC.)

      5. Adam and Eve, the Fall, Original Sin and even Sin itself are all omitted in spite of having 60 entries in the CCC. This makes it impossible to explain the Incarnation and the Redeeming Passion and Death of Our Lord, so we get nonsense such as the Saviour will rescue us ‘from those who threaten us,” (on page 53.)

      6. Grace, which has over 20 entries in the CCC is never even mentioned, not Actual Grace, Sacramental Grace or Sanctifying Grace / Supernatural Life. So the teaching on

      7. Baptism is incomplete. It is several times merely presented as “a welcome or invitation to belong to God’s family.” There is no mention of S.John ch3 v1 ff where Jesus explains to Nicodemus that unless a man is born again of water and the Holy Spirit he cannot enter the Kingdom of Heaven. The CCC teaches Grace/Supernatural Life in over 90 entries, so why omit it? This rhyme helps teach it –

      When little babies are baptised, God’s greatest Love is shown
      For then he gives new Life to them, A life that’s like His own.
      We thank you Lord for this great gift, The treasure of our race
      Our Lady’s soul was full of it. The Angel called it Grace.

      8. The Incarnation There is no mention of why Jesus, the Second Person of the Blessed Trinity became Man, though on page 102 we are told “the Word became a human person”. This is not true. Jesus was, is and always will be the Divine Person who became Man to redeem us from sin and hell. Other readers will find more astonishing omissions.”

      The above is only the tip of the iceberg – that is one scary review.

      Can anyone tell us if they’ve seen the programme used in Scottish Catholic schools because if the Come & See programme is typical, then I would say to Catholic parents to definitely cause a fuss. In fact, I would remove a child from RE in any school using a programme like Come & See.

      Not everyone can get to the SSPX chapels in Scotland – the Mass time in Glasgow is far too early for people travelling a distance and there is no parking in the area. You need to walk up from the Cambridge Street car park and if you’ve got a few children that wouldn’t be easy. I definitely say parents should check out the programme used in their Catholic school and if it is anything like as bad as Come & See, they need to do something about it. There’s no way kids being taught using that scheme are going to turn out to be Catholics.

      October 25, 2013 at 11:53 am
      • Yorkshire Rose

        Can parents at catholic schools ‘opt out’ of the so-called religious teaching? The only other thing is to make do with State schools, where nothing is taught. The lessor of two evils. However, I dare say that places at specific schools may be limited, and people are now restricted to being accommodated at a school in their catchment area, so changing is very difficult.

        Maybe trad Catholic parents can get together and do ‘home-schooled catechism’ for one evening per week say. Then, insist on removing their children from these ‘non’ catholic RE classes. After all, that’s what other ‘faiths’ do isn’t it, and there’s probably some legislation on Human Rights to support this. People need to band together and make a fuss. Lone parents wont be listened to.

        October 25, 2013 at 12:05 pm
      • Lily


        I read the review and it is really unbelievable how bad that programme is.

        I notice that no 2 on the list is an unfinished sentence:

        2. Spirit and what the word Spirit means. They need to know this for (sentence ends here)

        I suppose the answer is they need to know that “Spirit” means the Second Person of the Trinity? This would need to be clearly taught since a lot of people talk about the spirit of Jesus and it can be confusing.

        I found no. 3 very interesting after the thread on angels. They must not realise that angels in an article of faith and has to be taught and believed. The ignorance of Catholics today just beggars belief. Plus I wonder just how much these authors of Catholic books believe themselves about the faith?

        October 25, 2013 at 1:45 pm
      • 3littleshepherds

        Whenever my family had to park a distance from the Church the mother and children were left at the Church and the husband parked and walked.

        Also whenever we had a large distance between the Church and some activity like picnics, pilgrimages, etc. we had someone who acted as a shuttle bus, giving groups rides to and fro.

        October 25, 2013 at 4:07 pm
      • editor


        Families without the luxury of a car have to travel, sometimes on more than one bus and then walk an even longer distance than a driver from the car park in Cambridge Street. I do exactly as you describe almost every week – drop members of my family, park and then walk back. But it’s not so easy for families with children using public transport – there is no point pretending otherwise. What you describe about picnics etc would seem to confirm beyond a doubt, that you’ve never been to Glasgow!

        October 25, 2013 at 5:11 pm
      • Yorkshire Rose

        Also, not everyone has a Catholic husband who attends with them. It is always assumed that a ‘family’ is Mum, Dad and kids. For many Catholic Mums, going to Mass (wherever) is a lone job. In addition, some husbands might have to work regular shift work which prevents their attendance at Sunday Mass. (e.g. hospital medics, care workers, firemen, police etc.)

        It would be good if someone in each Mass Group could be the ‘transport person’ and liaise with people who can give lifts with those that need them. This ‘lay pastoral care’ is something the modern church is really good at and maybe we could take a leaf out of this book at least.

        October 25, 2013 at 6:21 pm
      • 3littleshepherds

        I remember Petrus said he and his family take a bus. But okay, I’ve never even been to Scotland. How come you can’t have a picnic or pilgrimage? What do you do for The Feast of Christ the King?
        I know of one mission in the US who started out with very little, but were finally able to build a real church, big enough for everyone. They told me, (I wasn’t a parishioner) that early on they started a regular devotion to St. Joseph before Mass. They attribute everything they have to this devotion.

        October 25, 2013 at 7:15 pm
      • 3littleshepherds

        That would be the SSPX mission in North Houston, Texas. They built a Franciscan type church, St. Michael’s.

        October 25, 2013 at 7:20 pm
  • gabriel syme

    This is an excellent article and I was interested to read the review of current RE provision.

    Its not *that* long ago that I was at school and the RE received was beyond puerile. At times I feel resentful of this, that they gave me the impression of Christianity as being merely a vague, wishy-washy life-philosophy, instead of demonstrating the depth, richness and truth of the true faith.

    I have always been a passionate defender of Catholic schools, and my mum was a head teacher of a Catholic primary. However, looking back, I now question whether I want to send my own children (if we are lucky enough to have a family) to the same substandard system which caused me to lapse and have total disinterest in the faith during my youth.

    I will certainly be buying a good catechism for use in the home, (baltimore, most likely). My current thinking is to send our kids to a Catholic school – purely for the Christian environment and general school standards – but resolutely insist that they will opt-out of RE classes and communal worship.

    That sounds absurd, I know, after all – what is the point of a Catholic school? But what option is left to us? There was not one worthwhile hour in RE, during my 13 years at school, not one – surely my kids would be better to use that 1 or 2 hours a week to revise their maths etc, instead of being taught heretical rubbish.

    That more kids lapse from Catholic schools, compared to non-denom schools, should cause every Bishop to hang his head in shame. What a shameful statistic that is.

    October 25, 2013 at 11:57 am
    • crofterlady

      I wouldn’t send your children to a Catholic school if you want them to keep the faith. Even if you opt out of R.E. they will still have an anti catholic ambiance around them. In a state school, non Catholics are too p.c. to criticise Catholicism or any other religion. eventually, we sent our children to a state school and we had no problem taking them out of Citizenship lessons. During these classes they did their homework and they were the envy of the other children!

      Teach them their faith at home using the old catechism. Homeschooling organisations in the USA also have good material available.

      Regarding the new Mass: there’s no doubt about it that it can be dangerous to their faith. We have no choice as there is no provision of a traditional Mass anywhere nearby, but we have found that we have to discuss the shenanigans every single Sunday with our children. Our older children who live in England are very lucky to have provision of the old Mass.

      In conclusion, that of all the children that started in Primary 1 with our children, ours are the only ones that still go to Mass. They have critical minds and can spot a heresy a mile away and, believe me, hardly a homily goes by without hearing one! When they are all old enough to understand the crisis that is unfolding, we will stop attending the new Mass and pray at home instead.

      October 25, 2013 at 2:48 pm
  • gabriel syme

    I forgot to add: check out this blog post from Damian Thompson.

    It highlights an exercise given to American Catholic schools kids, called “Draw your favourite part of the mass”.

    That one kid drew people leaving church and saying “bye” says it all. (its tragic, but not without humour).

    Thompson talks of people experiencing a dopamine spurt upon hearing the words “The Mass is ended. Go in peace” – I can 100% relate to that, from my childhood. I used to get a real “buzz” walking out of Church as a kid, thinking “Thank God thats over for another week”.

    See here:


    Big changes are needed.

    October 25, 2013 at 12:01 pm
  • Clotilde

    Happy feast of the 40 martyrs of England and Wales.

    It only says English martyrs on my SSPX calendar. Is that a misprint?

    October 25, 2013 at 12:48 pm
  • WurdeSmythe

    In 1999, on 31 January (Feast of St. John Bosco), I was conditionally baptized into the Catholic Church; the good Lord had smiled on a fool. The catalyst was my wife’s conversion: over my grumbling she entered the Church on Easter Sunday, 1998. Displeased but desiring to be a good sport, I consented to speak with her priest, read her catechism, research matters, and say my prayers – not to become Catholic myself, mind you, but to understand what my wife had gotten herself into. Happily, many kind souls were telling their beads on my behalf as well. In due course I became convinced Catholicism was true and so entered the Church.

    About a year later my wife had a change of heart: she no longer wanted to be Catholic, and she no longer wanted to remain married to a man who was. The aqua regia for her faith was the novus Catholic and non-Catholic friends who subjected her to ridicule and scorn for being a traditional Catholic who attended SSPX Masses. The conciliar folk coached her in what to say to justify her apostasy, supported her in separating from her traditional friends, and to help solidify the deal they suggested she tell her husband the fiction that she’d had an affair with a girlfriend. No act or remark was out of bounds when dealing with a traditional Catholic. Trading her spiritual inheritance for a bowl of modern porridge, she abandoned her faith and then her husband.

    I’ve seen traditional Catholics act in an unedifying and unkind fashion toward others. I hardly think that is their particular hallmark, and I have yet to see them treat others with the contempt and abuse that I’ve seen administered on trads by the novus crowd.

    St. Edmund Campion, pray for us.

    October 25, 2013 at 8:14 pm
    • crofterlady

      May God bless you. You are in my prayers.

      October 25, 2013 at 8:53 pm
    • editor


      Having witnessed (and suffered myself) from the modernists’ mistreatment of teachers who show even the slightest concern to teach the orthodox Faith, even without any mention of the SSPX or even the traditional Mass, I have every sympathy for what happened to you. Some will have difficulty believing your story – not moi. Not for a second.

      October 25, 2013 at 9:02 pm
      • WurdeSmythe

        My wife did me the great kindness of praying for my conversion. Now I have the opportunity to return the favor. God is good.

        October 25, 2013 at 9:22 pm
      • editor

        Your story is amazing and God is, indeed good, to have given you such unshakeable faith. Many people would have thrown their missals at the nearest priest and drifted off into the sunset. Most likely God has reserved a key role for you in the work of your wife’s salvation.

        I’m sure all of us here are remembering your intentions in our prayers now. Who among us doesn’t love a happy ending?

        October 25, 2013 at 11:44 pm
  • 3littleshepherds

    I looked up the church in Glasgow and the one in Edinburgh. I’ve never seen pictures of them before. Edinburgh’s is really nice! And the Glasgow church looks like the buildings in Kansas City, Missouri. Really neat. There’s no history of the churches though. How old are they?
    It also looks like St. Andrews gets the priest first and then he’s off to Edinburgh. I grew up with Mass once a month in a hotel room. We were last on his circuit so we had Mass around 5:00 in the evening, the priest was usually tired but we could have a dinner together and then he drove four hours back to his weekly mission and caught a plane from there. On the other Sundays we drove four hours to Mass.

    October 26, 2013 at 12:56 am
    • editor


      “Drove” is the operative word. How did the families without cars get there?

      The Glasgow chapel is situated up a stack of steps (down which a 90 year old man fell and broke his shoulder last year) – and alongside is a row of small hotels, so the narrow street, with parking on one side, requires visitors’ vouchers to park. That can be overcome, but the problem remains for people with young children travelling a distance by bus and train, relying on sparse Sunday services to get to Mass at such an early hour. Not easy.

      Anyway, the principle remains. For parents who wish to protect their children from RE programmes like Come and See, not to mention the now endemic influences of ecumenism and interfaith activity advertised in parishes and in which schools participate routinely now, as well as, of course, the new Mass, the only real alternative – apart from home-education – is the SSPX with either home-schooling or extra catechism at home.

      However, exposing children to bad influences at school and church and then trying to contradict those influences at home brings its own problems. Children need stability and consistency – not a bundle of contradictory doctrines etc. When they do a project on the Rosary at school, for example, will they be learning/drawing the new mysteries? And so on – that sort of constant contradiction will confuse the children and when they come to learn about infallibility and indefectibility, they will probably shake their heads in disbelief.

      Trying to live with a foot in both camps is only storing up trouble for the future. Children who stick with the Faith after such an upbringing should be awarded a medal. The majority, I’m afraid, won’t.

      October 26, 2013 at 10:02 am
      • Yorkshire Rose

        The Glasgow chapel is situated up a stack of steps (down which a 90 year old man fell and broke his shoulder last year) – and alongside is a row of small hotels, so the narrow street, with parking on one side, requires visitors’ vouchers to park. That can be overcome, but the problem remains for people with young children travelling a distance by bus and train, relying on sparse Sunday services to get to Mass at such an early hour. Not easy……………

        That is terrible. Are there many such unsuitable churches in the UK? I have been to London, Brighton and Preston, but what are the others like in regard to practical things such as parking, public transport etc. Now that I think about it, two of the above are certainly not ‘user-friendly’. Brighton isn’t too bad, but it’s a long time since I was there.

        When Churches/Mass Centres are purchased is NO thought given to access – especially for the elderly and disabled. And… of course families. Many of the churches seem to be Victorian buildings with steps. Would it not be better to purchase another type of building and turn it into a church. That way, there would be much more choice with regard to parking and all the other practical things that affect the laity.

        October 26, 2013 at 11:25 am
      • sixupman

        As the Diocese would rather close and/or demolish a ‘redundant’ church, than sell it to SSPX, they can only obtain that which is available and practical. Preston was bought behind the back of the Diocese, the property sold as a ‘bundle’, by an Order, to a property developer and SSPX acquired it from them. Recently, Birmingham Diocese sold a church to a Muslim group for use as a mosque and community centre, such in Stoke on Trent where SSPX have a presence. The Liverpool acquisition looks interesting, as a building, located between the Anglican and Catholic Cathedrals – but apparently parking may be absent.

        A property with adequate parking would demand an high price premium.

        It amazes me why the Bishops’ Conference does not organize a situation where both semi and redundant churches and presbyteries are retained and utilised for social use. After all they promote an absolute proliferation of committees relative to non-essential mere talking shops. But they have abdicated responsibility, for the ‘poor’, to The State.

        October 26, 2013 at 11:43 am
      • Yorkshire Rose

        Well, why is it necessary to buy a CHURCH building? A large detached house could easily be converted into a Church. There is also a lot more of them on sale and the sellers couldn’t give a hoot who they sell it to, as long as it sells!

        Also, a piece of land could have a building erected on it. I understand that a log cabin type structure costs a great deal less than bricks & mortar, and would be perfectly practical. I think the Society needs to let go of this obsession for ‘old churches’. They are always in very poor repair, cost a fortune to renovate and a ‘King’s Ransom’ to maintain! The National Trust may have the resources to indulge in such luxuries, but the trad Catholics of the UK do not!

        SCENARIO: ‘A detached house with a large garden is on sale. The garden is large enough to provide some parking. There is a local car park nearby for additional cars. There are no steps so the elderly and disabled can access it easily. A small room could be kept as a crèche for babies and toddlers. Another room is the tea room. The main interior can be the Chapel and set out properly with every refinement as befits the ‘House of God’.

        IT CAN BE DONE!

        October 26, 2013 at 11:56 am
      • editor

        Thank you for that Sixupman – it is to the credit of the several parents of young families whom I know personally, that they struggle every week to overcome the various practical difficulties they face in order to attend both our Glasgow and Edinburgh chapels, and of course, the same goes for our “separated” (at the border!) brethren down south!

        Reading through Daphne McLeod’s excellent review of the latest appalling RE programme for Catholic schools helps to underline the dangers faced by children being taught little to nothing about the Faith and what little they get is generally distorted. They are being malformed and when they choose to walk away from the Church, they won’t be walking away from the Church: they’ll be walking away from what Christopher Ferrara dubbed “the façade” of the Church. Tragic.

        Those parents who effectively decide to keep a foot in both camps need to reflect long and hard about the possible – likely even – consequences of their decision.

        October 26, 2013 at 11:57 am
      • editor

        Yorkshire Rose,

        What do you think of the following piece from Daphne McLeod’s review of Come and See?

        “The Divinity of Christ is not well taught. The 1971 “General Catechetical Directory from Rome says it should be at the very least mentioned every day because it is so crucial, (S53.) There is an instruction not to teach Jesus’ miracles at all until the top classes. WHY NOT?”

        I’m much more interested in your views about the school RE programme than about which properpies the SSPX woulda, coulda, shoulda bought instead of the current chapels.

        So, why do you think the authors of Come and See think pupils should not be taught about miracles until senior stage? What possible reason could there be for such a ruling, given that young people today are as interested in the supernatural as any other generation?

        October 26, 2013 at 11:51 am
      • Yorkshire Rose

        Well, the Devil is in charge isn’t he! Nothing at modern Catholic schools is properly taught to children regarding their Faith. The content of the RE lessons seems to be a ‘mess of pottage’ which will not nourish the children properly. Then, the more radical themes will ‘poison’ them. All of this will do untold harm to young Catholic souls and it is to be avoided at all costs.

        I feel that it is much better to send children to State schools where they can opt out of dodgy lessons, and then teach them at home using a sound Cathechism and other traditional books. This worked very well for my family, and I would never have sent them to a ‘catholic’ school. I knew it would do a lot more harm than good.

        However, a practical difficulty for trad parents might be that if their children are already at a catholic school, can they be moved to a State school? The new rules on catchment areas are very restrictive. So what do they do? Not many can cope with home schooling. Now, that really is a problem and can anyone offer suggestions please?

        October 26, 2013 at 12:04 pm
      • Yorkshire Rose

        Dear Editor, with all due respect, you brought up the subject of your Glasgow church being so very unsuitable and the terrible difficulties it presented to people. Also, Sixupman made mention of the practical problems of other church buildings and parking. So, I was only responded to these comments.

        The topic at present is discussing the harm done to young souls at modern catholic schools using unsuitable materials. However, many things affect the ‘care’ of young souls, and attending Sunday Mass is one of them. Also, additional pressures placed upon their parents in getting them to Mass is another. Their catechism and schooling is extremely important, but these other issues are interwoven with them and can either make the problems better or worse.

        October 26, 2013 at 12:29 pm
      • 3littleshepherds

        I never owned a car. I don’t know how to drive. I prayed novenas to the Sacred Heart and asked Him for the grace to be able to go to Mass everyday and He said yes. This is how I always got a ride to Mass. He never said no. Then after years of praying for that I asked the Sacred Heart to help me to live so close to a society church that I could walk. Then He said Yes and I moved 2000 miles away and I live one minute from the Church and school. I just made novenas to the Sacred Heart.

        October 26, 2013 at 4:51 pm
  • leprechaun


    Mrs Leprechaun and I were in the Novus Ordo wilderness for 40 years (was it a coincidence, 40 years?) and made many friends through fund-raising activities for Catholic schools. When we returned to Tradition 8 years ago, they all dropped us overnight from their social diaries as if we were lepers.

    It hurt. After a while, when I began to try and persuade some of them to come and experience Traditional Latin Masses, I had not a single success. They all said: “We are quite comfortable as we are, thank you”. I attend their Novus Ordo funerals, but without participating. It breaks my heart to see these erstwhile friends chattering away prior to Mass as if they were awaiting the start of a theatrical performance (they are, if they did but know it!) and showing no respect for the presence either of Our Lord or their newly-departed friend.

    You have my total sympathy, but be assured, God is not mocked. Maintain your current stance. After a time in the “do as you like” atmosphere of today’s world, your lost wife’s conscience will begin to nag at her, especially when she sees that you have not resorted to some other woman, or to dropping your standards, but that you are demonstrably being strengthened by Our Lord and His blessed mother and your fellow Traditionalists. She will feel guilty and unclean, and, by the grace of God, she will want to purge herself as is the need of human nature – think of the prodigal son.

    I will offer a prayer for you, as will, I am sure, others amongst the bloggers here.

    Be strong in the Faith, hold fast to that which is good, and may God bless you.

    October 26, 2013 at 10:10 am
    • WurdeSmythe

      Your story reminds me of a couple I knew who had been Novus Ordo and active in pro-life work. When they came to Tradition, they were told they were no longer welcome to participate in the efforts of the novus Catholic pro-life organizations – and this from groups who worked with protestants. Ah well, the world is a mixed-up place; if it were any more palatable people might not think much of their eternal home. My own motto is that penance is better than Purgatory. Thanks for the prayers.

      October 26, 2013 at 1:44 pm
  • Eileenanne

    I am gran to a child who is not at a Catholic school. I help with his RE, so I am interested in the best way to pass on the Faith to him and, in time, to his sister.

    I bought the teachers’ manual for the scheme This is Our Faith used in Catholic Schools in Scotland. Its content MIGHT be fine, but it is so difficult to wade through the masses of coloured pictures and charts and headings, that to be honest, I can’t work up enough energy to assess it properly.

    I admire Daphne’s tenacity, therefore, in reviewing Come and See and it certainly sounds as if it is seriously defective. On her recommendation I looked online at the Faith and Life series and to be honest I am not sure that it is ideal either. My grandson is in P2, has good vocabulary and reads at a level above average for his age, but I am not sure how he would cope with the concepts and words used there for his age group. It may be great as regards content, but the method of teaching matters too.

    When people (including Gabriel Syme above) say they will teach their children from an old cathechism, I accept that WHAT they teach will be fine, but I wonder about HOW they will teach it. I learned the catechism by rote as a child and I have to say I enjoyed it. I was blessed with good teachers who explained things in a way I could grasp to some extent at the time and which gave me a good grounding for deeper understanding later. I liked the chanting of the answers, especially the longer and more complicated ones, and got something of a kick out of big words and being able to spout what I knew to be quite grown up concepts.(As a six or seven year old I was proud to know that God is the Supreme Spirit who alone exists of Himself and is infinitely perfect.)

    BUT I don’t think everyone in my class was like me, and more importantly, I think it would be unproductive to try to teach modern children by the methods my teachers used (albeit successfully for the most part) in the fifties and sixties.. We don’t do it with maths or English, so I don’t think we can do it with RE. If RE relies heavily on memorisation of the catechism, I suspect today’s childrfen will switch off. These children live in a different world. They expect interactive whiteboards, computers, exploration, all singing all dancing… We may think that is not ideal, but it is the way the world of education is, and short of homeschooling, I see no way round it. Presentation of facts needs to be short and has to be in line with the way children learn everything else. I don’t see this is in Faith and Life.

    My conclusion is that I will carry on as I am doing, teaching my grandson mainly from the Mass readings and according to the Liturgical Year, but I might use the Faith and Life series as a kind of checklist to maske sure I don’t leave important gaps.

    October 26, 2013 at 12:31 pm
    • editor


      You are absolutely correct about teaching methods. I’ve fought this battle with parents who imagine that they were taught only by rote. This is not the case. We were all taught by teachers who explained things and answered our questions – I’m sure my school was not the exception. The difference between then and now is that the teachers knew the correct answers to our questions. Of course, modern children – contrary to the popular theory – DO like learning things by heart. More than once during a lesson on the Ten Commandments, pupils have asked me if they could learn them by heart for next lesson. In fact, that can lead to some fun at the start of the next lesson because checking that the homework has been done can be turned into a quiz game. It’s always wise to give advance notice that the questions will not be in order of commandments! The quiz might require knowledge of the eighth commandment or the fifth commandment first, and so on. Making learning fun doesn’t mean no learning is taking place although unless it’s done well and with solid preparation and follow up, it can mean precisely that.

      Done properly, though, and with careful planning, teaching with imagination can only help imprint the Faith in the minds of pupils. That’s why you will find that pupils can tell you just about anything you want to know about Islam or Judaism. Pupils love preparing menus based on the fasting laws of these religions, and they love dressing up according to their dress codes. When I took up post in a Catholic school in England, there was an Ofsted inspection within three weeks (something they forgot to mention until it was too late for me to change my mind!) When the report was published, it explicitly praised the pupils for their knowledge of Judaism. Laughable, I was soon to discover, given how little anyone on the premises knew about Catholicism.

      Unfortunately, the kinds of things teachers do, are not always found in textbooks – it’s up to the teacher to employ the various principles and skills necessary for teaching and learning, and to apply them to particular topics. But here’s one of the things I did see in a book in my student days which was successful and adaptable and which can be applied in Catholic schools.

      I choose it because it can be adapted to teach about Confession. My Department used it in first year classes in the context of an introductory session of the course which lasted for a couple of week, topic: “Who am I?” where they write up some basic information about themselves to get to know one another and settle in. In the RE Department, we added a section “What am I like?” and pupils drew a large sunflower and onion in their exercise books, filling in their good and bad points of character respectively. Preparatory discussion would bring out the fact that we all have good and bad points and sometimes the very thing we record as a good point on our sunflower (e.g. obedient to parents) might also appear on our onion (e.g. disobedient to parents). All sorts of useful discussion flows from this part of the preparation – how they feel when they’re good/bad etc and what they do to make up, for example to parents, usually mother! – when they’ve been disobedient and so on. The next stage is to discuss (with friends and then whole class, possibly) which of the bad points on their onion they would like to remove, and also which of the good points on their sunflower they would like to develop further.

      You can see how this basic lesson could be developed to prepare them for First Confession. Pupils have acknowledged (confessed/admitted) their bad points, why is that important?) How bad points/faults can become sins if not controlled, the fact that we can develop good points and grow in virtue (bringing in key religious words – sin and virtue, confession, repentance) the need to admit sins in confession in order to remove sins (absolution, firm purpose of amendment) etc. Talking, writing, drawing, and a bit of fun (my efforts to draw a sunflower and onion on the board seemed to be highly amusing, cheeky beggars…)

      I’m sure you get my drift! And I’m equally sure that you will find umpteen imaginative ways to help your grandson in the coming years, but since it is quite unusual to meet with a parent or grandparent who doesn’t blame the decline in knowledge of the Faith on the new (they perceive) teaching methods, I wanted to reassure you that, all other things being equal and the solid doctrine being to hand to teach, that is not the case.

      In fact, final word on this: some years ago when I was spending a few days with Daphne McLeod and enjoying her wonderful hospitality, she invited me to attend her Confirmation class after Mass. Well, believe me, she packed everything into that lesson which – don’t be fooled by the word “packed” – was lively but relaxed. Daphne gathered the children around her and talked about the topic for a short few minutes. Then some of the children read aloud for a bit, then they were set to dramatize the parable they’d been reading about and they performed it, having prepared briefly in their group; they wrote a little, they drew pictures to illustrate their work, and they enjoyed some juice and biscuits – everything you could possibly imagine in a good lesson. So, for those who think that pre-Vatican II teaching methods were all fuddy duddy lectures from teachers – wrong.

      The thought has just come to me that it might be an idea for the future to run a Teaching Methods thread – we have a few teachers and of course home-educators, so it might be helpful to quite a few bloggers. We must think about that, or – as I’m wont to say from time to time, we must “think, think, think, and then when we’ve done that, think again!” On the other hand, if there’s no sign of interest, I’ll do what I’ve often advised others to do in the past: think about it, pray about it and then forget about it! 🙂

      October 26, 2013 at 2:59 pm
      • Lily

        I agree – it is very important to match the teaching methods used in other subjects and kids these days like school because of the fun element.

        Reading over Daphne McLeod’s review again, I saw this comment from her about Baptism in Come & See:

        Baptism is incomplete. It is several times merely presented as “a welcome or invitation to belong to God’s family.” There is no mention of S.John ch3 v1 ff where Jesus explains to Nicodemus that unless a man is born again of water and the Holy Spirit he cannot enter the Kingdom of Heaven. The CCC teaches Grace/Supernatural Life in over 90 entries, so why omit it? This rhyme helps teach it –

        When little babies are baptised, God’s greatest Love is shown
        For then he gives new Life to them, A life that’s like His own.
        We thank you Lord for this great gift, The treasure of our race
        Our Lady’s soul was full of it. The Angel called it Grace.

        I think that’s brilliant. Now clear is that? Children would love it if they got to learn through rhymes like that and even to make up one.

        October 26, 2013 at 4:55 pm
  • Petrus

    Some absolutely excellent comments so far. Sadly, I could not recommend sending a child to a Catholic school. In my experience, non – denominational schools are much better these days (although there’s still problems there too). It’s much easier to keep the Faith in a non-Catholic school.

    However, I couldn’t recommend sending children to a non-denominational school and withdrawing them from certain lessons. It draws attention to the child and inevitably they will hear all about the lesson in the playground. Home educating is the only way these days. I don’t think this is perfect, but it’s the only way to protect the souls of children.


    You are to be congratulated for playing such an active part in your grandson’s education. This is a form of home educating. I recommend some of the Seton Religious Education materials, discoverable online.

    I couldn’t agree more that teaching methods matter. Learning by rote is a useful and necessary tool – but I don’t think any good teacher ever just got children just to chant things without explaining it.

    I did a lesson yesterday on creation stories in Christianity. I asked the children what they knew about Christianity. Nothing. So, I wrote the word on the board and asked them to see if they could find another word within “Christianity”. They less bright children came up with “an” and “it” but the clever clogs identified “Christ”. That was the starting point and we were off. Fun. I didn’t simply get the children to chant, “Christians follow Jesus Christ”.

    I’m sure you are doing a very good job and God bless you for it, eileenanne.

    October 26, 2013 at 5:02 pm
    • editor


      What about sending them to non-denominational schools and letting them participate in the RE lessons?

      And you thought the office of Devil’s Advocate had been abolished! 🙂

      October 26, 2013 at 5:07 pm
      • Petrus


        If I was delivering the RE lesson? No problem!

        I don’t think this is a sensible option either. The vast majority of teachers in non-denominational schools will present Christianity in the same way as Islam, Judaism etc. Just one of many religions in the world. Our Lord is presented as just another religious figure alongside Muhammed, Ganesha etc. It’s bound to lead to confusion.

        I don’t think there’s anything wrong with Catholic children learning about other religions if it is done in a proper way. Catholic children should be taught that some people believe different things about God, however these beliefs are wrong – so it’s important to understand these beliefs because should we ever meet someone who believes these wrong things, it’s our duty to help them come to know the truth of the Catholic religion. Now, could you imagine a teacher saying that in modern Catholic schools?

        When teaching Judaism I always started by saying that we were going to learn about the religion Our Lord and Our Lady practised, but then explain that Our Lord fulfilled Judaism and made it complete. This is how other religions should be taught.

        What do you think , editor?

        October 26, 2013 at 5:19 pm
      • editor

        What do I think Petrus? I think you should be doing Michael McGrath’s job – if not Secretary of State for Education: it is, after all, in some state!

        I’ve now learned how to do the wee smiley faces – I’ll never post another serious comment as long as I live!

        October 26, 2013 at 11:28 pm
    • catholicconvert1

      I don’t mean to be a nosey rosey, and nor do I mean to ask a seemingly stupid question, but how do you earn money/ work if you and your wife homeschool your children?

      October 27, 2013 at 5:40 pm
      • Petrus

        Catholic Convert,

        I work full time and oversee the education of the children. My wife does the bulk of the work. I do bits at night and at the weekend.

        October 27, 2013 at 6:02 pm
      • editor

        Petrus, you mean you’re taking good blogging time to help home-school your children? Have you NO shame? Does Catholic Action ring a bell? Ever heard of it? And notice, no little smiley face here, no sireeeeeee….

        October 27, 2013 at 7:11 pm
      • editor



        October 27, 2013 at 7:11 pm
      • Petrus


        You really are a case……nut case that is!

        October 27, 2013 at 8:06 pm
      • editor


        Excuse me… a “fruit and nutcase” if you don’t mind. One of my favourite chocolate bars. 🙂

        October 27, 2013 at 11:39 pm
  • 3littleshepherds

    A priest told me once that parents should teach their children about the crisis in the Church. He said to get video of the Novus Ordo Mass and other things and to show it to them. He said it is easy to let them grow up in a bubble so do teach them what’s going on. Another problem that homeschooling parents might have is that the children don’t learn through experience how to be obedient to authority outside of their parents. If one of the children has a vocation later, say to the priesthood, he might not understand obedience to his superiors in the seminary. At least not so well as a child who has gone through a good Catholic school and has had to be obedient to various teachers, principals, etc. I guess you could find ways to teach this at home, but there won’t be as much opportunity to practise it.
    My children are very young. The biggest problem I’ve had is teaching them the real story of St. Nicholaus. They think I’m making it up and that he’s really an elf who lives at the North Pole.

    October 26, 2013 at 6:23 pm
    • leprechaun


      Aw shucks – you mean to say that the little elf, my cousin, from the North Pole isn’t really Santa Clause after all? But what about my other cousin, you know – the tooth fairy?

      October 26, 2013 at 6:39 pm
      • 3littleshepherds


        My children believe in all little people. I have no say in it. I may have to give in and believe, too.

        October 26, 2013 at 6:58 pm
      • editor


        You serious? Everybody knows there’s a tooth fairy. I’ve got the bank balance to prove it… 🙂

        October 26, 2013 at 6:59 pm
    • editor


      But what about parents who live in the Archdiocese of Edinburgh? What about them? Their archbishop says there IS no crisis in the Church, according to this weekend’s Catholic Herald. A reader rang me this morning to tell me, knowing that I would not be likely to see the paper myself until tomorrow.

      It’s not linked on their website, so I’ll post an extract when I’ve read it myself.

      I will be launching a thread on the subject tomorrow, so please – those of you who may see the article before the thread is published, say nothing.

      Don’t be tempted to be first with the news on the General Discussion (or even this) thread – hold fire and the first to post on the new thread will be given a reward. Probably a pay rise. And I do mean several noughts added on to your current pay…

      October 26, 2013 at 6:58 pm
  • Olga

    I am a retired teacher so this discussion greatly interests me.

    I read the review of ‘Come & See’ and it is astounding that it is praised by any bishop, especially since it does not even mention the hierarchy and pope.
    Why on earth are children not taught about the hierarchy and Pope? How can they understand the Church if they don’t have this information? Do they need the television to introduce them to the Pope?

    Daphne McLeod is doing great work in exposing this programme which will do great harm if it is let loose in schools. Everyone who is involved in it should be brought to book.

    October 26, 2013 at 10:26 pm
    • editor


      Make no mistake about it – Catholic schools quite deliberately withhold teaching about the Church’s hierarchical structure.

      I know that because I’ve heard all the arguments for not teaching about the Pope. They are nothing if not imaginative, the alleged liberals.

      In one school, where we were planning a programme of lessons for first year (Year 7 in England) there was a slot for the usual “Christian Heroes” (try calling it ‘Catholic Saints’ and wait for the fallout.)

      When I suggested we include St Peter and focus on how Our Lord chose him to be what we now call the (first) Pope. I mentioned that I had a video clip of Pope John Paul II’s visit to Glasgow and I was, believe it or not, there in the cheering crowds (I used to have fun telling pupils to watch for me, I was there with the Pope and they’d all look in interested expectation only to laugh when they saw the massive crowds. What, can you not see me? Really? That was my joke for the week that week.) Anyway, one of my team expressed concern that the Pope was too remote a figure to use with Year 7 pupils. I pointed out that she’d suggested having Martin Luther King on the list and he was dead, and, well, you just don’t get more “remote” than that. Not best pleased, she wasn’t but it drew some giggles from the others – and St Peter won the day!

      At the other end of the scale, when I was preparing work schemes for Sixth Formers (in another “Catholic” establishment) I was told by one very annoyed colleague that I’d put the students off the Church for life if I insisted on including the bits about the structure and authority of the Church. I was later informed that he left to teach in an ecumenical establishment in the north of England where, I have no doubt, he lived happily ever after.

      So, be aware, all ye who enter here to read this blog, that the omissions in school RE programmes in Catholic schools are no accident: certain key doctrines are omitted quite deliberately. Sad but true.

      I can’t think of a jokey note on which to finish but as I’ve just learned how to post the smiley faces, I’m posting one anyway on the grounds that if we don’t laugh, we’ll cry… 🙂

      PS – it’s that time of year again – clocks go back an hour tonight. Don’t forget. 🙂

      October 26, 2013 at 11:45 pm
  • editor

    I originally posted the following comment on the Archbishop Cushley thread but, on reflection, it is more appropriate here, because Cardinal Pell is the darling of the orthodox diocesan Catholic population: below is his defence of the indefensible Pope Francis:

    Not only does Archbishop Cushley think there’s no crisis in Scotland, but Cardinal (he’s completely lost it) Pell thinks Bishop Fellay has completely misunderstood Pope Francis of “whom am I to judge gays” fame.

    It seems to be increasingly a case of “everybody’s out of step but oor wee Jock…”

    PS Cardinal Pell says of the Pope that “… he says a beautiful, beautiful mass.” Unfortunately, for Cardinal Pell, having witnessed one of his filmed Masses, with just about every liturgical abuse going on there including dancing teenagers, some of us would beg to differ. “Beautiful” is not the adjective that springs to my mind. Not in a million years.

    October 29, 2013 at 2:56 pm
    • gabriel syme

      Hi Editor,

      If you (or other posters) do not mind, I have some questions about this:

      Pell says “Now the Church today accepts the Second Vatican Council. You don’t have to accept every jot and tittle of it, but it is part of Church’s life now, there’s no way around that.”

      So, what then is currently the fundamental problem with the SSPX, in Rome eyes, if objection to Vatican II is permitted? I know the SSPX accept the majority, but not all, of V2. I know they are far more faithful Catholics than many (most?) modern Catholics and yet they are unjustly portrayed as being arrogant rebels.
      I thought the main problem was that Rome would not appreciate the SSPX openly criticising Vatican II – yet this from Pell.

      I wonder – are the Vatican and SSPX talking to each other publicly, but using code? After the talks broke down, +Fellay said a new avenue to reconciliation may come when the Vatican acknowledges “our right to be recognised as Catholics and to profess the Catholic faith”. He said something similar again recently. And now this from Pell, alluding that you can indeed be a Catholic without being the biggest fan of V2. So what’s the problem?

      Also, I happened to chance on a 1990s interview (online) with an FSSP priest, Fr John Emerson, (who was ordained into the SSPX by ++Lefebvre), and he says the FSSP are allowed to criticise Vatican II and indeed Rome expects them to.

      He even goes on to describe one of the Council documents, Gaudium et spes, as being “a dead letter” based on “sixties optimism” – and these criticisms are from approx. 20 years ago.

      So if the FSSP can openly attack Vatican II, and not lose their canonical status – or suffer other problems – why cannot the SSPX? What issue does Rome fear about them, which is not manifest with the FSSP?

      Fr Emerson (in the interview) goes on to criticise ++Lefebvre, with:

      “Rome had offered everything that Archbishop Lefebvre had ever wanted of substance. Rome had offered it all, and we were scandalized he refused it, truly scandalized. We weren’t simply surprised or unhappy, we were scandalized because he was our spiritual father and we trusted him, and he did not do in the end what was right.”

      How would bloggers respond to this comment? Why did Lefebvre refuse what Rome offered, if it was as substantial as Fr Emerson says? (Was it?).

      Emerson says +Lefebvre had lost his trust in Rome and that this lack of trust is the reason for the ongoing situation.

      Interview source: (includes scans of the original magazine pages)


      October 29, 2013 at 4:20 pm
      • sixupman

        Rome [not BXVI] talk[ed] with forked-tongue and is untrustworthy, as also the vast majority of Diocesan Curia. The FSSP, and I have an high regard for Fr. Emerson and his fellow clergy, situation, vis a vis the diocese in which they operate, is not as clear cut as might be thought. Freedom to criticise Vatican II is more imagined than real. If at Diocesan level Summorum Pontificum can be ignored and clergy harassed, if their leanings in such respect become apparent, what would be meted-out to SSPX. We have only to consider the unprecedented situation of an extant Pope and Pope Emeritus situation to convince any reasonably minded person that we are in the midst of a state of flux and only an idiot would voluntarily participate in such a quagmire.

        October 29, 2013 at 4:49 pm
      • editor

        Gabriel Syme,

        This is a flying visit, having read your post through quickly. Re. Archbishop Lefebvre’s relations with Rome, I think you may find this article of interest (I hope so, I’ve not had time to read it myself, so apologise if it’s not helpful.)

        October 29, 2013 at 6:08 pm
  • 3littleshepherds

    😳 I posted on the wrong thread. I meant to post here:
    How long has the Society been going to Scotland? I can’t find a history of the chapels or anything. Also what are the attendance numbers? Edinburgh obviously had a bigger building fund.

    The Asian District website has a paypal and one can choose the individual country. What’s the specific problem with the Glasgow mission? Do most of the people want to purchase a new building? Is your building fund low? I think if the SSPX were not against it, you could write a history of the mission and seek funds outside of Scotland. (my confirmation saint is St. Jean Vianney, so I think in terms of outside funds to improve Churches)

    Also, do you ever get a priest who stays in Glasgow for a day or two? If you have relics of a Saint or a really great Catholic historical site on your side of the country, you could organize a pilgrimage. Do it when the school year ends and you might get a priest who’s on his holiday.

    October 29, 2013 at 6:32 pm
    • editor


      That’s OK – I’ve now deleted the posts on the Archbishop Cushley thread. I did the same myself earlier. One of those days!

      Someone did post something on the history of the SSPX in Scotland, or at least some history of the Glasgow chapel, I think, some time ago. I’ll try to locate it and post it here later when I find my Miss Marple hat…

      October 29, 2013 at 7:10 pm
    • editor



      I found the following comment re the history of the SSPX in Scotland posted by a blogger on another thread:

      May 24, 2013 at 4:21 pm


      There’s some interesting information about St Andrews, Glasgow on Page 53 of ‘The Living Flame’ at this link:- http://www.scribd.com/doc/7993057/The-Living-Flame

      It’s a fascinating book about the first 25 years of the SSPX apostolate in the UK. Scotland gets its own chapter, and there are some interesting nuggets about the Scottish hierarchy (yes, Bishop Devine is THAT old….) and their utter resistance to the TLM.

      There’s even a photo of the young altar server who went on to become Fr Paul Morgan. END…

      October 29, 2013 at 7:49 pm
  • 3littleshepherds

    Here’s a prophecy in Yves Dupont’s periodical “Prophecies and Portents” published in the 1979’s:

    (Fr. H. Coma, Franciscan, in 1849)
    “Divine Providence holds in reserve an unexpected means which will effect in a single stroke what it would have taken a long time to achieve by natural means. Then, men will open their eyes to reality.”

    October 31, 2013 at 8:50 pm
  • 3littleshepherds

    Here’s two interesting prophecies from the same publication.
    The Abbe Mattay said in 1815:
    “The Emperor of Russia, at the head of a great army, shall reach the Rhine, but he shall not cross it because an invisible hand shall stop him. Thereupon, he shall recognize the hand of God, and something miraculous shall happen: the Emperor of Russia shall embrace the Catholic religion, and he shall make it known in all it’s states. I cannot say exactly at what time these things will happen, but the happy change shall take place, and the news shall be spread throughout the whole territory of France in The twinkling of an eye.”

    The Abbe Souffrand said:
    “The Russians shall come to water their horses in The River Rhine, but they shall not cross it. Russia will be converted, and she will help France to restore peace and quiet in The whole world.”

    October 31, 2013 at 9:07 pm

Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: