Archbishop Tartaglia: Catholic schools have never been more successful…

Archbishop Tartaglia: Catholic schools have never been more successful…

Archbishop Tartaglia
Archbishop Tartaglia

In his June 2016 end of term message to Catholic educators in Glasgow, Archbishop Tartaglia writes: 

“I am pleased to be offered this opportunity to address a few words to those who teach in Catholic schools in the Archdiocese of Glasgow and, through them, to all who have a stake in Catholic Education, not least parents and parishioners, and the young people themselves who are pupils.

As we approach the end of School Year 2015-16, I want to thank you all for your participation in the great project which is Catholic Education. With the person of Jesus Christ at the centre, Catholic Education attempts to offer children and young people, as well as educators themselves, an opportunity to grow into people who can fulfil God’s purposes for them and who can help to make our society and our communities better.  Catholic schools have never been more successful and more appreciated by the Catholic community – and by others – as they are now. The need for Catholic Education is there for all to see.  It is important that we make Catholic schools all the more ready to meet that challenge and that need by offering an authentic Catholic Education to our children and young people. Thank you for all your work. And may God bless you.”

+Philip Tartaglia, Archbishop of Glasgow  


Catholic schools should be producing saints... or at least practising Catholics!
Catholic schools should be producing saints… or at least practising Catholics!

Now, bad enough that the Archbishop’s 4-page glossy publication for teachers contains the blatant falsehood that “Catholic schools have never been more successful…” right there on page 1 – I mean, talk about delusion on a grand scale. That’s bad enough.  But turn to page 2, ‘Upcoming Events’ and note the ‘academic retreat’ scheduled for 2nd December 2016 or 25th March, 2017 (9.30am – 3pm both days) on the subject of – wait for this… brace yourself: Amoris Laetitia – Teaching the Joy of Love.

Instead of sticking this Exhortation (to sin) on a shelf somewhere in the hope that it goes away, here we have the Archdiocese of Glasgow, via its Religious Education Department, actually preparing staff to “teach it”.  How? And to which age group?  Are the teachers going to be told to emphasise the “mercy” of God, under the new definition of “mercy” as being “let nothing keep you from Holy Communion. No matter what the sin, it’s not bad enough to keep you from being in a state of grace”  – is that what the teachers are going to be told to teach?  After all, there can be no need for a special “academic retreat” merely to repeat, in season and out of season, the Church’s well known and unchangeable teaching on the indissolubility of marriage and the gravity of sexual intimacy in any context whatsoever, outside of marriage.  Is there?

Is it a fond hope that some alarmed parent somewhere in the Archdiocese of Glasgow will have the intelligence to demand sight of the lesson plans in order to see how this “useless palaver” (p.16 Catholic Truth, Issue No. 95, June 2016 edition) is going to be taught in classrooms? 

Comments invited…  

Comments (56)

  • crofterlady

    “The king is in his altogether, altogether, altogether ……” That’s just it, delusional. Utterly delusional. Or, can the Archbishop not really see that the king is indeed in “his altogether”?

    The sentence: “The need for Catholic education is there for all too see” jumped out at me. It’s spot on, very perceptive of the Archbishop to notice it but, why oh why doesn’t the Archbishop ensure that Catholic education in the Archdiocese IS taught?

    Catholic schools are known for their good education and better discipline which, I believe, comes from past decades of real Catholic education. Not any more; Catholic schools teach the same programmes as any other school and most pupils, upon leaving, leave the Church as well.

    We saw the writing on the wall when our five children started to lose interest in their Faith. We took them out and educated them at home. They are young adults now and are firmly rooted in their Faith. A Polish friend has recently removed her 7 children from the school system for the same reasons. She lamented to me in her broken English: “Ze school es not Catholique”. Spot on Therese, spot on. She can see what the Archbishop obviously can’t see.

    June 9, 2016 at 12:18 pm
    • Gerontius


      Yes indeed, The sentence: “The need for Catholic education is there for all to see” jumped out at me too.

      Such has been the case for many years – pity it still hasn’t been addressed.

      The teaching of the CATHOLIC FAITH seems instead, to have been supplanted by studies in comparative religions.

      I had occasion recently to take my grandchildren for family night prayers. (They are teenagers)

      During the examen, I was shocked to find that The 10 commandments, the precepts of the church, mortal sin and venial sin ETC., were met with looks of blank incomprehension. These are foundational matters.
      And the present state of affairs in the Church in general, and our schools in particular, can be determined by the pernicious fruit of the Heresy of ecumenism.

      The current situation is that it’s likely that most of our school teachers, if not all, are themselves innocent products of the Modernist Heretical ethos.

      If this is indeed the case, then perhaps the answer is to begin again, starting with all Primary 1 intakes being taught the contents of the old PENNY CATECHISM.

      June 9, 2016 at 3:06 pm
  • Athanasius


    I agree. All the Archbishop has to do is wander around some the religious education classrooms in modern Catholic schools and take note of the images of Buddha, etc. that populate them. He may also like to observe the young Catholic females whose dress sense for children is anything but Catholic. They can also frequently be seen hanging off the arms of boyfriends at ages as young as 12 years. My advice to His Grace is to keep a silent tongue in his head unless he intends to say something truthful. Catholic schools are now Catholic in name only. They have long ceased to be places of moral and religious formation. Everyone knows this apart from the Archbishop, apparently.

    June 9, 2016 at 2:06 pm
    • editor


      When visiting a Catholic primary school in Glasgow a few short years ago, it was shocking to see a Buddha on the desk at reception. Unfortunately, I didn’t see it – the person I was accompanying to a meeting saw it, froze, and told me when we had exited the building, or I’d definitely have said something. Utterly scandalous.

      My own experience of bishops and schools is that they appear to enjoy being guested and treated like royalty, but never, EVER, have I heard any bishop as much as whisper a word about the Faith.

      June 10, 2016 at 12:19 am
  • Helen

    I couldn’t get my head around home schooling but I was determined that my children were not going to attend a (Catholic) where their religion would be undermined by the very (Catholic) people who should be upholding it! We opted instead for a private inter-denominational school where everybody is too p.c. to comment on anyone’s religion! However, our children do not take part in any iffy lessons. The beauty of private schools (if affordable) is that the State cannot impose any mcnasties such as sex-ed on the establishment.

    Our local “Catholic” school is run by the same immoral teachers as are found in any state school. Several of them are cohabiting, two have “come out” as lessies and the sports teacher is a tranny!

    June 9, 2016 at 2:28 pm
    • Margaret Mary


      That is terrible about your local Catholic school. Has there been anyone in the community who has complained about those teachers mentioned in your final parish? At one time they would all have been summarily dismissed, and rightly so. Let them try to get a job in a Muslim school – LOL!

      June 11, 2016 at 7:34 pm
  • gabriel syme

    Catholic schools have never been more successful

    Goodness me! What’s that old saying again? Something like…….better to say nothing and be thought a fool, than to open your mouth and remove all doubt?

    In terms of forming young Catholics, the dogs in the street could tell you the schools have a dismal record.

    As proof, (in case one is loathe to trust the dogs), see how the mainstream Scottish Church is such a stagnant, moribund institution which could scarcely buy a vocation. See how Catholics have never been more ignorant of the faith they claim to profess and are in the main each following their own made-up religions, outwardly clothed in the symbols of Catholicism. See how the Scottish Church limps along aimlessly, propped up by immigration and imported priests (meaning the Bishops get away with murder, as regards their record in office, as immigration hides the lapsation rate to some extent).

    If challenged, I suspect the Archbishop would quickly claim he had actually been referring to the academic record, showing himself up to be akin to Bill “I never had sex with that woman” Clinton, in terms of double-speak.

    The Scottish Church has that irritating V2-style habit of always greeting ever situation – even bad ones – with the most glowing praise and optimism. As a result, it cannot see clearly, talk straight or think critically. This comment on the schools is a great example. If the Cathedral burned down, it would be pitched as “a great opportunity to build a new Cathedral, a real blessing”.

    In my own direct experience, “Catholic” Schools are not places where children learn or experience anything worthwhile regarding the Catholic faith. They are a wasted opportunity, at best one might say they were the “least bad option” available to most parents.

    At my Catholic secondary, the chaplain (a local parish priest) had an affair with the deputy head (who, of course, kept her job – and was eventually promoted to Head) and ultimately left the priesthood and married her. He was replaced with an absolute balloon who got into trouble for supplying alcohol to children at the school dance, and he is now the PP in my sisters parish. I recall the school issuing the pupils copies of the new testament and I remember being shocked to see pupils ripping them up and throwing them in the gutter. “Catholic” schools indeed.

    June 9, 2016 at 10:45 pm
    • editor

      Gabriel Syme,

      Being probably the most recent refugee from Catholic education here, your posts on the subject are always dynamite and this latest one is no exception.

      Having just seen the headline on the front page of this week’s Scottish Catholic Observer, I laughed to read your remark that “the Bishops get away with murder”. Not half. That headline? Oh yes… “Pontiff’s letter on removing negligent bishops welcome”

      If they removed the negligent Scottish Bishops, there’d be none left! Priceless!

      June 10, 2016 at 12:13 am
    • RCA Victor

      Gabriel Syme,

      “The Scottish Church has that irritating V2-style habit of always greeting ever situation – even bad ones – with the most glowing praise and optimism.”

      You are very kind, and diplomatic! That “irritating V2-style habit” is nothing more than being a bunch of shameless liars, in my opinion. Liars who could care less what we “little people” think, or know. They are in control of the levers of power, for now, so it appears they have no qualms about trampling on the truth.

      The question a NY Times columnist recently posed to Pope Francis should also be posed to all the rest of the hierarchy: “Do you fear God?”

      June 10, 2016 at 2:42 am
      • editor

        RCA Victor,

        I’d love to know how the Pope answered that question from a NY Times columnist – at a rough guess he would invoke the “M” word to excuse his lack of the required (of us all) holy fear of God.

        June 10, 2016 at 9:23 am
  • Prognosticum

    Gabriel Syme,

    I think that the word you are looking for is spin, which, incidentally, rhymes with sin. Enough said. End of story.

    June 10, 2016 at 4:41 am
    • Margaret Mary


      Spin rhymes with sin because it IS sin. LOL! They have to tell lies to “spin” the story to make it look different from the truth. It’s shameful.

      June 11, 2016 at 7:31 pm
  • westminsterfly

    Daphne McLeod, ex-chairman of Pro Ecclesia et Pontifice often publicly pointed out – using statistics gleaned from the dioceses and bishops themselves – that over 90% of Catholic school leavers lapse. Q.E.D. If Catholic schools are allegedly so successful, then they obviously think that a 90+ % lapsation rate is a good figure. I’d hate to see what they consider to be a failure.

    June 10, 2016 at 10:38 am
  • Frankier

    If the red nose, joker`s hat and painted smile hadn`t been missing on the Archbishop`s photo I would have plumped for question 3 on the website page.

    June 10, 2016 at 2:33 pm
  • editor

    It has been brought to my attention that a guest preacher (a priest) made an explicit endorsement of lesbianism as morally good at the St.Anthony novena in Blessed John Duns Scotus parish in the Gorbals a few nights ago. Several parishioners have complained to the parish priest who has tried to pass it off as a slip of the tongue, but it has caused quite a bit of upset because it was so clear.

    So, teachers and parents (even possibly some pupils – stranger things have happened) attending that church and hearing that heresy have now been dragged further down into the mire of what Pope Benedict XVI called “the filth” in the Church, caused by priests engaged in evil. And the public promotion of homosexuality/lesbianism is the public promotion of evil, unnatural behaviour. Note: I refer to the activity, not the persons involved; I’m not saying all homosexuals / lesbians are “evil” – that is NOT what I’m saying. Anyone, however, who persistently engages in evil activity, becomes increasingly spiritually blind and gets to a point where they cannot tell right from wrong. Relativism leads to nihilism. Make no mistake about it.

    I’m reliably informed that it’s not only teachers in the archdiocese of Glasgow who are being prepared to “teach” Amoris Laetitia, as reported in the quote from the Archdiocesan document above, but Glasgow priests are being prepared to apply it as well. Deeper and deeper into the mire. With Archbishop Tartaglia leading the way.

    Logically, priests in Glasgow are being prepared to flout God’s moral law on the indissolubility of marriage and to ignore Canon Law and the Church’s Eucharistic discipline – that’s the only conclusion that I can reach. What about the rest of you?

    I’ll check to see if there is an email link to the PP of Blessed John Duns Scotus and if so, will email him the link to this thread.

    Later that same day…

    Apologies – I originally reported this as being St Anthony’s parish and actually sent an email to the PP of St Anthony’s in Govan. Having realised my mistake, I have now written to apologise to the PP of St Anthony’s and sent the email to the PP of Blessed John Duns Scotus. Type at haste, repent at leisure, as they say… I think… !

    June 10, 2016 at 6:09 pm
    • RCA Victor


      I fail to see how one can “teach” AL without “teaching” mortal sin…but I’m sure the sophists in the Jesuit cabal will have that all figured out….

      June 10, 2016 at 6:17 pm
      • editor

        RCA Victor,

        Spot on. To “teach” the confused contents of AL as being a positive “development” of Catholic teaching on marriage (and another marriage, and another marriage and another marriage and cohabitation/same-sex unions) IS to teach, as a good, mortal sin. You are correct, in my very humble opinion.

        There’s just no other possible interpretation. Is there?

        June 10, 2016 at 9:21 pm
    • Michaela


      That is absolutely shocking. If priests are now confident enough to speak out in favour of homosexuality in Glasgow, then that says something about the state of the Church in Scotland. Wasn’t Glasgow given the title of “Special Daughter of Rome” or something like that, I’m sure I heard that years ago.

      The Parish Priest must have known the views of his guest preacher, so he is complicit in this scandal.

      I’m pleasantly surprised that there were parishioners who objected. I hope they keep up the pressure to make sure that that guest preacher is not invited again.

      I know it’s the Franciscans who run that parish but is the Archbishop not also responsible, should he not rebuke the PP for inviting the heretical guest?

      June 10, 2016 at 10:51 pm
      • editor


        “…is the Archbishop not also responsible, should he not rebuke the PP for inviting the heretical guest?”

        I’m afraid I’ve come to the conclusion that the Archbishop of Glasgow is a duplicitous man. He’s about as likely to rebuke a dissenter as he is to invite the Catholic Truth Team & Bloggers to take afternoon tea with him on the first Sunday after the Feast of St John Ogilvie…

        Evidence, you ask? Well, when he became Bishop of Paisley, he preached that Catholics would have to be prepared to go to prison rather than comply with the LGBT agenda. Little did we know that even as he spoke (so to speak!) he was helping to arrange the funeral of a well known ex-priest, partnered homosexual, David Cairns MP – that nugget only became public knowledge when he hit the headlines for linking poor health/early death to homosexuality. And in response to the ensuring furore, far from risking prison, he backed down – at something approaching 100 mph. Since then, there’s been no more talk of Catholics being prepared to go to prison in order to slow down (let alone, halt) the rise of the LGBT stranglehold on society. Click here to read more

        Fast forward to his current appointment as Archbishop of Glasgow…

        We heard from a number of reliable sources that, after attending the first part of the Synod on the Family, 2014, the Archbishop of Glasgow told his priests that if the second part of the Synod in 2015, continued in the same vein (the Kasper Cabal were hitting the headlines day and daily, remember, with the ideas now permeating Amoris Laetitia) then he “may not” be archbishop any longer. We took heart from that, thinking that, when all’s said and done, he wouldn’t sell the Faith down the river after all. Green as grass we were. As green as we were cabbage-looking, as the saying goes…

        And what has been his response to Part Two of the Synod and the subsequent Papal Exhortation, Amoris Laetita? Resignation? You kidding? Quite the reverse. He’s now running retreats and meetings to “re-educate” his teachers and priests in order to apply the new morality. Promoting sacrilegious Communions is the latest novelty.

        So, don’t hold your breath. Archbishop Tartaglia won’t lose a minute’s sleep over the promotion of Lesbianism in a Glasgow church – and the PP and guest preacher needn’t lose any of their beauty sleep either, for the Archbishop is never going to “rebuke” them … they’re more likely to be added to the circle of speakers doing the rounds in the Archdiocese, speaking here, there and everywhere, experts on every subject under the sun – and we really should brace ourselves for more “preaching” on LGBT issues in Scottish parishes. Glasgow is leading the way… to perdition.

        Pray for Archbishop Tartaglia, that he overcomes his weakness of character to show true Catholic leadership, rather than – as appears to be his custom – following the PC brigade, given that the PC brigade are heading for damnation. Not to put too fine a point on it…

        June 11, 2016 at 1:06 am
      • Andrew Paterson

        The whole bunch of them, the Bishops Conference of Scotland, are devoid of managment ability and r. They have failed us in every sense, in every area. Schools do not form Catholics, rather they fudge the Faith and allow our enemies into our schools. In consequence the number Catholic adherents has fallen and so have vocations. They have allowed church property to fall into ruin, property paid for by hard-working Catholics throughout Scotland, not least being the former seminary at Cardross now to be a flagship of our secular anti-clerical society. They have allowed priests to remain in post despite clearly heretical practices and scandalous and unsuitable behaviour.
        Chaucer had an expression for it, “A shyten shepherde and a clene sheep”.

        June 11, 2016 at 1:36 pm
    • Gerontius


      Extract from your post:

      “I’m reliably informed that it’s not only teachers in the archdiocese of Glasgow who are being prepared to “teach” Amoris Laetitia, as reported in the quote from the Archdiocesan document above, but Glasgow priests are being prepared to apply it as well.”

      Can it be possible that we, (the entire Church) frightening as it is, are witnessing the beginning of the fulfilment of Our Lords warning? To wit;

      For there shall arise false Christs and false prophets, and shall show great signs and wonders, insomuch as to deceive (if possible) even the elect. 25 Behold I have told it to you, beforehand. Douey Rheims Matt 24:24,25

      The application of A.L. should certainly cause the separation of the sheep from the goats – the sheep will follow the Good Shepherd, Jesus, they do not recognise the voice of strangers.

      That’s one possibility regarding A.L. – Here’s another:

      And I went to the angel, saying unto him, that he should give me the book. And he said to me: Take the book, and eat it up: and it shall make thy belly bitter, but in thy mouth it shall be sweet as honey. 10And I took the book from the hand of the angel, and ate it up: and it was in my mouth, sweet as honey: and when I had eaten it, my belly was bitter. (Douey Rheims Rev 10:9,10)

      I’ve said before and I’ll say it again. AL IS HONEY COATED CYANIDE.

      Domini libera nos a malo.

      June 11, 2016 at 1:03 am
  • Christina


    ‘Amoris Laetita? Resignation? You kidding? Quite the reverse. He’s now running retreats…’

    Running retreats? The double meaning I can see there really made me laugh. Having read about this – yet another horror piled upon horrors and I must be losing my few remaining shreds of sanity.

    June 11, 2016 at 10:44 am
    • editor


      “running retreats” …

      I hadn’t seen the funny side of that until you pointed it out. I’ll “deal” with you next weekend, m’lady…

      June 11, 2016 at 2:35 pm
  • Petrus

    I am astounded at His Grace’s comments. I do wonder if there are any remnants of the faith left in him.

    Surely the purpose of Catholic Education is to hand on the Faith and form Saints? The majority of pupils in Catholic schools don’t go to Mass and are not encouraged to go. Teachers take the line that because their parents don’t take them to Mass the we should teach children that it’s ok not to go to Mass. That creates another generation of lapsed Catholics! The teachers should be saying, “The Church obliges us to attend Mass on Sundays and Holy Days. If we deliberately miss Mass then we commit a serious sin. Go home and tell your parents that Catholics have an obligation to attend Mass. If they don’t allow you to go to Mass then it’s not your fault and you should see if another family member could take you.”

    A big part of the problem is that Catholic teachers have had such poor formation at school and at teacher training colleges and many do not practise themselves. It’s a vicious circle and the blame lies squarely with the bishops. Archbishop Tartaglia can delude himself all he wants. He is to blame, along with his brother bishops.

    June 11, 2016 at 6:46 pm
    • RCA Victor


      “Surely the purpose of Catholic Education is to hand on the Faith and form Saints?” I think that is the mistaken assumption we are all making, which is the basis of our ongoing complaints. Clearly, in the modern Church, that is no longer the purpose of Catholic education.

      Vatican II changed the purpose of the Catholic Faith and of Catholic Education, and thus destroyed them. The new purpose of Catholic schools might be described as something like this: to make Catholics acceptable to the rest of society by eliminating all that might be objectionable or offensive to non-Catholics, or to agitators masquerading as Catholics (that, after all, is the stated purpose of the Novus Odor).

      In other words, “Catholic” schools are merely being faithful to their new [lost] faith, which is not in the least Catholic, but which uses a little Catholic window-dressing in order to deceive.

      I think we should be hammering this point home at every opportunity: dear faithful, you have been, and are being deceived by an imposter. Remove yourselves and your children from these fraudulent mockeries of the Faith, and from its forked-tongue perpetrators [perpe-TRAITORS?], and return yourselves to the safe harbor of Tradition.

      June 12, 2016 at 10:37 pm
  • Margaret Mary

    What I cannot understand is how the Archbishop of Glasgow could profusely apologise to the victims of clergy child sexual abuse and ask their forgiveness but not realise that his RE Department is guilty of child abuse on his watch by not passing on the Catholic faith which is why we always said we needed our own schools in the first place.

    June 11, 2016 at 7:30 pm
  • Josephine

    I can’t believe Archbishop Tartaglia said that about the schools never being more successful. LOL!

    I, personally, have heard so many stories about what goes on in Catholic schools that you wouldn’t believe the half of them.

    Example – there is real pressure on teachers in the Catholic sector to go with the LGBT agenda and if they show any resistance, they’re stamped on by senior management. I know that from more than one source and it has the teachers concerned nervous about losing their jobs, because they can’t rely on the support of the archdiocese of Glasgow (all the cases I know of are in Glasgow). I have no doubt that if the cases I know of were made public, the archdiocese would say what they said when Catholics complained about pro-abort Hillary Clinton being invited to St Andrew’s University, they said that these Catholics did not represent the Church. I bet that’s what they’d say if anything came out about Catholic teachers refusing to teach that the LGBT “lifestyle” is acceptable.

    If I quoted all the stuff pupils are told, again you wouldn’t believe me, e.g. “we all believe in the same God” is said all the time. So that means Jesus is not being taught as divine, or it would be clear that we don’t all believe in the same God since the Muslims only think Jesus was a good man, a prophet like Muhammed but not as important as Muhammed – LOL!

    It’s disgraceful that the archbishop is not only not putting all these things right, but he is actually telling porkies to give the impression that there’s nothing wrong in Catholic schools when, from what I’m know myself, there’s loads wrong with them.

    June 11, 2016 at 7:44 pm
    • editor


      A few days ago, I learned of an utterly shocking example of the decline in Catholic education. Picture this scene: two Catholic teachers exiting a Catholic church in Glasgow after Mass. Outside, one of the teachers – who presumably did not consume Holy Communion at the altar – holds a Host aloft while the other takes a photograph, all in a spirit of fun and games.

      Before the “New Springtime” (Vatican II) who, in this world, would ever have believed that two qualified teachers, considered fit to teach in Catholic schools, having provided the required references from their parish priests, would so blasphemously abuse the Blessed Sacrament?

      And the Archbishop thinks that his Catholic schools have never been so successful? They’ve never been so successful at destroying the Faith of innocent children and ignorant young people, and for that, those responsible – including the Archbishop himself – will be severely punished: millstones, necks and the depths of the sea spring to mind – unless there is a public repentance and reparation on the record before death comes for them – as Christ warned – like a thief in the night.

      Perhaps we might take a moment to offer the prayers of adoration and reparation which the Angel taught the children before their meetings with Our Lady at Fatima:

      MOST HOLY TRINITY, I adore Thee! My God, My God,
      I love Thee in the Most Blessed Sacrament. (3 times)


      MY GOD, I believe, I adore, I trust, and I love Thee!
      I ask pardon for for those who do not believe,
      do not adore, do not trust and do not love Thee. (3 times)

      June 11, 2016 at 8:49 pm
      • Josephine

        That is incomprehensible. Why would Catholic teachers do such a thing?

        Surely somebody told the PP? This is something the Archbishop should be told about, giving him the name of the priest and the parish. It’s too horrendous to contemplate. I know I’m stating the obvious here, but those teachers clearly don’t believe in the Real Presence. They should be sacked for gross professional misconduct. If they had photographed themselves ridiculing any religious object of Islam or Judaism or Hinduism, there would have been hell to pay and they’d have been sacked for bringing their school into disrepute. But it’s only Christ Our Lord, so nothing will happen.

        Forgive me if I again state something obvious, but it’s not just the teachers who don’t believe in the Real Presence but the priest who allowed that to happen and the archbishop who will do nothing about it.

        June 11, 2016 at 9:56 pm
      • Nicky


        What parish was that? I think we ought to know, so we can avoid it. That’s about the worst thing I’ve heard in a long time.

        June 12, 2016 at 4:20 pm
      • editor


        It’s not exactly breaking news – it happened about a year ago – and since it is not classified information, I see no reason to keep the parish a secret – quite the reverse if you think about it, because “forewarned is forearmed”, as the saying goes.The parish to avoid, then, folks, is Immaculate Conception in Glasgow.

        Of course, there are some who will say that we can’t blame the PP since these awful teachers took the Blessed Sacrament outside without permission (we presume) but the fact is, the clergy who permit Communion in the hand, lay people distributing Holy Communion, and all the other distracting shenanigans that are now par for the course in parish Masses, are the same clergy who hold responsibility for guarding the Blessed Sacrament. They are the custodians of the Blessed Sacrament so it was the priest’s duty to see to it that nobody left the sanctuary area before consuming the Host at Communion time. A parish with such a cavalier attitude towards the Sacred Species, is not the sort of parish that any fully believing Catholic would wish to grace with his/her presence.

        June 12, 2016 at 8:54 pm
  • Petrus

    Absolutely shocking!

    June 11, 2016 at 9:32 pm
  • Therese

    As Petrus says, utterly shocking.

    June 11, 2016 at 9:47 pm
  • editor

    Yes, folks, you are all correct – utterly shocking and incomprehensible just about says it all.

    The Fatima prayers of adoration and reparation are necessary now, more than ever.

    June 11, 2016 at 10:59 pm
  • Gerontius

    Those who promoted Communion in the hand as well as those who allow this reprehensible practice to continue, must surely share in the guilt for this horrible sacrilege.

    Be not deceived, God is not mocked. For what things a man shall sow, those also shall he reap.
    Douey Rheims: Gal 6:7,8

    June 11, 2016 at 11:30 pm
    • Christina

      ‘A person who throws away the consecrated species or takesor retains them for a sacrilegious purpose incurs a latae sententiae excommunication reserved to the Apostolic See;…’ (Code of Canon Law 1367).

      I think retaining the Host to hold It up and photograph It ‘ in a spirit of fun and games’ qualifies as a sacrilegious purpose, so has anyone given these two pranksters the news?

      Coincidentally a friend whom I telephoned this evening was telling me about a recent incident from NO Land that surprised him pleasantly. After Mass a Host was found lying on the ground, and the priest, being called, got everyone back in the church and thundered at them that whoever took and threw the Host away was excommunicated. The fact that few, if any, of the congregation knew what ‘excommunicated’ meant didn’t lessen his appreciation of the priest’s reaction.

      June 13, 2016 at 12:35 am
  • Margaret Mary

    Does anybody know anything about the new Director of Catholic Education who has taken up the post vacated by Michael McGrath?

    Her name is Barbara Couper and she is described as being step-mum to two children, but nothing more about her family life, husband’s name or job, for example, so I am wondering why.

    June 12, 2016 at 8:43 pm
    • gabriel syme

      Margaret Mary,

      I found this old profile of hers, before this promotion.

      But its just professional info, no personal background.

      What happened to Michael McGrath, did he retire?

      June 12, 2016 at 9:42 pm
      • editor

        Thanks for that, Gabriel Syme.

        It does seem odd that there is mention only of step-children, but no husband.

        In the current climate of tolerance of irregular relationships (to use the new PC term) one can’t help thinking of AL and wondering if …

        Still, best not to speculate – let’s wait and see.

        June 12, 2016 at 11:31 pm
    • gabriel syme

      Margaret Mary,

      This more detailed bio (on Argyll and Isles diocesan page) mentions (at the very end) that Barbara is married to a chap called Marlon.

      June 12, 2016 at 11:59 pm
    • Athanasius

      Margaret Mary,

      If you follow the link below it will take you to a series of video presentations by young adult Catholic pupils in 5th and 6th form from various RC schools in Scotland. The Title of the project on the website is:

      Senior Phase Religious Education in Roman Catholic Schools: Discussion questions for learners, staff and parents.

      The introductory text contains this paragraph:

      Education Scotland is sincerely grateful to the learners and staff in Taylor High School, Cardinal Newman High School, St Andrew’s High School Coatbridge and St Aidan’s High School Wishaw for their participation in the making of these videos, and wish the learners well in their continuing journey. Education Scotland would also like to thank Kirsten Stuart and Jim Beers of North Lanarkshire Council and Barbara Coupar of the Scottish Catholic Education Service for their support during the production of these materials.

      What you’ll see when viewing the videos is just how much utter guff these youngsters have had put into their heads. They have absolutely no grasp of the Traditional Catholic faith. Their young minds have been soiled with liberal heresies. So much for Barbara Couper; all those degrees just to oversee the malformation of young Catholic souls.

      June 13, 2016 at 1:33 am
  • Andrew

    I can’t comment on Catholic schools across the UK. However, I do know that my 3 kids attend truly excellent Catholic schools. The older 2 secondary and the youngest primary.

    The primary school is very close to the Church, which is almost across the road. One of the Priests is at the school very often, the school regularly has Mass at the Church, I see many kids from the school at Mass, almost the entirety of Year 3 attends classes for First Holy Communion, etc, etc.

    The secondary school is also closely connected to the Church (although it also has feeder schools from other nearby Parishes). The teaching there is excellent (consistent OFSTED Outstanding in every category) and the academic results are superb, there are many activities in cooperation with the Church (not least many kids volunteering to help with the annual trip to Lourdes), the kids make great efforts to raise huge amounts of money for charities connected with the Church, volunteer for various social projects, etc, etc.

    In summary, for both these schools the Church is absolutely central, whilst they also deliver first class academic results and students who are well-adjusted, well-behaved and respected.

    Much the same is true of other nearby Catholic schools.

    It would be nice if the commentators above generalised less, spent some time looking at what Catholic schools in the UK are achieving, were slower to judge and quicker to praise, and gave more thought to the teachers, parents, Church leaders and (by no means least) the kids before shooting from the hip.

    June 13, 2016 at 12:21 am
    • Petrus

      No doubt there are individual exceptions, but I have to say that the standard of Reigious Education at every Catholic school I have worked in has been appalling.

      I just don’t believe that any Catholic school in the UK hands on the true Faith and teaches pupils that they must strive to become saints. That’s based on many years of experience.

      I have to say, I wouldn’t place much trust in Ofsted reports. The politically correct policies of successive liberal governments have created generations of unthinking adults. To be successful in the modern world is to be devoid of ideas and accept the politically correct party line.

      June 13, 2016 at 6:13 pm
      • Athanasius


        You have a very good point there. Modern liberal education, including Catholic, operates along the same lines as the State-sponsored systems engendered by Stalin and Hitler. The party line is taught to the exclusion of all else, even truth. Those who oppose that line, especially those few Catholic teachers who still believe what the Church has always taught, are often marginalised and treated with contempt.

        It’s absolutely true what they say: “there are none so illiberal as liberals”!

        June 14, 2016 at 12:02 am
    • editor


      I was appointed to three Catholic educational establishments – two schools (for one of which, she said humbly, I had been ‘head-hunted’ to apply) and one sixth form college. Not only were none of them remotely “Catholic”, they were positively anti-Catholic.

      The “head-hunted” appointment was a very popular school with the most able pupils and students any teacher could hope to see sharpening a pencil. Yet, from the get-go – despite my emphasising (at interview) that I was determined not to return to the Catholic sector given that I’d found it impossible to teach true doctrine and morals there – it was clear that I had jumped right out of the frying pan into the fire.

      To my shock-horror I discovered that Ofsted would be inspecting the school, three weeks into my first term. No need to worry. The Ofsted report was glowing; praising the pupil’s knowledge of Judaism and just about everything else outside of Catholicism. No mention of that whatsoever. Remember, RE is inspected by people appointed by the diocese, not the Government. Hence, no surprise when I was politely corrected by an RE inspector: “There’s no such thing as ‘THE’ Catholic position” she smilingly rebuked me: “A Catholic position.” The question had been, how would I contribute to the school’s preparations for a sex-education programme. Figure it out, Andrew. Figure it out.

      Catholic? Only if you think a Bishop promoting women’s ordination at the opening (academic) Mass is Catholic. I was warned by the Head that I wouldn’t last long if I quoted Church documents on anything, since in [this] diocese, “we do things differently.” Fast forward to Women’s Day for Prayer, and one of the staff teaching RE reported for work wearing a huge badge emblazoned: “Ordain women or stop baptising them.”

      Having spent years as Head of RE in these three establishments, I can assure you that there isn’t a truly Catholic school in the land. If there were, the “extremist” teachers would be hitting the headlines. And I’d have been sure to bump into at least one in all the inset/in-service days I was forced to attend.

      Yes, the schools do all that you mention – loads of interaction with various “charities”, with no concern about the fact that they may have policies which conflict with Catholic teaching/morals – some day I’ll recount my attempt to dissociate my students from CAFOD with the support of the Head of House – until the Bishop went crazy and said HOH changed his mind. The Bishop later disappeared in a mysterious cloud of… well… mystery, apparently admitting to have lost the Faith, having done incalculable damage to my career. It’s one of my favourite daydreams, the one where I bump into him in an empty street, or a crowded room, or, well, anywhere actually. I just want to say “hi! Remember me? Let’s talk… it’s good to talk…

      You are right in that Catholic schools UK wide are great at supporting charities and Lourdes is a favourite destination, along with Malawi, where pupils from at least one top Glasgow Catholic school are famed for their trips there to help the poor… They were actually the subject of a TV documentary which we discussed on this very blog at the time…

      And yes, they do have Masses in the schools but show no regard for whether or not the pupils are receiving sacrilegious Communions. It is not permitted to say anything that might annoy – hence, our newsletter report about one priest in Ireland who very politely asked the teacher prior to the beginning of a school Mass NOT to indicate to the children row by row to approach for Communion, as many may not have been at Confession since missing Sunday Mass(es); furious, she marched the children out of the church, reported the matter to the Archbishop and tipped off a popular radio show. Poor priest, hounded for merely reminding the teacher of Canon Law. Basic stuff. Yet, because he refused to apologise to the parents who had been played like an orchestra to rise up and complain, he was essentially forced to leave that diocese.

      I am in contact, from time to time, with teachers in this archdiocese and across the land, and I hear similar stories of the continuing waste of space that we still describe as “Catholic schools”, although, for the record, none of the teachers in this archdiocese has booked for our Conference, and it’s too late now. Let’s hope they never apply for the use of one of my shoulders to cry on again, because they will get short shrift. I can’t be bothered with the TSB (“Talk Shop Brigade”).

      So, Andrew, while Catholic schools are generally “high achieving” in terms of academic success, that is not their purpose. They were built for no other reason than to pass on the Faith to pupils, so that the world view of young Catholics would be illuminated by divinely revealed truths about religion and morals. In other words, they would receive a solid academic education but it would be permeated by the Faith so that the youngsters could make sense of both Faith and World – and that is not happening in Catholic schools. Worldly, not faith-filled students are being turned out. Or should that be “turned off”.

      I help with the home-education of a small group of youngsters, and through that thoroughly Catholic programme – Seton Home Study School – children grow up understanding how their Faith fits into everyday life. I mean, can you imagine the difference to pupils’ knowledge, understanding and comprehension of the way their Faith fits into life, if they were taught from a book entitled Science for Young Catholics? I’ve seen it, checked it out. It’s absolutely terrific. Hence it’s not used in any Catholic school that I know of anywhere in the UK. I have been so impressed with the Seton materials – had I known about them when I was in post, I would have ordered some of their books for use in my own classroom. Click here to take a look and guess why. It’s a pleasure to teach using those resources – makes it so much easier for the pupils to understand why being a Catholic is important.

      By contrast, the books and other materials used in various subjects in Catholic schools are no different from those used in non-denominational schools – and a far cry from the thoroughly Catholic resource materials used in the above home-education programme.

      For the record, I have also taught in non-denominational schools, both in Scotland and in England and there is just no comparison. I was free to teach the truths of “Christianity” without any controversy in the ND schools. The Catholic sector? One colleague (who went on to teach in an ecumenical college in the north of England) told me that I would put the students off the Church for life if I taught them about papal infallibility and authority. When he suggested that we both believed in the Eucharist, so that was OK then, I pointed out that I doubted very much if we believed the same thing (since I’ve yet to see him on his knees before the Blessed Sacrament, even to attempt the mildest genuflection) and he nodded sagely and said I was probably right.

      Probably? I’m always right! Well… mostly 😀

      June 13, 2016 at 7:46 pm
  • Athanasius


    My challenge to you is to ask some of those kids from the schools you mention to recite the 10 Commandments, or question them on the Catechism, or ask if they say their daily rosary or other prayers, attend Mass when the school doesn’t insist on it, such as on Sundays, etc.

    Charity fund raising and pilgrimage organising is all very well, but what lies beneath the surface? Is there a truly Catholic spiritual formation that will take these kids through their lives strong in the faith? What’s the prayer life like? That’s the real question. The activity side of things is only on the surface.

    I know of Catholic schools who take the kids to Mass. But they also take them to visit Synagogues, Hindu temples, Mosques and other such places. And, as I mentioned before, ecumenism and religious syncretism is taught in Catholic R.E. classes. Are you saying that this doesn’t occur in the schools you highlight? If so, then you are very fortunate indeed for it occurs everywhere else.

    June 13, 2016 at 12:42 am
  • Spero

    Andrew, as a Catholic teacher, I can assure you that academic results, and often, standards of discipline, are what is of primary concern in many Catholic schools.Your neighbourhood schools may be exceptions.
    Charitable works are often highlighted, but are no less visible in non denominational schools.
    What is actually taught with regard to religion, is often teaching tolerance and kindness, which is all well and good, but singularly core, Catholic beliefs are not taught.
    Senior RE courses are watered down, and at a time when clear explanations of the Catholic faith could be given, the WHAT we believe, and WHY we believe it, there is more attention paid to world religions and situation ethics.
    Of course the reason for this, is that Catholic teachers themselves in the majority, no longer believe what the Church teaches, and even more of them do not know.
    Ignorance is unbelievable. A teacher said to me during Lent, “Oh I don’t need to go to confession. I take the children’s liturgy.” EH? Where DO you go with that? Complete ignorance from a ( one would hope) intelligent woman!
    From where I stand many secondary Catholic schools are Catholic in name, with a veneer of vague Catholicism masking what is being lost within the walls.
    A hats off to the small band of traditional catholic teachers and priests who try their best, often despite ridicule, to teach the faith; there are still some around.
    Sadly, we have to face up to the truth, and do does Archbishop Tartaglia.

    June 13, 2016 at 7:34 am
    • Margaret Mary


      “Catholic teachers themselves in the majority, no longer believe what the Church teaches, and even more of them do not know.”

      That is a fact. I can’t believe the ignorance of teachers and even senior management in Catholic schools when I’ve had to deal with them, for a number of years back, now, as well, not just since Pope Francis became Pope.

      It makes me laugh to see how the parishes are advertising for young people to become catechists! It’s too ridiculous for words.

      June 13, 2016 at 10:13 pm
    • Athanasius


      I absolutely agree with every word. You nailed it much more concisely than I could. I hope Andrew is taking note all of this and reflecting on his position. I only wish there was something about modern Catholic schools that we could all be upbeat about, but I’m afreaid there simply isn’t. Good academic standards can’t gloss over the deeper, more pressing, issue that young Catholics are generally leaving Catholic schools as confirmed pagans.

      June 13, 2016 at 11:50 pm
  • Maurice

    Andrew, It’s great to hear that in your kids school the teaching is excellent and the academic results are superb. I can tell you about 2 different Catholic schools in the central belt which also boast about great Ofsted reports and being placed well up the league tables. However, these same schools have massive problems with drugs (specifically, the regular taking of ecstasy tablets by pupils during class time, seriously) They have problems with kids in the 1st years drinking at the weekend. They have to deal with all sorts of violence including kids bringing in weapons on a regular basis.As for sex, well you can probably guess what that’s like.

    In my experience, what Catholic schools normally do to get round this is to simply impose an informal culture of elitism by focusing on a small clique of excellent students, usually middle class kids from the same wider family and social circle as the teachers and clergy. This then gives the impression that the school is doing great. But perhaps ask a shy, quiet kid what it’s like to be in a violent Catholic school where you get your head kicked in for going to Mass? Ask a kid what it’s like to be in a Catholic school which never ever expels anyone because it would look bad on the league tables?

    That’s why it’s always the same kids representing the school at everything. In one of the schools I won’t mention, some of the kids were actually travelling to Mass from the school were drunk or under the influence on the bus and at one point the non-Catholic kids burst into a few choruses of the sash and the Billy Boys. Honestly! Meanwhile, the other “successful kids” (who obviously do all the readings) actually travelled to the Church in a separate minibus with the teaching staff.

    This is the reality of our excellent Catholic schools which the Bishop probably won’t want to address

    June 13, 2016 at 9:38 am
    • editor


      Yes, sadly, that is the reality of our “excellent Catholic schools”. Tragic, but true.

      June 13, 2016 at 8:05 pm
    • Athanasius


      Thank you for that reality check. Even I hadn’t realised it was that bad. God help us!

      June 13, 2016 at 11:44 pm
      • Gerontius

        Athanasius, Editor and All,

        Where is the root cause of this carnage in our schools to be found? How should it be addressed?

        Ultimately, our children’s souls have been entrusted to us by Our Lord. Currently, they are at grave risk and, because of accountability, ours as well.

        This being the case, Editors post above contains cogent information:


        I help with the home-education of a small group of youngsters, and through that thoroughly Catholic programme – Seton Home Study School – children grow up understanding how their Faith fits into everyday life. I mean, can you imagine the difference to pupils’ knowledge, understanding and comprehension of the way their Faith fits into life, if they were taught from a book entitled Science for Young Catholics? I’ve seen it, checked it out. It’s absolutely terrific. Hence, it’s not used in any Catholic school that I know of anywhere in the UK. I have been so impressed with the Seton materials – had I known about them when I was in post, I would have ordered some of their books for use in my own classroom. Click here to take a look and guess why. It’s a pleasure to teach using those resources – makes it so much easier for the pupils to understand why being a Catholic is important.

        Can the Seton material be introduced into our schools? If not, why not?

        June 14, 2016 at 1:25 pm
      • editor

        “Can the Seton material be introduced into our schools? If not, why not?”

        Wild guess… MUCH too Catholic, Gerontius!

        June 14, 2016 at 1:35 pm
  • editor

    Is it any wonder Catholic schools are as bad as they are? Here’s the email today from the Scottish Catholic Media Office…

    Bishop John Keenan, the Bishop of Paisley, delivered the Time for Reflection in the Scottish Parliament today (Tuesday 14 June) at 2pm.

    In his address, he quoted the Gospel according to Matthew, saying ‘…love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you; in this way you will be sons of your Father in heaven’.

    He added, ‘…the good MSP does not want to govern in a way that prefers his own supporters but with a heart that serves the whole people, so that we all suffer rainy days together and enjoy the sunshine equally and to the full’.

    What the dickens does that mean? this kind of waffly sentimentalism is what passes for “love” and “mercy” today. No wonder the schools teach nothing of any religious or moral substance, if this is the example from the alleged pastors.

    I have yet to read a “reflection” piece from any Church spokesman in that Parliament, where the MSPs are challenged on the evil legislation for which they are responsible. Not once. Just cowardly, indifferent, sentimental slush, by the bucket-full.

    June 14, 2016 at 2:15 pm
  • RCA Victor


    That quote smells much like the odor of sentimentalist “love” which emanated regularly from the pulpit of the Novus Ordo parish in which I re-entered the Church in 2000. And surprise, surprise (as Gomer Pyle used to say): the PP was a discreet homosexual!

    June 15, 2016 at 4:05 pm

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