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)

  • 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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