Catholic Church in Scotland A Danger to Spiritual Health? Sadly, Yes…editor
From the Scottish Catholic Observer (SCO) – 16/2/19 [Editorial comment in bold]…
Pupils at an East Kilbride primary school marked Catholic Education Week in a mindful way recently, as they welcomed a meditating priest.
Fr Laurence Freeman OSB, who is the director of the World Community for Christian Meditation, arrived at St Vincent’s Primary School in East Kilbride to take part in a special assembly marking the end of the Catholic Education Week celebrations.
Ed: claims are made on the WCCM website about this “Christian Meditation” dating from early Christianity, but, as you will see what is being promoted has more in common with New Age meditations than with authentic Christian meditation. For example, Yoga is openly promoted.
The visit coincided with Fr Freeman’s visit to Glasgow, and was a fitting way for the school to recognise its ongoing commitment to promoting Christian meditation as a regular practice across all year groups in the school over the past five years.
Ed: it is chilling to think that children are being indoctrinated in this practice of “meditation” – divorced from Catholic devotions such as the Holy Rosary.
Fr Freeman visited classes and meditated with the pupils, before meeting with headteachers from the St Andrew’s and St Bride’s learning community, representatives of South Lanarkshire Council, and parents and friends of the school, and spoke to senior pupils.
Ed: so this priest meditated with the pupils in classrooms – did it occur to him to take them to a Catholic church and explain the importance of “meditating” on the Real Presence of Our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament? Why do I get the feeling that the answer to that question is “no”.
He talked about Christian meditation’s value, noting that it promotes goodness, kindness and peace, and helps us to make the world a better place.
In addition, he also spoke to youngsters and encouraged them to keep on meditating, explaining how meditation helps us to calm our minds, lower anxiety and to focus ourselves on God.
Ed: here again, the modernist emphasis on making the world a better place. Won’t happen unless those “meditations” lead pupils straight to fidelity to Catholic teaching, spiritual, religious and moral. Still, at least “God” got a message. Don’t knock it.
The visit was a resounding success for St Vincent’s pupils, all of whom enjoyed Fr Freeman’s visit. “I was touched by Fr Laurence’s kindness and interested to hear him speak about his meetings with the Dalai Lama,” P7 pupil Emily McManus said.
Ed: that a p7 pupil in a Catholic school has even heard of the Dalai Lama is a matter of the utmost concern. He caused quite a stir when he made his audience of 9,000 laugh heartily during his visit to Glasgow some years ago, when he concluded his talk by saying that if they found his teachings too hard, just say “F***” it. I tried to find the original report on that but lost the will to live, and so I’m posting this denial instead – denying that he had said any such thing, this time at a different venue, different country… bit of a coincidence, one might think. Whatever, primary school children whose parents have entrusted them to a Catholic school should not be exposed to false religions in this way. Sound pedagogy requires that young people be fully educated in their own religion before – as senior students at secondary level – being introduced to non-Christian religions.
St Vincent’s headteacher Eileen Tompkins said that the school was ‘honoured’ to have Fr Freeman there as part of their Catholic Education Week celebrations, and said his visit made staff and pupils feel ‘encouraged and inspired.’
Ed: So, presumably, now the Mass attendance in the parishes in East Kilbride will shoot up as these “inspired” youngsters swell the congregations. Or maybe not. Yoga is openly promoted on the WCCM website so they may join the countless other lapsed Catholics who “discover” that they don’t need the Church once they’ve learned to “meditate”. For the record, here is the description of how to meditate, given on the WCCM website:
Sit down. Sit still with your back straight. Close your eyes lightly. Then interiorly, silently begin to recite a single word – a prayer word or mantra. We recommend the ancient Christian prayer-word “Maranatha”. Say it as four equal syllables. Breathe normally and give your full attention to the word as you say it, silently, gently, faithfully and – above all – simply. The essence of meditation is simplicity. Stay with the same word during the whole meditation and in each meditation day to day. Don’t visualise but listen to the word, as you say it. Let go of all thoughts (even good thoughts), images and other words. Don’t fight your distractions: let them go by saying your word faithfully, gently and attentively and returning to it as soon as you realise you have stopped saying or it or when your attention wanders. Meditate twice a day, morning and evening, for between 20 and 30 minutes. It may take a time to develop this discipline and the support of a tradition and community is always helpful. Source
To read entire article, minus Catholic Truth editorial comment, visit the Scottish Catholic Observer here
Comments invited… But not before you’ve read the second assault on Catholic spiritual life – again, reported in the SCO, 29/3/19…
Glasgow Archdiocese’s Lentfest play tells Passion story in a new way
The head of Glasgow’s Lent festival has called for Catholics to support their Faith through art as the annual event gears up to present its showcase play Sign of Contradiction: The Passion Story, is a project of the Archdiocese of Glasgow Arts Project (AGAP), and will be staged as this year’s Lentfest nears its conclusion.
So far, Lentfest has this year hosted a variety of events and the new play will act as a finale for the festival.
The play follows on from AGAP’s Sign of Contradiction: The Christmas Story, which became a hit last winter, and playwright Stephen Callaghan believes AGAP’s unique take on the Crucifixion could be just as successful.
“It’s the story of the events that led up to the Crucifixion and death of Jesus, as well as the events following,” he said.
Story of Jesus. “But it tells the story differently to other plays about the Passion.”
Mr Callaghan said he hopes people will see parallels in the play with the political world today, with comparisons drawn between political corruption now and in Jesus’ time.
“Another reason I’m doing this is because when I started AGAP you could always assume that people knew the story of Jesus, but I’m not convinced that’s the case anymore,” he continued.
[Ed: well, that speaks volumes about the failure of the Catholic Church in Scotland, in both parishes and schools and in its use of the media, to preach even the basics of the Faith.]
“Many people haven’t read or heard the story or might have forgotten it. And it’s a story which still shocks and provokes. This is going to revisit it and hopefully it can teach people”…
The first of the nine performances takes place on Saturday March 30 at St Joseph’s Church in Tollcross, Glasgow, with further performances taking place around Glasgow until the finale on April 15.
Words truly fail. The accounts of Christ’s Passion and Crucifixion are to be re-created to fit the modernist mind in the name of “art” and to (without question) deliver a political message – during Lent. Never mind that Our Lord was at pains to emphasise – especially to the traitor Judas – that His was not a political mission but a spiritually salvific mission.
I’ve put those parts of the above report in bold where alarm bells should be ringing in your head as you read this stuff. Did they? Ring, I mean? The alarm bells? Or maybe you see nothing wrong with any of this? Tell us if you really don’t consider the Catholic Church in Scotland – as it is currently administered by modernists – to be dangerous to spiritual health. If you really don’t see the risks entailed in allowing Catholic primary schools to push a potentially dangerous form of “meditation” – tell us; and be sure to tell us if you see nothing wrong with re-working the Gospel accounts of the life and death of Our Lord for artistic and political effect – I, for one, can’t wait to hear it!
A resounding YES to the headline – if the Bishops are allowing children to be indoctrinated with New Age “meditation” techniques, they should resign, every one of them, right now. This article is invaluable in explaining the dangers of these guided meditations, mindfulness, yoga, etc.
As for the Passion play – I can only echo the words in the editorial comment “words truly fail”.
So, yes, the Catholic Church in Scotland is definitely a danger to spiritual health. It is preaching everything except true Catholicism.
Agreed. It’s laughable to think that the authorities would faint at the very thought of introducing those same children to a traditional Catholic priest. Honestly, it would be impossible to make this stuff up – she said very ungrammatically 😀
Shocking about the primary children being taught new age meditations by a Catholic priest
Shocking about the modernising of the Passion of Our Lord to get across a political message.
But nothing that surprises me any more. I expect so little from the Scottish hierarchy that if they took a collective holiday to sunny Spain during Holy Week, I wouldn’t think anything of it. They are a disgrace.
About that Holy Week holiday in Spain – I’m told this blog is read in very high places so, for goodness sake, avoid giving them ideas! 😀
I found this story absolutely chilling. What on earth are these priests and teachers thinking? This New Age inspired meditation is surely from the Devil. It’s worth noting how selfish it is; focussing solely on making oneself feel good. Its terrifying that children are being exposed to this.
If this doesn’t encourage serious Catholics to home educate I just don’t know what will. I know some people may argue that not everyone can home educate and don’t get me wrong, it’s certainly not ideal, but what on earth is more important than your child’s soul?
I totally agree about home-schooling but it really isn’t always possible if both parents need to work just to keep the roof over heads.
The only other thing is for Catholic parents to wake up and become as militant as Muslim parents are in protecting their kids – look at the way they withdrew 600 pupils from a Birmingham school over the teaching of LGBT+ issues.
Catholic parents who are young enough to make a fuss and be listened to, need to do that. My guess is that the parents at St Vincent’s are so badly taught themselves that they won’t see anything untoward about this “Meditation” especially when they see it delivered by a priest, pushed by the Head and staff and called “Christian”.
It’s straight from Hell, I know, but the feeling of helplessness is overwhelming. At least if parents understand the issues they can unpick it all at home but it they don’t, the kids are at the mercy of these clueless priests and teachers.
Yes, I see what you are saying. However, parents also need to realise that they are called to a sacrificial life. Do they really need two incomes? Could they simplify their lifestyle? Granted, if both parents are in low paid jobs then it might be the only option for both to work, but I do think some parents could make sacrifices.
What’s also dangerous is that these events are often sprung upon pupils, so there is no prior warning. Some parents may be tempted to think that they could simply not permit their children to take part in something like this, but it could actually happen without their knowledge.
It would be great if Catholic parents could “rise up” but it ain’t gonna happen. Sadly, the majority are more than happy to go along with these atrocities.
I think it’s more about having to keep up financial commitments already made. I would say that for parents before making big commitments realise the issue with Catholic schools, they have a duty to home-school their children. If they are just wanting two sources of income to have a comfortable life that’s no excuse, I agree. However, if they have big commitments to meet, you can’t blame them for leaving their children in school and trying to do their best to minimise the damage being done to their children’s souls, at home. I would add that they should also monitor the school closely and lodge concerns and complaints about scandalous stuff like this so-called Christian Meditation priest.
Yes, I agree.
Very fair points but I do wish more parents WOULD monitor their child’s religious education better. Of course, since we’re now on, what, the third generation who’ve not been taught the Faith themselves, it’s difficult to blame them.
The buck stops with the Bishops.
Having read what is going on in these pretend Catholic schools today, I totally agree with you about making whatever sacrifice is necessary to home-school.
To be honest, I don’t think there is any excuse whatsoever for any parent who knows that this sort of abuse and blasphemy is going in schools, not to home-school. Obviously, there may be some genuine cases where it’s just not possible, and out of the parents’ control, but all measures should be taken to safeguard against this sort of spiritual and mental abuse, causing confusion in these children’s minds. You can’t get these years back when your child is being formed and their soul is being either enriched with Catholic doctrine and devotions or poisoned with this sort of damaging techniques and confusing messages.
Sorry, Josephine, but if you mean parents have large mortgages and can’t home-school, then downsize. Your children’s souls are too important to leave to these faithless teachers (although I know there are some good teachers doing their best out there, but the ignorant ones seem to be in the majority, and get promotions like the Head of St Vincent’s) so I say lower your lifestyle expectations in order to home-school. That’s what you will be judged on, not if you have a fancy house, two cars in the drive, kids at university, holidays every year.
That is, frankly, what I had to do – put my children first and leave everything else to God.
I agree with you about “mental abuse” – that is exactly what this “Christian meditation” is because it’s far from Christian.
They tell the children to just keep repeating the word ‘maranatha’ but are they explaining exactly what that means and what the context for it was?
I think we need to face up to the fact that these priests and teachers are simply NOT thinking. They do not have the spiritual or religious resources to grasp the seriousness of what they are doing.
Roll on Vatican III led by Pope Pius XIII (well, a gal can dream, surely?)
I wonder if they even have the pedagogical, or even intellectual, resources!
Bravo. Agree 100%.
I went onto the school website and copied their “Vision”, “values” and “Mission Statement”:
Our Vision is to provide quality learning in a nurturing environment where the achievement of excellence and the development of all is at the heart of our Catholic school community.
We aim to provide a coherent and progressive curriculum where learners can achieve success.
We aim to meet the needs of every individual learner through appropriate learning experiences which challenge and motivate
Through efficient planning and meaningful evaluation staff aim to continually improve and refine their practice through a robust system of professional and spiritual development.
We will work with parents, families, carers and other agencies to ensure that the learning experiences engage, challenge, support and actively involve learners.
We will work in partnership with parents, carers and parish to support children in their journey of faith in an environment which fosters social justice, equality and inclusion.
We aim to provide learners with opportunities to develop skills through engagement in creative, innovative, active and enterprising learning experiences.
Typically, there is no aim to foster the Catholic faith in pupils. What a waste of space these buildings are, which pretend to be passing on the Catholic faith. In my world, they’d all be closed down in a matter of days.
I couldn’t agree more. You could lift all of that and apply it to any non-denominational school. Some schools may throw in “Gospel Values” but no one can ever tell me what they are! We should be talking about the theological virtues and the gifts of the Holy Ghost, not “values” that resemble something out of a Labour Party manifesto!
I, too, have tried to get an answer to the question “what ARE the Gospel values we keep hearing about in homilies and school brochures” and have not yet succeeded, LOL!
Obviously the key “Gospel value” is to go out and preach the Gospel to all nations, and that isn’t as easy as “be nice to everyone” LOL!
That mission statement and values are so typical of Catholic schools today, where they never forget to put “social justice, equality and inclusion” but always “forget” any meaningful statement about teaching the Catholic faith.
Some of those children may never recover from the damage inflicted on their minds by those meditation techniques. I saw somewhere on that WCCM site a reference to guided meditations – they are really dangerous. This article shows that these meditation techniques are actually occult
It’s unthinkable that a Catholic priest and Head Teacher, with the blessing of the Scottish bishops, would actually introduce children to the occult.
I know things are bad these days but THAT bad? I am truly shocked.
I look forward to perusing your link asap.
Having taught in a number of Catholic and non-denominational schools, I can assure you that what you have posted from the St Vincent’s website is absolutely no different, in any respect, from the mission statements, values and vision in any non-denominational school you care to name. Erase the one and only mention of “Catholic” and you have – as I say – exactly the same “vision” etc as can be found in the brochures and website of any non-denominational school across the UK.
In terms of advertising, I’d like to find a parent who will sue on the grounds of misleading advertising – preferably the parent(s) of lapsed pupils.
I’ve now emailed the Head Teacher of St Vincent’s to alert her to this thread, and I’ve also emailed the playwright Stephen Callaghan to alert him to the fact that his “unique take on the crucifixion” is also being pondered by our bloggers.
I thought I’d post a previous discussion we had back in 2016 on this blog about the danger of Yoga and similar “meditation” techniques – some very interesting and informed commentary on that thread.
I don’t know where to begin! The cheek of that playwright to think he has some “unique” insight into the Crucifixion is just mind-boggling. Does he seriously think he’s the first person in the world in 2000 years to really understand the meaning of the Crucifixion? Does he really believe that nobody else has tried to make Christ into a political warrior? Judas tried and failed, so it’s a pity that these so-called artists and writers don’t get the message. It’s one of those things, I suppose, that it’s always the very people who don’t understand the truths of the faith who think they have unique insights into it! It would be really funny if it wasn’t so sad and dangerous, because people will leave that performance thinking wrongly about the Crucifixion. It’s always people with a political axe to grind who use (or is it “abuse”) the religious events of Jesus’ life and death to make their point through the theatre etc. Shame on the Church authorities in Scotland for permitting this to be done during Lent.
Yes, the writers/playwrights who seek of astonish us with their various “unique” insights into the life of Christ, never do. Not in my experience, that’s for sure. Genuine insights, like those found in – for example – Fulton Sheen’s Life of Christ, are rooted in accurate Gospel readings and sound scholarship, historical and theological. Not the superficial baloney we get in modernist presentations.
And – judging by what I’ve suffered in the past – the characters will be dressed in modern clothes, speak in modern accents, with bad language thrown in to make them more “believable”.
Laugh? I thought I’d never start!
The alarm bells rang! I’m sorry for you. What a sad picture of the little girl, with her eyes closed, learning to meditate. It is diabolical simply because it is not prayer to the Trinitarian God. It is, therefore, opening up the mind to the devils influence. I read this somewhere in New Age literature … perhaps it was in Constance Gumby’s book ‘The Hidden Dangers of the Rainbow’ … not sure, but it is quite reasonable. God bless you as you have to learn of these horrors in Scotland.
Spot on – “it’s diabolical because not a prayer to the Trinitarian God.”
No wonder St Ireneus said in the first centuries of the Church “Truth is simple, it is error that is immense.”
We need lots of Blessed salt and Holy Water on hand. “Arise O Lord, let Thy enemies be scattered … let them that hate Thee flee from before Thy face.” and exorcism prayers like this one. God help us all!
I found a book which I would like to suggest, written about this topic: “The Hidden Axis of Evil” by Fred Martinez It is about how Nietszhe and Freud are intertwined into the teachings of both children and priests. I recall how … in Boston … the priests were sent to psychiatrists … instead of getting a spiritual healing for their ‘sex’ problems. Further I recall how, as a student nurse in the 1950’s studying at a very Catholic school, we were sent to a Psychiatric Facility for our Psych training. There were many nuns and priests there as patients. It is all more than disturbing. Anyway, this book explains a lot and offers some suggestions. “If you want your children to grow up in a society that is safe, which doesn’t kill babies, promote CLINTONIAN PORNOGRAPHY or sexually abuse them, then get Hidden Axis now for your children’s sake.” (back cover) signed by many names/
Thank you for that book recommendation – I’ll look into it (so to speak!)
That’s funny! I needed a laugh …
Are you sure it is Maranatha he told them to recite and not Marijuana?
It’s been a while since we’ve heard from you so I’m delighted to note that you are back as your ever-witty self. Stick around, this time!
Thanks for your kind words. Things were a wee bit worrying over the past year with my wife attending the Beatson clinic but her diagnosis wasn’t the worst, with thanks to God, Our Blessed Lady and St Joseph. I hope to see her back attending to her flower garden again soon.
I think marijuana would be preferable to this “buddism-by-another-name”!
Just read this – shocked. I am a mother of four and I can assure you that none of my children will ever be enrolled in St Vincent’s or any other so-called Catholic school in Scotland today. My immediate emotional reaction was justifiable anger on seeing that lovely little girl in the photo above, sitting in a pagan pose as if she was at a Yoga session, How dare they!
Unfortunately, too many priests within the Church have gained the reputation of being physical and sexual abusers of children. Now they are being exposed as spiritual abusers as well, possibly creating more serious mental health issues for the future.
That Head Teacher has some nerve inviting this priest to undermine Catholic parents. If that was my child in that photo, I’d be thinking that I’ve had her baptised, gone to the trouble of sending her to a Catholic school, assuming she’d be taught the real Catholic faith, only to find that the teachers are undermining my parental rights and duties. What audacity!
It confirms that home-schooling is the only option now. Unbelievable.
I recognise those pictures – I think this visit actually occurred last year, although that of course does not mitigate the fact that children are being exposed to rubbish.
(A big problem with the SCO is that – for whatever odd reason – they do not properly date their online articles and omit the year of publication. it seems a very odd practice, as you would think properly dating articles would help with their own archives etc).
I was going to say that I would simply would not have given permission for my children to participate in such an event – so I was interested to read Petrus’ comment that a school might “spring” such an event without any significant prior warning. (From my own schools days, I remember a permission slip was required for pupils to participate in anything was which not part of the base curriculum.)
That is certainly a lesson to take on board, which again highlights the need for a high level of parental vigilance and the need to ensure a school has a very clear understanding of familial expectations. Ultimately they do not have free reign to impose this sort of thing, any more than they would to impose the faith on a non-Catholic pupil.
I think it has long been clear that the Catholic element of modern schools is superficial – and this perpetuates because the faith of modern Catholics is very superficial. But, like with anything, if you demand more (or better), you will get more (or better). Most teachers and parents are probably so ill-formed themselves that they wouldn’t bat an eye-lid if the school announced a visitor to teach them Christian break-dancing or whatever.
And my view of home schooling is that while there are obvious advantages to it, it is not practical for many people – and there are probably downsides too. Nothing is perfect.
Permission slips are only required for trips. This event would be considered curricular, so there would be no reason to inform parents.
As for home educating not being practical , I think that would only apply to a tiny proportion of people. Yes, it may require huge sacrifices, but unless it was absolutely impossible, with no other option, I would think it would be gravely sinful to send children to a modern school, especially for informed Catholics.
I meant to say, let’s say just for talking sake that a parent could withdraw their child from this event. What happens when the class talk about it for weeks to come? What happens when it’s mentioned at assembly? What happens when the class teacher encourages children to meditate at the start of each school day? Whilst a pupil may avoid the actual event, there would be many traps long after that would be unavoidable.
Well, answer your own question – what happens? I do not see that anything happens – especially as most / all of the kids will naturally dismiss this meditation as rubbish.
This christian meditation stuff is obviously bunk – but surely it is better to teach children that, than try to hide its existence?
Forewarned is forearmed etc.
For example, in society children will naturally encounter or hear of false religions and heretical sects: but the defence against those is to teach them the Catholic faith alone is *the* faith.
Just as parents will have to teach their children as to why the modern mass should be avoided.
My reading of the report on this “Christian Meditation” visit is that the kids do NOT dismiss it as rubbish. Just looking at the photo of the little girl in the Yoga position, she is taking it very seriously indeed and the event has been a success, so the Head says, and has taken place for five years, so that is a large number of pupils who have been placed under the danger of demonic influence. Far from dismissing it as rubbish, the pupils said they enjoyed the visit and were inspired by it.
I must say your remark about “forewarning is forearmed” where you are saying that learning about false religions will be a defence to teach them that the Catholic faith alone is *the* faith amazes me – there’s no way those words ever cross the lips of the majority of Catholic teachers these days and definitely not the Head of St Vincent’s in East Kilbride. You just need to read their statements on their school’s “vision”, “values” and “mission” to know that they reject this core belief of the Church.
If you had children, would you seriously not mind them being taught about this meditation, knowing that experts have warned of its dangers to mental health and possible demonic influence if not possession?
the event has been a success
Of course the SCO report will paint the visit as a great success – they say everything is a great success, even as the Church is on its knees.
At primary school we got “Christian rock music”- it was toe-curling rubbish and i would bet my house that no-one still listens to it. But, of course, at the time the school would have reported back that it was a great success.
You can even meet people who will claim Vatican II was a great success!
Unbridled positively is all they know.
there’s no way those words ever cross the lips of the majority of Catholic teachers these days
You are right of course – there, I was speaking from the point of view that parents should teach their children that. (Apologies if that was not clear).
As first educators of their children, the responsibility is on parents to make sure their children are properly informed. That has always been the case, even when the schools were much better in the sense of passing on the faith adequately.
If you had children, would you seriously not mind them being taught about this meditation
I have two daughters (not of school age yet) and, God willing, I’m not finished quite yet!
I would not want them to experience this medication, and I would inform a school of that in the same way that I would inform the school that I didn’t want them to attend the new mass.
i might even use it as an opportunity to say: why not show the kids something genuinely Catholic? Teach them the rosary or how to sing something in Latin?
Surely, if the schools are ever to be put right, we have got to get in there and fight for them? In the same way the SSPX has always remained within the Church to fight for it.
I think it’s a false dichotomy to compare sending your child to a Catholic school to the position of the SSPX. The SSPX remain within the Church because they simply do what the Church has always done and cling to the faith the Church has always taught. This is very different to sending your child to a school which is completely imbued with Modernism. The SSPX shuns Modernism and everything related to it.
Yes, you could explain your position to the school and suggest the lovely devotions you mention, but the school will smile and thank you…only to write you off as a nut as soon as you are out the door. Let’s not forget the poor family in Edinburgh who were reported to social services because they “attended an extremist cult”.
I think the analogy is sound, with the family in question being a microcosm of the SSPX and the school a microcosm of the Church at large.
If the teachers wrote me off as a nut….well, they would not be the first and I am sure they would not be the last either haha! 😛
I think a lot would depend on the manner parents approached the matter. I think teachers -in any matter – appreciate a reasonable and co-operative approach from parents, rather than an adversarial one. In my experience, I have found traditional Catholics are not often noted for their diplomacy or ability to pick their battles.
If I was, say, a Syro-Malabar or Ukrainian Catholic, and I approached a school to say (for example, concerning liturgy): look, this is not the manner in which we worship and so, while we wish to take our place within the wider Catholic community, we would like specific arrangements here to respect our particular identity and requirements.
I think that, as long as it did not place unreasonable demands on the teacher / school, they would be quite happy to accommodate that.
Why would they not be?
Similarly, we know they bend over backwards to accommodate pupils of other (or no) religion.
In this context, I don’t think its unreasonable to expect the same courtesy and accommodation as a traditional latin rite Catholic.
I think it’s probably better to leave this discussion, as interesting as it is, at this point . We are going round in circles. I wish you luck if you do send your children to school.
While I agree with you that the manner of approach by parents is extremely important, I do not agree with the suggestion that “traditional” parents lack such tact.
Indeed, the parents I know who tried to work with their schools, were NOT attending the traditional Mass at the time – that came later, and quite a bit later at that for those who now attend the old rite; in some cases, they continued to attend the NO.
Far from being lacking in tact, those parents (known to me) were (against my advice) all but subservient in approach. My advice was to NOT be apologetic but to be clear in what they were asking and why, forthright about the reason(s) for their objections/concerns and firm in their insistence on having provisions made to avoid their child’s inclusion in future events/PHSE or RE lessons/Masses, whatever.
Only one parent (in the North of England) who asked me to attend a meeting with her at her school, adopted a forthright approach from the outset (again, a novus ordo attending parent).
She was utterly outraged because her son had been exposed to explicit sex-education without her knowledge. This only came to light when – to her amazement – he, hitherto a lovely, well behaved, obedient child, began to behave violently, and, on one occasion was found in worrying circumstances carrying a knife.
When she investigated what was going on in his life to bring on such a dramatic change in his behaviour, she uncovered the sex-education link.
She, a science graduate, explored the possible effects of radical sex-education and found that such behaviour was, more likely than not, stemming from his exposure to this information and graphics.
She tore into the Head Teacher and the representative from the local education authority who was present, and here’s the mantra which SHE repeated, over and over again to the obvious discomfiture of the educators. She said, over and over: How DARE you! You have robbed my husband and me of something very precious! We wanted to tell our son about this side of life when he was ready for it – not while he’s still at primary school”! How DARE you!
Now, while they were falling over themselves to apologise for upsetting her, with the local education authority person assuring her that because of her complaint, steps had now been taken to make sure parents were informed in future prior to such lessons, they were also falling over themselves to elicit from me where I taught, my position within the education system.
I had been as tactful as I possibly could manage, trying to keep the parent calm and acknowledging the profuse apologies – I was anything but belligerent. But I would not divulge my own place of employment or position because I knew enough even then to know that said position would be removed from me for daring to challenge – however mildly – the right of the school to usurp the right of the parent. So, I refused to give that information and insisted that I was there simply as a friend of the parent.
So, that particular parent was angry because the deed was done and her rights as a parent had been usurped.
Other parents, however, known to me (and in one case where I was present) were anything but forthright, instead seeking the school’s help, with one parent, whom I witnessed, being almost apologetic for being a nuisance…
Even in that one case (where I attended a meeting with the parent) and the Head appeared to be receptive to her concerns and agreed to make provision for her children to be excused from the new Mass and religious education, there was, in the end, a price to pay. I won’t give the details as it may identify her to some of the bloggers – she will speak freely about her experience (and has done so quite openly) but I do not feel free to publish anything in writing on a public forum, as I’m sure you will understand.
In summary, you may be blessed, Gabriel Syme, to be able to charm your way into your Head’s good books and everything may work out well. I sincerely hope so, and in fact, there is a sense in which, as things worsen within the Church, there may well be situations where more and more teachers are wakening up to the truth of what is going on, so that would work in your favour.
I think the main thing is to be aware and to not be afraid to let your position be known, aware of many things that will be put to you in an attempt to prevent you from withdrawing your daughters from various school activities, including the new Mass. Do you really want them to stand out from the rest of their class? Is it not better to let them blend in, blah blah. It takes quite a bit of strength to stand against the psychological blackmail, albeit well meant as it may be, but I think you can definitely do it! Yes, they will bend over backwards to accommodate the children from false religions but that, as I’m sure you know, is all part of the diabolical disorientation afflicting the Church at this time.
I know of teachers and parents who have tried to fight from within the school system. It really cannot be done, except little bits of the faith preserved in individual classes if you get the right teacher.
I’ve known teachers who actually fell ill due to the bullying that went on because they challenged the LGBT+ teaching in their school.
I’ve known of parents who was put under huge pressure to stop complaining about the RE programme at the time, which was called “Alive-O!”
I also heard of a teacher in the Westminster archdiocese who was reprimanded for teaching the Rosary to his primary class and “encouraged” to look for a job teaching his other subject, which was English.
The liberals have a stranglehold on Catholic schools, as they have a stranglehold everywhere else.
I do understand if there are parents who just can’t avoid using the school, in which case you need to go in prepared because asking for your child to be withdrawn from certain events or subjects like PHSE, will bring criticism and there will be attempts to get you to change your mind, pleasant at first, no doubt, but from what I’ve heard, it can turn very sour quickly.
I agree that ‘being prepared’ is key, in any aspect of parenting.
If a parent has the right to withdraw a child from some activity then the school has no business trying to fight against that.
They are there to cater to me, not dictate to me. True, sections of the public sector can be self-important and so can get confused about this, but you can rely on me to point out their error.
Similarly, no Catholic school could insist on something which is fundamentally unCatholic.
Recently we have seen a few examples in England where schools have acquiesced to the demands of reasonable, but firm, muslim parents.
I think those parents have been an example to us all. The reason we do not see more Catholic parents stand up in a similar way is due to superficiality and apathy – but these are not typical traits of CT bloggers!
What would happen is that even if your child wasn’t present for the input, they would still be exposed to the dangers of it. I don’t think it is at all appropriate to allow a young child to be exposed to this and tell them that it is “rubbish”. This seems a very risky strategy. How confusing would that be for a young child?
Their teacher, Head Teacher and priest presents something as good, but then they are told by their parents that it is rubbish! What happens if your child feels left out and wants to join in ?
In my experience, children do not have the intellectual, or spiritual, maturity to recognise something as wrong, unless they have a solid foundation in the faith. That’s why it is important to protect them from these influences whilst they are young. No, you can’t hide them away forever, but it makes sense to do whatever you can to protect them from evil, heresy, false sects etc until they are grounded in their own faith.
Think about it this way – would you take a young child to watch the Glasgow Pride Parade, pointing out that what they do is wrong? I wouldn’t think so. The danger is the child would be attracted to the colour and think it was something fun. No, you would surely wait until they were old enough and then, when they came across this evil, you would be able to explain why it is wrong and at that point they would be able to understand why.
I don’t think it would be any more confusing for a child, than it would be to grasp – for example – that they attend a different for of worship from many of their peers.
This is to do with, as you mention, providing a solid foundation of understanding for them.
There would surely be reason to inform parents, if parents had made the reasonable request to be informed of what visitors have been invited to the school.
I cant agree it is “gravely sinful” to send children to a Catholic school, with respect, I think that is quite an extreme view.
I think you could ask to be informed of something like this, but what would you say? “Please inform me if you plan an event that will put my child’s soul in danger?” You will then be at the mercy of the school’s interpretation of what you should, and shouldn’t, be informed about. Too much of a risk.
You may think that my view is extreme, but Canon Law is clear that parents have a duty to send children to a school that provides for their Catholic education. The Catholic Truth newsletter and blog has been reporting the scandals in Catholic schools for many years. The danger is absolutely clear.
I think you could ask to be informed of something like this, but what would you say?
A good question.
I would likely say that we are traditional Catholics and as such prefer traditional spirituality and worship. Accordingly when it comes to the faith aspect of schooling there may be instances where we would like to discern our child’s participation in things.
I do not start from the position that the school and its faculty are my enemies who are out to undermine me and thwart my efforts to raise my children as I see fit.
My start point would be that, while I recognise the ‘modern’ expression of the faith is problematic, the teachers are likely reasonable, sincere people who would be open to meeting my reasonably expressed needs.
You may think that my view is extreme
I think it’s extreme to suggest parents are gravely sinning by using Catholic schools. Especially so, given you work in such a school and so – if you are right about them being sinful – you would be directly participating in the sin of others, which is also sinful.
I asked about this before, and I think you said working there was simply out of the necessity to make a living – that is the same reason, necessity, why people use the schools for education (if not faith education).
I do not like referring to anyone’s personal circumstances, as I do not wish it to seem like a personal criticism – but I do think this undermines your stance.
Of all the families at the Church we both attend, I only know of two who home school – and their children are indeed a great credit to their parents. But I cant agree that everyone else is sinful for using Catholic or even non-denom schools – I think they are sincere Catholics who are doing their best in the circumstances. And their children are also a credit to them.
Canon Law is clear that parents have a duty to send children to a school that provides for their Catholic education
That is true, but then no such school exists in Scotland. I am aware of only two schools in the whole of the UK which might fit the bill, both of which are 100s of miles away from our home and so are clearly non-starters.
And while I cant speak for the ICKSP school in Preston, I know the SSPX school in Berkshire only provides boarding for male pupils and I have daughters.
Even if it did board girls, I would still not use it – for a variety of reasons – but chiefly because (i) I feel that I would then be essentially handing over my daily responsibility as a parent to others and (ii) family life is important to me and sending children 100s of miles away is obviously very disruptive to that.
Similarly, a main reason we could not home school is that we require to pay a mortgage to keep a roof over the heads of our family. It is important to my wife and I that, as parents, we provide for the needs of our children, rather than transferring this responsibility onto the state or wider family (as might well be the case if we stopped paying our mortgage and so lost our home).
We all have to do our best in the circumstances. I admire parents who home school their children, but its not for everyone.
I know you are a very reasonable man and I understand, to a certain extent, your position.
Yes, I do work in a modern school but I do so from the premise that I am informed, having educated myself in the complexities of the crisis.
My issue is that I don’t believe young children, no matter how well they are raised at home, have a capacity to understand the issues and not be influenced negatively by their peers , teachers and visiting clergy.
Like you, I don’t like commenting on someone else’s personal circumstances (in fact, what I’m about to say is not aimed at you as I do not know where you live), but I know of many families, large families, who sacrifice the nice, big home in the middle class areas in order to protect their children. It can be done, if one is willing to make sacrifices . There’s nothing more precious than the souls of our children. I’m not willing to take the risk in the hope that it will all work out ok. However, we all need to do what we think is best.
I completely agree about boarding – I do not like boarding schools, no matter how good. I think children need their family and home life in the formative years, so I’m with you 200% in that matter.
As we have said before and others have acknowledged here, everyone knows their own circumstances best and as long as parents are aware of the crucial need to monitor schools and to not be afraid of becoming unpopular (“a pest parent” so to speak) then it is possible to keep a fairly tight grip on what is being taught.
I would, however, second Petrus’ warning about peer pressure. One of the parents whom I know home-schools, was telling me only yesterday that if her sons had continued to attend the local school, things would have turned out differently. Where they now frequently attend Confession and serve the traditional Mass, and are now enjoying wholesome friendships, pray the family rosary and have all sorts of Catholic devotions as part and parcel of their lives, they would not – she is certain – be so (literally) faith-full if they had continued with friendships which she – albeit in battle mode – worked to end when they were younger. She took criticism from family and friends for not allowing them to mix with some of the local children, and kept a close watch on the friendships they made in local clubs, but she is now reaping the benefits of having withstood that criticism and insisted on eradicating dangerous influences from their young lives.
I do sympathise – it’s not easy being a parent these days, clearly. Hard work but worth the effort when you are given that crown of glory at your judgment!
Your daughters are adorable – the world should know that – so well behaved at Mass, genuflecting even as toddlers before the Blessed Sacrament and showing devotion when lighting candles at Our Lady’s altar… So, I’m confident that you will do all you possibly can to keep them spiritually safe when the time comes to send them to school.
Keep up the good work!
In the context of Petrus’ claim that it may be sinful for parents (who are informed) to use Catholic schools, you suggest that by working/teaching in a Catholic school, Petrus is then, surely complicit in participating in the sins of others, but that is not the case. That would mean we could not have any sound teachers at all in our schools – that cannot be right. That’s a bit like saying that the police informant is participating in the sin of the criminals with whom he associates solely for the purpose of catching them,with a view to ending their criminal activities.
Don’t you just love my analogies? 😀
Far from participating in the sin of others, if anything, Petrus (and other sound teachers in Catholic schools) is in a position to lessen the influence of those who are placing the souls of the young in spiritual, religious and moral danger.
While, due to his/her orthodoxy, such a teacher’s professional life is seldom easy (in the staffroom, at least!) the sound teacher, like Petrus, is in a position to ensure that at least the pupils in HIS classes are being taught the Faith and having errors corrected where possible.
I know some teachers who have agonised over this question – I did myself when in post; in my own case, it was taken out of my hands and I found myself, ultimately, in the non-denominational sector for my trouble (where I had no problem teaching Catholic doctrine and morals!)
So, be assured, there will be, definitely, some teachers in post who are doing their bit for orthodoxy although unlikely to be any who are wholly “traditional” – compromising one’s position and beliefs is not restricted to Brexit 😀
Such teachers are not sinning – but are acting as an anti-dote to the heresy and errors, and the promotion of immorality, around them.
I would also like to make it clear that none of my comments are aimed specifically at Gabriel Syme, whom I hold in very high regard.
He may well manage to find a school with a sympathetic Head Teacher. It’s entirely possible. I also know that he is aware of the dangers and will be very vigilant.
My main issue is that I know of Traditional families, with very devout parents who have only attended the TLM, but the children are now lapsed, cohabiting, having children out of wedlock etc. What’s the common denominator? Catholic schools.
Sadly you are only too correct in your final paragraph. It’s a mistake to think that by attending the TLM alone, that is all it takes to keep the Faith – and morals. If only!
If that had been the case before THAT Council, the Sunday sermons, not to mention Confession, Benediction, Rosary etc. could have been cancelled.
Does anyone know what age that playwright is, Stephen Callaghan? The chances are, he hasn’t been taught the faith either, and has been brought up on the “Jesus was a Socialist” garbage.
I Googled and found his website
Although it doesn’t give his age (not that I could see, even when I downloaded his CV, doesn’t seem to be there), it’s obvious that he is popular with people who’ve graced the CT newsletter and blog many times, LOL! Archbishop Conti (who boasted in the secular press when he first came to Glasgow that he doubted God’s existence!) and the Bishop of Paisley, John Keenan, plus men from the archdiocesan offices, like Ronnie Convery!
When I looked at his CV I was appalled to see one of his plays (Christmas) entitled “A wean in a manger” – obviously a clever (he thinks) play on the Christmas carol, “Away in a manger”.
I’ve not seen any of his works so I did look at the site and CV with as open a mind as possible, trying to be fair, but I really don’t feel attracted to attending any of his plays and I couldn’t recommend them to others, either.
This meditation – often dressed up as ‘mindfulness’ has many dangers, as psychiatrists are beginning to find out:-
I could paste more links – but I have had personal experience of ‘mindfulness’ teachers as Editor knows through personal correspondence with myself. My neighbour is a ‘mindfulness’ teacher, and you’d be hard-pressed to find a more self-absorbed, selfish and nasty person than her. It doesn’t make you a better person. It’s dangerous and has been cherry-picked from Buddhism by the ‘me, me, me’ generation, as it completely suits their self-deifying agenda.
Those links are dynamite – many thanks for posting them.
Your personal experience of a neighbour who teaches “mindfulness” is also greatly interesting and helpful.
It’s obvious that if the mind is emptied – which is what these meditative techniques aim to do – then something, or someone, some spirit” – will enter in.
These teachers and priests should be explaining that the Rosary, for example, is the best way to meditate because the focus is not on self, not on blanking out what is in our minds, but on focusing on the events in the life of Christ and Our Lady’s part in them.
I read something a while back that was from a psychiatric study or article of some kind, in which it stated that the Rosary was proven to be beneficial to mental health, that the chanting of the prayers and the calming of the mind to concentrate on the mysteries, did help get rid of stress. That makes sense.
The problem is, teachers and priests don’t pray the Rosary themselves, most of them, which is why they can’t teach their pupils. It’s a crying shame that they’ve replaced that Catholic meditation with eastern religions’ practices.
I found this video of “Laurence Freeman” – it doesn’t say whether he’s a priest or not and he’s not wearing a collar (how surprising, LOL!) but I think it’s too coincidental that there are two Laurence Freemans selling meditation (at a mental health retreat). I’ve only watched the start of it as it’s over an hour long but it might be of some interest to bloggers, so I thought I’d “share” since he says “sharing” is so important LOL!
I’ve now found a much shorter video of Fr Laurence Freemans speaking about meditation and it’s obvious that he is speaking about emptying the mind (focusing on a word – the Holy Name of Jesus is reduced to a “word”, not THE “Word”, one that he suggests) but not thinking of the meaning, mind needs to be emptied. It really is diabolical. Imagine if that was how we prayed the Rosary, just repeating the words without trying to meditate on the meaning of each mystery!
“Catholic Church in Scotland A Danger to Spiritual Health? Sadly, Yes…”
…Not only in Scotland; all over the world, you should specify, alas!…
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