Elaine Smith, MSP on Contribution of Catholic Schools in Scotland… Priceless!editor
Present in the public gallery watching this recent discussion in the Scottish Parliament, we see Leo Cushley, the Archbishop of St Andrew’s & Edinburgh, Barbara Coupar, the Director of the Scottish Catholic Education Service (SCES), and a group of students.
Not one item on Elaine Smith’s list singles out Catholic schools as being any different from any other school in Scotland or anywhere else in the UK.
Yet, (or which explains why) one Member of the Scottish Parliament (MSP) after another, praised Catholic schools to the skies.
The buzzwords are all there – inclusive, diversity blah blah, how Catholic schools are teaching about all religions, nothing to worry about here. Hiding in plain sight as ever, of course, the fact that the one religion not being taught in Catholic schools is Catholicism. Nobody asked why Catholic pupils are leaving Catholic schools able to name the five pillars of Islam but unable to name the precepts of the Church. I mean who teaches that Sunday Mass attendance is obligatory, any more? Or that sex outside of marriage (between one man and one woman) is sinful? Who teaches that any more? Nothing to see here, move along…
One useful comment in the video comes from Baptist, John Mason, MSP for Glasgow Shettleston – scroll to 39.50, to hear him argue that there should be room in “the public square” for the expression of faith-based values, just as humanists are allowed free rein to express their views.
John Swinney, MSP, SNP Minister for Education, the one and same John Swinney whom we saw squirming in another video as he defended the disgraceful sex teaching materials in use in Scottish schools, also sang the praises of Catholic schools. Pause for thought, right there, folks… He makes a point of telling us that his own son attends a Catholic (shared campus) school, no problem. And why would there be a problem? His son, like every other pupil in any Catholic school in Scotland, is never going to be taught that “outside the Catholic Church there is no salvation” – and other key dogmas. Not in a million years. Which is about as long as it is likely to take to end the current crisis in the Church and get back to teaching the Faith, entire and true, without any watering down to accommodate “society”.
If you haven’t yet booked your ticket for the Catholic Truth Education Seminar scheduled to take place next May, we strongly recommend that you do so as soon as possible – there is, after all, plenty to discuss…
As a matter of courtesy, I’ve emailed the link to this conversation to the three MSPs named in the above commentary – Elaine Smith, MSP, John Mason, MSP and John Swinney, MSP / Minister for Education in the Scottish Government. So, remember the House Rules – no personal remarks, no politics – stick to the issue(s).
The first thing that struck me was that the chamber was almost empty during that supposedly so important debate on the “positive contribution” of Catholic schools in Scotland. I can’t remember who it was, but one MSP actually swept his hand around the room commenting on the attendance showing how important this subject was in Scotland – meaning he thought that was a large attendance, LOL!
There was no shortage of MSPs saying how important the values of Catholic education were but when the values were named, they were things like tolerance, the usual waffle, not real Catholic values such as doctrinal teachings which make Catholic schools Catholic.
What was very interesting was that there were certain Protestant MSPs who were very honest – one in particular who admitted that Scotland’s sectarian problem is actually an anti-Catholic problem. That was refreshingly honest. I need to watch the whole thing again to make a note of the names of the various contributors.
I don’t really see what the point of the debate was, except that the MSPs wanted to distance themselves from the publicity in the press recently about Catholic schools being to blame for sectarian strife – “Scotland’s shame”, as its called.
I agree about the honesty of the Protestant politicians who admitted that there was anti-Catholic bigotry in Scotland. They are to be praised.
Yes, you definitely don’t get any Catholic bigots. It’s impossible, in fact.
Well said – I noticed the near empty chamber as well. Such enthusiasm for Catholic schools, LOL!
I do agree about the honest Protestant MPs – I’ve always respected John Mason, as a man of principle. If only we could get him to become a Catholic, I think he would be the real deal and not be afraid to speak out for the whole truth.
I think it was Joan McAlpine MSP who made the comment about the turnout in Parliament showing that the Parliament was fully behind Catholic schools, LOL! But she didn’t actually sweep her hand around – I’ve just watched it again. I don’t remember anyone else making a comment about turnout, but that doesn’t mean it didn’t happen.
Joan McAlpine MSP says that she went to two Catholic schools and she names them. Then she went on to say that she sends her own children to non-denominational schools but makes the point that these are actually closely linked to the Church of Scotland. She says it is “absolutely not true” to say that we have Catholic schools and non-denominational schools because of the ties to the Church of Scotland, so clearly, she is quite happy for her children to be raised in the Presbyterian “ethos”. She says that her own grandparents and great grandparents came over here from Ireland, so that, and the fact that she was sent to Catholic schools, suggests that she was brought up a Catholic. IMHO, it takes some state of confusion to be all for Catholic schools and defending them, yet sending your own children to what you are saying is a Protestant school. There’s clearly no malice in Ms McAlpine’s heart, LOL!
Again, we hear plenty of talk of the Catholic ethos without anyone defining it. There really isn’t a different ethos in Catholic schools any more, unless you think a statue or a crucifix or two makes an “ethos”.
The truth is, if Catholic schools were doing what they were set up to do which is teach the Catholic religion, the discussion in Parliament would have been very different indeed. They would have castigated the schools as fostering bigotry. It’s only because Catholic schools are like every other school, with a few prayers added on, that the MSPs are keen to support them.
IMHO, that debate was nothing more than an exercise in Public Relations, and the attendance of Archbishop Cushley and Barbara Coupar helped to make that a success, to the uninformed public.
Patrick Harvie, MSP – the first bi-sexual party leader, he co-leads the Green Party – was notable by his absence in the Parliamentary debate, perhaps because he made the headlines some time ago by calling for an end to the funding of Catholic schools. He is a big supporter of gay groups and he bought into their propaganda about Catholic schools causing bullying of gay pupils.
So it was a bit disingenuous of John Swinney to say he was not aware of any “private” conversations of MSPs opposed to Catholic schools. He might have mentioned the very public conversation which Harvie had with the press on the subject!
The Green Party are a Satanic Marxist cult who seek to enforce their ideology on all and sundry. Apart from their completely disgusting views concerning the unborn, their inability to acknowledge that people reserve the right have their children raised in their professed faith is beyond the pale.
Unfortunately, a fair number of Scots choose to select them as their 3rd, or 4th, choice at election time which enables them to display their abhorrent doctrine at Holyrood. FPTP at least ensures that we don’t have to tolerate them at Westminster. Thank God.
Why are Catholics opposed to the ending of ‘Catholic schools’ if, as is claimed, they’re not ‘Catholic schools’?
The point you seem to be missing is that Catholic schools, not actually teaching the truths of the faith any more, are not really Catholic schools at all.
Pope John Paul II realised this when he said in his letter to Bishops, Veritatis Splendor, that the name “Catholic” had to be removed from institutions which were not, in fact, Catholic at all. That means any Catholic schools and hospitals which are at odds with Catholic teaching, have to remove their claim to being Catholic by removing “Catholic” from their name. Sorry if that sounds convoluted but I hope you get the point.
There is an argument for keeping them open anyway for now, because when this crisis in the Church passes and modernist heresies are banished, then we can restore the schools to what they should have been doing all along – teaching the Catholic religion, not every other religion on the planet, instead.
I don’t think I am missing the point. I think I’m making that point. I read on here that ‘Catholic schools’ aren’t really ‘Catholic schools’ and are just the same as any other school. Yet when someone suggests just having, well, schools, they’re shouted down for it.
Either ‘Catholic schools’ are unique or they aren’t.
I would say that the tragedy of Catholic schools not teaching the true faith is real. This is in part due to liberalism and in part due to restrictions on free speech. However, the sacraments of Jesus continue to be taught and made available there. That’s what makes Catholic schools unique. Also, a protection is afforded against the worst of John Swinney’s RSHP materials. I believe Catholic schools are compromised but worth praying for and worth saving.
Sorry, but you really are missing the point. The point is not whether Catholic schools are unique or not, it’s about whether they are doing what they were set up to do, which is teach the Catholic religion, and that they are not doing. So, on those grounds, given the advertising standards rules, they really should be closed but then again, we are living in unusual times, with a massive crisis in the Church so I can see the argument for keeping them alive until things are normalised again.
I must say, I’m curious that nobody has commented on the awful chamber of the Scottish Parliament. It’s horrible. The wooden chairs, semi-circular setting and not at all friendly or warm in appearance. I much prefer the green benches in the Westminster Parliament. At least we know who’s who, Government and Opposition, unlike the mish-mash setting at Holyrood. As for the outside of the Scottish Parliament – shudder! To think it costs millions over budget and looks downright hideous.
I agree about the dreadful Scottish Parliament building, both outside and inside. It’s really horrible. The only consolation is that it wasn’t designed by a Scot. It was a Spanish architect, so there’s another reason to leave the EU, LOL!
The cold looking chamber, with plain wooden seats is really pathetic. It’s not as if they planned it that way to save money – as you say, the whole thing was well over the budget and cost a fortune.
Most Catholics defend Catholic schools for the same reason they defend Vatican II – because they don’t realise the reality of what has happened in the Church. Now we have several generations who have been taught in the modernist system, so they really do not know the faith any more than any non-Catholic would know it.
Personally, I can’t see any point in the modernist version of Catholic schools, because teaching “tolerance, respect, concern for the needy” etc are universal values which you will get in any school, whatever its “ethos”.
At least that’s a consistent viewpoint.
Funny you should mention being taught “tolerance, respect” etc. in school. Those deceptive buzzwords were never heard when I went to (public) school. In fact, they weren’t even heard in church (I was raised as a Protestant, but I couldn’t tell you what their “ethos” is).
What we got in school was just readin’, writin’ and ‘rithmatic, and a trip to the Principal’s office if we misbehaved. No social engineering anywhere to be found, none needed, and none asked for.
All this nonsense about teaching tolerance and respect blah blah, was ALWAYS covered in Catholic schools through imparting Christ’s teaching about charity. Our Lord taught us to “love our enemies” which surely takes care of all the “hate” crime baloney. Tolerance and respect are NOT “Gospel values”. They are elementary human values, implicit in the Gospel but “Gospel values” are much more demanding. Read on…
If a Catholic falls into the sin of hating anyone, he/she must confess that, make reparation – which can take various charitable forms – and start to behave properly towards everyone. No need to call the cops.
The command of Christ to “go into the whole world, baptising them in the Name of the Father, Son and Holy Ghost” does not mean that we are to force anyone into the Faith; it means making sure that we do whatever is within our power to bring Christ and His Church to the awareness of others. Nor does it mean that we are permitted to hate anyone who adheres to any other creed or none. St Paul tells us that of the virtues “Faith, Hope and Charity”, the greatest is Charity.
So, there’s no need whatsoever for all the silliness about teaching tolerance and respect, blah blah. Except, perhaps, to those who do NOT follow Christ and are therefore unclear about how to treat others, especially those with whom we disagree or may be tempted to hate. Loving that person whom we are tempted to hate, going out of our way to do good to that enemy, THAT is a “Gospel value”. Making every effort to help save souls from eternal suffering in Hell, as opposed to the nonsense of “saving the planet” – THOSE actions reflect “Gospel values”.
In addition to your points about what’s already covered by Catholic teaching, there is a very serious – even deadly – problem with this ubiquitous “tolerance and respect” theme.
Namely, those words conceal a radical cultural Marxist agenda, and their real meaning and intent is this: abandon your Christian faith and convictions and accept that which is unacceptable (perversion and depravity) as perfectly normal, as a basic courtesy to others.
And that concealed definition and intent morphed, soon enough, into “accept the unacceptable or be punished, ” thus proving that the theme was a deception and a fraud to begin with.
I had come back in to point out something I’d overlooked earlier. And it is this…
While tolerance and respect are implicit in the Gospel (Our Lord’s concern for the hungry who were following Him to hear His teaching, for example – miracle of the Feeding of the 5,000; his toleration of the abuse dished out to Him by his enemies) there is also evidence of him being justly angry and showing – what the worldlings and the PC brigade today would consider – marked IN-tolerance and LACK of “respect”.
When Our Lord threw the money changers out of the Temple, using a corded whip to get his “In-tolerance” across, He was rising above the apparent “values” of this world, to show right-thinking and correct priorities.
God first. God comes first. Mock God, misuse His holy place, Christ was teaching the money changers, and you will soon come to understand that there are some things NOT to be tolerated, times when human beings are not legitimately owed “respect”.
We must, for example, hate sin, and the love we must have for the sinner is the kind of love which seeks to correct him/her in their error because they are endangering their eternal salvation NOT because they should be supported in their immoral, albeit politically correct
I just wanted to throw that into the mix – adding that I do agree with your analysis in paragraph 2 of your latest comment. Spot on…
There is still a point.
I taught briefly in a couple of non-Catholic schools as a supply teacher. Those were positive experiences but I found it very painful not to be able to evangelise.
I am therefore grateful that the Holyrood speakers affirmed support for Catholic schools. It has alleviated the alarm I felt recently at the ex-policeman’s comments and at Patrick Harvie’s negativity.
The names of Jesus, Mary and the saints would not be heard by the majority of pupils without Catholic schools.
I’m sorry that was your experience in the non-denominational sector but from my own experience, it is just not true to say that the names of Our Lord and Our Lady would not be heard by the majority of pupils without Catholic schools. [Catholic schools and priests used to teach us to use the Holy Names sparingly, not least because we are supposed to bow our heads at the Holy Name of Jesus when we hear it! ]
I have been Head of RE in several Catholic AND non-denominational schools and – not sure about right now but – the subject used to be taken seriously enough in the non-denominational sector. Indeed, I can remember commenting that – generally speaking – the pupils were more receptive to lessons than is often the case in Catholic schools. Colleagues would opine that this may be the result of coming from irreligious homes – could be. However, given the lapsation rate of pupils in the Catholic sector even before they leave school, I’m not sure there’s much difference in that respect.
As trainee Catholic teachers, it was made clear to us that we must NOT evangelise. We were to follow the “neutral” approach advocated in the non-denominational sector where the teaching was “about” religion – learning what various religions teach – but emphatically not “as if true”. That was “indoctrination”.
Years later, when he was first appointed Director of the Scottish Catholic Education Commission, Michael McGrath wrote in his first column in the Scottish Catholic Observer that Catholic schools were not about imparting any particular “faith tradition” but about providing a “spiritual dimension” to education. I later heard him say this at a conference in the Diocese of Motherwell, with the then Bishop (Devine) sitting alongside and apparently in full agreement. So, clearly, Catholic schools have adopted exactly the rationale used in non-denominational schools, although I accept that there will be exceptions, in that some teachers will do their utmost to provide the kind of committed teaching required of those employed in Catholic schools. They were built so that the Faith could be passed on, undiluted, to the next generation, both through the systematic teaching of doctrine and custom, coupled with the example of teachers who were imparting the Faith with conviction Yip, by indoctrinating pupils – that is, teaching the Faith as if true. Which it is.
Nobody, however, should confuse “indoctrination” with “brainwashing”. Catholics have always lapsed. Well, some have lapsed. But just as there will always be some people who break the law of the land, that’s no excuse for not indoctrinating the public so that they know and understand what the law requires of them.
I hope, on reflection, Pauline, you will come to agree with me. It’s always the safest path… 😀
I’ve just been watching a bit of the video again and I noted that Joan McAlpine MSP makes the very common mistake of thinking that education in Scotland really only began and flourished at the Reformation, under the Church of Scotland. This is not true.
There were schools already in existence before the Reformation, and when the new Protestant movement first tried to set up a school in every parish, they failed due to not having the financial resources.
If you read the books on the Reformation written by the historian Eamon Duffy, he points out that the people at the time – that is, the Catholic people – were very well educated and articulate about their religion.
So, that’s one myth that really needs to be put to bed.
I have no experience of Scottish Catholic schools but my experience of them in England is probably relevant. At one time we wanted to remove one of our sons from the local Catholic primary and send him to a nonCatholic independent school. We asked our priest for advice about this anD he said that there was no evidence of greater lapsation from children at non Catholic schools. Catholic teaching and ethos in the home was far more important. My son is still a practising Catholic as is his brother. Thank God.
Recently we were talking to a local parish priest about Catholic schools. He said that generally primary schools were fine but not secondary. If a child goes there as a practising Catholic he is likely to have stopped going to church after a couple of years. The reason? The child will be mocked for taking his faith seriously. Whereas at the local nondenominational school there’s no mockery because no one cares! If true that is terrible. At the parish we go to there are two Catholic schools, primary and secondary, both excellent academically. A Holyday of Obligation fell during the last half term but at the morning mass our small grandchildren and one other child were the only children there. There are hardly any teenagers at the Sunday Masses. It is a tragedy.
Archbishop Ward (of Cardiff) said years ago that parents ought to send their children to the local non-denominational school as they would be less likely to lose the Faith than at the (by then, modernist) Catholic schools. Daphne McLeod of Pro Ecclesia et Pontifice often quoted him on that.
As for your son not being mocked because “no-one cares” – that may be true of some, but it is also the case that very often pupils from irreligious homes actually admire pupils with religious beliefs, and will listen to their views with the much lauded “respect” and “tolerance” we keep hearing about, and this not because it’s the fashion, but because of a natural curiosity. Religion is not something they know about first-hand, so it’s of interest when one of their peers is practising their religion and not afraid to speak about it.
These pupils are often very interested in the practicalities of religious belief. In lessons; when explaining – for example – Baptism, and asking for volunteers to role play the priest/vicar, Godparents etc in order to act out a Baptism, there’s never (in my experience) any shortage of hands up, bodies stretching across desks!
Similarly, when offered the chance to dress up, e.g. wearing a Jewish prayer shawl etc., volunteers abound. So, there is an interest, certainly in some pupils. The missing link of course, is personal belief, because, of course, there’s a lot more to that than merely a weekly RE lesson, whether in a Catholic or a non-denominational school.
All I can say about Catholic schools is that I don’t know any young people attending one, who practise the faith.
I watched the video but it’s everyone saying more or less the same thing, and I’m sure it’s all a PR exercise. Everyone began by saying they supported Elaine Smith’s motion, so it was a bit like “we’re all here to support our friend and colleague” more than any meaningful statement about Catholic education.
Still, I’m sure the MSPs who spoke mean well, and like others, I was impressed with the Protestants who spoke to decry accusations that Catholic schools cause sectarianism. To cause sectarianism they would need to teach the Catholic religion and they obviously don’t! It’s very sad, really. I was lucky to have been at a good Catholic school many moons ago, but there’s no way pupils are being taught the same doctrines and morals that I was taught. If they were, they wouldn’t be cohabiting etc.
Could I suggest that we pray especially to our national patron saint, St Andrew, for our schools this week, his feast day being on Saturday?
I’m just curious – did any of the MSPs you sent the link to, reply?
Can someone tell me what so called MSPs are supposed to do . I personally have never known or even looked to see who mine is as it’s probably the useless Marxist Scottish Nationalist anyhow. Just the other day our Labour Councillor came to my door and Joked with me . She asked if I was going to Vote For Labour in the upcoming General Election. 🙈 I of course said no and said that I probably wouldn’t Vote For the First Time in my Life if there wasn’t a Christian Independent or Scottish Family Party Member standing. On reflection to that al Vote Tory . Not that where I stay will affect wee Sturgeon and Her Cohorts as she’ll probably win . The only thing not in the SNPs favour is at least 16 year olds can’t Vote .
I am hereby tempted to use the old joke “Is the Pope Catholic?” But some less informed readers might think I was saying, yes, the MPSs replied.
You kidding me?
Listen, all the talk of being tolerant of the views and beliefs of others, all the talk about respecting others, no matter what… none of that applies to us, nor to any other fully believing “traditional” Catholic. I use the inverted commas (again) simply to underline the fact that at one time, there was no other kind of Catholic because we ALL had to adhere to both Scripture and Tradition. Terms such as “liberal” have now crept in but search as I may, and I have done, I cannot find any word or phrase, from the beginning to the end of the Bible, equivalent to “liberal”. Nothing.
So, no, none of the MSPs replied, or even acknowledged my email. However, I think it’s the greatest insult I can offer, when I say that I really didn’t expect a reply from any of them.
That’s disappointing. You’d think the MSPs who bleat on about tolerance and respect would at least have the manners to acknowledge an email. It’s really laughable how politicians love to sound like goody-two-shoes but are the very opposite in reality. “Respect” my foot!
Ed yes there was a time that as a Catholic that’s what you were . Not as some idiots now say Mad Trads . I actually blogged with a Guy who made that comment and asked what he Meant. Of course kinda knew that he meant someone who attended a Latin Mass . But he even sort of went beyond that ( AKA a Jimmy Martin sort of Catholic ) as one who doesn’t need to examine their Conscience before going to receive Holy Communion. Also on the Catholic Schools. I speak to a teacher who you probably will know who frequently attends the TLM in our Parish. Last year he was at a prize giving in a local high school where the Head Teacher played Imagine by John Lennon over and over . He said to her that that was not appropriate for a Catholic School. She rubber eard him of course. Imagine that . Sorry for bringing Jimmy into the Equation but I suppose like me you’ve heard that They ( whoever They are ) are probably going to make him a Bishop. God Help Us .
The link below leads to a report on Church Militant (I know, I know… hang on, there IS a very good reason…)
I will also post it on the thread entitled English Bishops STEEPED in Evil… and on the thread on Muslim Parents fighting the No Outsiders programme in Birmingham schools. As you will see when you read the above report, shockingly this programme has been welcomed into Catholic schools in England as well.
Confession time… apart from the report offering excellent coverage of the issues, the author, Dr Jules Gomes, quotes (drum roll)… Catholic Truth !
So, c’mon – I had to break my self-imposed ban… didn’t I ? 😀
Yes, you definitely had to break the Church Militant ban, LOL!
That is a great report, dealing very well with the issues and exposing the Archbishop of Liverpool and his education committee as utterly dishonest. I can’t get over the fact that they openly say to cover up the truth, that they are using the No Outsiders LGBT programme by giving it another name. What dishonesty. Saying that, Archbishop McMahon was appointed by Pope Francis, so that alone tells us that he is bad news.
It was good to see Catholic Truth quoted, linking to the September newsletter. I hope loads of people read it and see that Scotland’s bishops are very bad on this issue as well.
I agree – that’s a really first class report on a very shocking subject, but I don’t think anyone can be too surprised that there are English dioceses using the No Outsiders programme. They have gay Masses in London, so if the Cardinal is weak on this, it’s hardly surprising that the rest of the bishops are, as well.
I keep hearing that there are a couple of good bishops in England but where are they, what are they doing and saying that is any different from the rest? Are they using this disgraceful homosex programme in their schools?
I wouldn’t be one bit surprised if this same teaching was going on in Catholic schools because we already know that they teach to the LGBT+ agenda and even have “safe spaces” for LGBT+ pupils in Catholic schools. This seems to be accepted by the majority of parents. It’s all more evidence of the apostasy referred to by Pope John Paul II.
What stands out for me in that report is the fact that the bishop’s spokesperson at the Catholic education service was willing to lie to cover up the fact that they are using the No Outsiders programme. That’s a disgrace.
Spot on I also argued with a Guy about History, saying that our kids should be taught REAL history instead of a Bunch Of Homosexuals Stonewall Rioting. I said that my Granddaughters don’t need to hear about that . He disagreed of course, he would as he was of the LGBTQ2WXYZ mob Variety ,but said he was a Christian. I of course said that he then must know he’s leading a perverted way of life . Of course he said no ,a bit like Mayor Pete.
Is anybody really surprised that the English Catholic bishops are supporting the No Outsiders programme?
As we’ve been warned in the CT newsletter more than once, we need to brace ourselves for some real homosexual shock “outings” among the bishops of the UK. It should be obvious by now.
Michaela (and FOOF),
I suspect the Lavender Mafia, which clearly includes a majority of English bishops, has been waiting for decades for this Pope.
I’ve been trying to find evidence of known homosexual bishops in the UK, but there isn’t the same paper trail as there is in your part of the world. In the USA there are known homosexual bishops, some who have been notorious like Archbishop Rembert who had used $450,000 of archdiocesan funds to cover legal cases when he was accused of sexual harassment. Over here, though, there hasn’t been the same openness. I’m guessing that is still to come!
I missed out the Archbishop’s surname – Rembert Weakland.
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