Seen on the web: Reader comment about Catholic Schools Week.

Posted by Bob on Wednesday, Jan 30, 2013 4:59 PM (EDT):

“Why did God make you? God made me to know Him, to love Him, to serve Him in this world, and to be happy with Him forever in the next.”

Perhaps not many remember this question and answer from the Baltimore Catechism, but these few lines say so much. Having asked Catholic school students this question, they “danced” all over searching for a satisfactory response. Telling them the answer and they not only understood, but committed it to memory and were able to write a short essay on its meaning. How thousands of children once learned their Faith is now a thing of the past (and generally a taboo subject among administrators).

Likewise are the sheer numbers of school-age students who know little of Catholicism, because some 80% of them do not/cannot attend Catholic school.

Historically, the Plenary Councils of Baltimore set forth the manner in which our Faith was to be accorded to Catholics. The 19th Century councils recognized that public schools were generally detrimental to Catholics and set forth certain guidelines for bishops and their clergy that are certainly applicable today, among which are:

A Catholic school in every parish (where rudimentary Gregorian chant should be taught);
Textbooks should not contain items contrary to the Faith; and
It was desired that parochial schools be free.

Instead of building cathedrals (most new ones are monstrosities anyway), buying real-estate and other expenditures, how about committing these monies to Catholic education?

This “New Evangelization” must start on a firm basis – bishops already don’t pay teachers what their public school counterparts receive and they don’t allow unions to exist within their (arch-) dioceses (though every pope in the modern era has said it is the right of every worker to organize) and many non-Catholics attend our schools (and some teachers are not Catholic either).

How does one explain that ¾ of all students are at the elementary school level, while the remaining ¼ are in high school, where the attendant costs double – what happens to those thousands who can’t go to a Catholic high school? We’ve all seen “scholarships” given to the Protestant quarterback from a public high school – you see it at Catholic colleges for that matter. Is this fair? The charge that Catholic schools are only for the rich seems increasingly true.

Many clerics have said the Church is under siege from a government that sees no value in what our Church (and its schools) provide. Perhaps it is time to relearn from our past and set our priorities anew.


My response to a reader comment shocked me.


Remembering simpler times. Were they really better?

by Doug Lawrence

Responding to a recent comment about the teachings of the pre-Vatican II Catholic Church, I wrote:

I lived during the era of the pre-Vatican II Church, so I’m an eye-witness.

Way back then, 75% of Catholics attended Mass every Sunday. Urban renewal projects had yet to break up and disperse faithful Catholic communities. Contraception and abortion were not yet central issues of the day. The clarity of Catholic teaching was superb.

The quality of Catholic schools was excellent and the tuition was easily affordable, even for families with many children. Catholic churches were beautiful. Men and women religious were numerous, orthodox, and wholly dedicated to their work.

The liturgy was traditional, Latin, and quite adequate. The seminaries had yet to be liberalized and feminized, so there was an abundance of good priests available to serve the needs of most parishes.

In those days, the Catholic Church was respected, all around the world. We had a strong Pope in the Vatican, no nonsense bishops running most of the dioceses, and Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen proclaiming Catholic truth to the masses every week, on network TV.

Of course, there were a few “bad apples” and scandals, even then. But the pre-Vatican II church knew how to properly handle them.

Then there was Vatican II … somebody put the radicals in charge … the church tore itself apart, lost its focus, along with much of its good sense, and with a few exceptions, things have been going downhill ever since. 

Were things really that good, back then? Comments, anyone?

Thanks to Cathy for the original comment!