Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Catholic Schools and Accommodating Other Religions

This is apparently being pushed in England and Wales, according to the Telegraph.

A document issued by the Catholic Education Service said facilities for other faiths should be made available in all primary and secondary schools if possible. . . The guidance said schools should consider putting aside a prayer room "if reasonably practicable" for use by staff and pupils from other faiths.

Umm . . . Why exactly should we do that?

Schools must foster race relations and religious tolerance to stop communities becoming divided.
It followed a warning from the Commission for Racial Equality that Britain's segregated schools are "a ticking time bomb waiting to explode".

So this just some sort of pre-emptive tactic because we don't think Muslims/Hindus/Jews/whoever can help but blow stuff up? What a wretched thought. If you think I'm exaggerating, check out this bit:

In a further conclusion, schools with large numbers of non-Catholic students are advised to read out "messages of goodwill" at assemblies or send them directly to parents during religious ceremonies. This includes the Jewish, Muslim, Buddhist and Hindu celebrations, the guidance said.

I really think this is an initiative completely motivated by fear. Of course, there's also the chance that this is just another manifestation of ecumenical madness.

The Most Rev Vincent Nichols, Archbishop of Birmingham, and chairman of the Church's education board, said: "Dialogue with other faiths is a consistent theme in the life of the Catholic Church. Such dialogue is conducted in many parishes and neighbourhoods, in colleges, universities and other academic circles."

You know what's a bigger theme? Preaching the Gospel to those who don't have it. Exercising the charity to want others to know the Truth of God. Lawrence of Brindisi wasn't made a Doctor of the Church by Blessed John XXIII because he set up worship sites for non-Catholics or for facilitating their errors. St. Lawrence is most famous because he actively worked to convert these people to the True Faith. Heaven help us if we actually cared enough about people to tell them the Truth.

Oh, and one other thing about that dialogue stuff.

You explain with great clarity that an interreligious dialogue in the strict sense of the term is not possible, while you urge intercultural dialogue that develops the cultural consequences of the religious option which lies beneath. While a true dialogue is not possible about this basic option without putting one’s own faith into parentheses, it’s important in public exchange to explore the cultural consequences of these religious options.

Pope Benedict wrote that in a forward to Marcello Pera's upcoming book. Perhaps the powers pushing this agenda should check themselves for parentheses.

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