Since faith is one, it must be professed in all its purity and integrity". Pope Francis/Pope Benedict

Tuesday, 6 March 2012

Yet Another Catholic Association Bites The Dust

This is unfortunately an all too common situation. Perhaps it might be useful to look into exactly how this happens. It has been going on for a very long time, as far back as Constantine in fact. Once the Church got imperial patronage it became advantageous for unscrupulous people to become Christian in order to curry favor with the emperor. In fact it was one of the motivating factors behind the monastic movement in the centuries following Constantine.

Sometimes this happens all too innocently with the best of motives. The Out of the Cold program was begun by people who simply wanted the churches to provide overnight shelter for the homeless. Soon representatives from the city approached the organizers and offered a stipend for each homeless person accommodated. All that was required was for each person to sign in. From this first intrusion the city's involvement grew and today Out of the Cold is coordinated by the municipal government.

I would like to say I am surprised at the situation facing the separate schools today. The system is seriously broken but if you look back you realize it was flawed from the beginning. Offers of support from the government ought to be looked on as a very mixed blessing. Ever increasing dependence on government eventually results in loss of control and, in some jurisdictions, the loss of a separate school system entirely. We are currently witnessing demands being made on Catholic schools regarding GSA groups in Ontario and mandated religion courses in Quebec.

If you wish to have Catholic schools which will maintain their Catholic identity then they must be locally sponsored, integrated into the life of the parish and under the auspices of the local bishop. Expecting the government to maintain the integrity of Catholic schools through legislation or even constitutional guarantees is guaranteed to cause problems. Sooner or later they will ask something of you that you simply can't do and your dependence will leave little choice.

OECTA is an association of separate school teachers, many of whom are simply there because they need the job to support themselves. The sad fact is that the positions taken by OECTA probably do represent the views of their constituency. This means there are many Catholic teachers whose knowledge and practice of their faith is not orthodox. Indeed there are many Catholics who are poorly catechised, misinformed or even in need of evangelization. Who is going bring the gospel to these unfortunate souls?

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