Friday, 9 March 2012

'Catholics' final episode and some more on the Schools issue

Last night BBC Four screened the final part in its mini series, 'Catholics'.

I watched with as charitable an eye as possible, it had been previewed as being about women in the Catholic Church which I interpreted to be about the issues of participation in a liturgical sense whereas it seemed to focus on women in the church volunteer sense. So be it.

There was some good and some less than good; the programme showed up the beauty and wonder of the "Mother Church" of English and Welsh Catholics, Westminster Cathedral, a place that, during my childhood seemed ever clad internally in scaffolding (no, they were not building it silly, I am not that decrepit, they were finishing the mosaic ceilings).

But the views from the women interviewed, for the most part, were those of Cafeteria Catholicism, they disliked the rigidity of the Church in the 40s and 50s, they disapproved of Catholic teaching on contraception and some of them had quite muddled interpretations as to doctrinal affairs.
It did appear, rather, that when the cameras were on bright, forthcoming young mums, the questions regarding doctrine were held back and saved for others that were featured.

I will not single out individuals as that might be unkind but the programme was probably a pretty fair summary of what modern Catholic women (and men) believe as regard Catholicism.

Having left the Anglican Church for
the Catholic Faith, Cardinal Newman
might well be puzzled at the prospect
of joint Eucharstic Services

And yesterday, I posted on Catholic Schools and one in particular that held an Anglican Eucharistic Service for 300 Protestant students who joined with the school in some sort of mumbo jumbo service.
The comments you may read and they are sound but I have also received a comment from a friend who has inside knowledge of the affairs of this school (Cardinal Newman School, Hove). Hence, my friend must reamin anonymous but this is from their email to me:-


Glad you did Card Newman. I think all the deanery clergy are
unlikely to be supportive of Anglican Eucharist. They are good men and
though they wouldn't criticise it publicly they are very concerned
about it.

Especially that it has 300 Anglicans, you can imagine what
impact that has on the Catholic "ethos".
To the clergy's credit the school is a constant gripe at deanery meetings, so much so that the bishop appointed the charismatic lay chaplains brother as the PP of Hove, in part to forestall complaints I suspect.
Like most Catholic schools it is Catholic in name only.

And in answer to my question, why do Catholic Schools go down this route when we have such richness at our fingertips?

"It is money, the more pupils, the weaker the faith but the bigger the
budget and the higher the

Now it is an undoubted scandal that Catholic Schools (most of them) ride roughshod over Church Law and the Teachings of Christ.
It is a scandal that they, presumably, ignore the requests or commands of their local Bishop.

So we just go back to sitting on our hands and tut tutting.

Well, I think not. The time has come for a petition -
"Oh no!" I hear you cry, "Not another bleep petition" ah.....but this one is to Our Lady and all that is involved is that you say three Hail Marys every day until the end of Lent.

And the petiton is: 'Please intercede with your Blessed Son so that the Bishops will intervene and bring all schools under their control into the fullness of authentic Catholic Teaching and liturgical practice'

That does not have to be uttered word for word, the sentiment will do nicely.

And ask your Bishop what he is doing about the scandal, but is Lent after all.


  1. Richard,
    An excellent post-great appraisal of the final programme! Wonderful insights into the hidden areas and the everyday workings of the Cathedral also! However, I was very impressed by the young mum at the beginning and the lady who had worked in the "Fashion world", who had been away from the Church for years and had just recently returned. the rest I will leave to others to comment.

    God bless.


  2. I thought some of the ladies were shown as almost tending to or patronising, the priests. I don't like that.

    My son's school motto is, 'Fides Petra Nostra' which I believe means, 'Faith is our foundation'. Not knowing Latin, other than at base base level, I would require your confirmation on this.

    There is a large (and I do mean large) Cross at the front of the school building.

    My son got a 'D' in his year 10 R.E exam. The teacher asked him why he didn't put more effort in. He said he wanted to learn about other religions, not just the Catholic faith. She said that as his school was a Roman Catholic school., all religious teaching must have a Roman Catholic basis. He got a 'B' in his next exam, mock GCSE.

    He said to me last night..."Mom, for a religious person, you give a lot of credence to science"

    I was astounded. His grandfather, on his dad's side was a teacher and physicist (clever bloke). Also a strict Roman Catholic trad. Science is in his blood. I was amazed though, that he thought science and religion were enemies.

    I need the names of some famous Catholic scientists....He got an 'A' in his physics mock GCSE!

    1. See "List of Roman Catholic cleric-scientists" on Wikipedia

  3. Ros, I've emailed you a list but, immediately, Galileo, Mendel (work in genetics), Louis Pasteur, Marie Curie are the obvious ones that spring to mind.
    'Faith is our Foundation' is correct - I am not a Latin scholar despite liking the Latin Mass (but I am a Googler).

  4. Ros - PS An A in Physics means that most Universities would bite his arm off!