Thursday, 1 March 2012

Should Catholic Secondary Schools have Catholic teachers?

I mean, could an atheist be employed to teach in a Catholic school?

Or, a Muslim or Sikh teacher?

What are the ramifications for refusing a candidate the post at interview stage if they are not Catholic?

Perhaps a little vote would help me in my conundrum.....please see the sidebar and give your vote.

Thank you


  1. For secular subjects I would say that non catholics are acceptable, provided that they are respectful of the catholic church.

    An atheist is perfectly capable of teaching math. Math is math whether taught by a catholic, protestant, muslim, jewish, agnostic or atheist.

    But it should be very clear that the teachers, whether Catholic or not should not speak out against church teaching, no matter what subject they teach

    At my daughters' elementary school, where here in Ontario the Catholic schools still can insist on Catholic only teachers to teach Kindergarten to Grade 8, some of the biggest antagonism against the church comes from the "catholic" teachers.

    I'd rather have my kid taught math by an atheist who stays out of religion discussions than a poorly catechized catholic any day of the week

  2. Puff has really made me think about my response; we certainly do know Catholics who are anti-Catholic and sometimes Catholic in name only.

    Long ago I taught two years in a Catholic school with many Protestant faculty members. One young teacher was immoral and anti-Catholic both, while others were simply unable to extend / deepen catechesis.

    A Catholic school really should be staffed by Catholic teachers, no exceptions, not because people of other faiths are in any way bad, but simply to keep the milieu consistent.

    I wouldn't obsess on the label; Adolf Hitler attended a Catholic school, as did Mussolini, and Billy Graham attended a public (state) school.

  3. I would imagine that Eastern Orthodox and conservative Anglican teachers might believe a much greater proportion of what is contained in the Catechism of the Catholic Church than would many Catholic teachers.

  4. Teaching staff should be 100 per cent Catholic- if you can get them. On the other hand a Non-Catholic teacher respectful of the Catholic faith and the school's mission is, under certain circumstances, infinitely preferable to a dissident Catholic.

  5. Maybe 6th formers SHOULD meet some noncatholics as teachers.Primary schools and younger teens are different. Would you call "history" anon secualar subject? And mark is in the right of it. Let alone there are atheists and atheists
    And I fear this is nearly the least of the problems of "catholic" education.

  6. Everyone here has made good points and supported them ably, but I remain persuaded that Catholic young'uns should enjoy a zone of freedom in which they can express their youthful reservations and questions in matters of faith without fear of being suppressed for the now-crime of insensitivity.

    After all, when they leave grade school and enter university they will soon enough encounter wild-eyed pagan teachers at, say, Notre Dame in Indiana.

  7. If the Catholic school is to uphold its Catholic character then it must have Catholic teachers. "Catholic character" defined as fit for mission and "Catholic teachers" defined as practising Catholic teachers. From what I understand, the law permits Governing bodies to select Catholics over non-Catholics under the Education Act and Equality laws.

    As to atheists, I have a friend who subs in a Catholic school in the States. Her moral compass is not in conflict with ours, respects our conviction of faith and understands our submission to the authority of the Church. Given a choice, I prefer that type of atheist over some of our “Catholic” teachers.

    God bless.

  8. You know what? The reason why Catholic clergy opened schools and hospitals was to reach out to the poor and needy in Christ's Love AND SPREAD THE GOSPEL. Hello!??

    The Catholic schools and missions should come back to their basic purpose- to spread the gospel...and in this case- a well-catechized Catholics should be given first preference.

    A choice between an ill-informed, CINO and a respectful atheist, go for the one who will do less harm.

  9. Thanks to all of you for providing good advice. It would be hard to put a favourite in there but, if pressed, Patricius has some wise commentsas far as I am concerned.

  10. In Scotland non-Catholics may teach in Catholic schools, but part of the pre-interview process is completing a statement of faith. Senior management, RE teachers, PSE teachers and Guidance teachers must be practising Catholics and receive a reference to that effect from their parish priest.