Tuesday, 21 May 2013

A 'Catholic' school provides a prayer room for students

Excellent, well done and jolly good show you might say.

But, me, being of the curmudgeonly inclination, I think not.

The very phrase 'Prayer Room' summons up images of a room set aside for the use of Muslim students or, (horror of horrors) the ubiquitous ecumenical room where all sorts of odd denominations hold sway.

Now this particular Catholic School is in a well heeled area, Hove, on the outskirts of Brighton, and I have written about it in the past and of how they hold, or used to hold, ecumenical services.

Not good, in a Catholic school, not really much good anywhere, after all, just what is the point?

Now Cardinal Newman School, for such it is, actually has a rather beautiful and grand chapel; the original prayer room, if you like.

But, instead of using this sacred space they have created a prayer room that looks as if it caters rather more for the Primary rather than the Secondary pupil.

           This is the school's Corpus Christi Chapel but heaven knows what's going on in it!

The video clip on the link below carries the usual silly sort of quotes along the lines of "pupils feel comfortable in it" (the new prayer room).

But really, Bishop Conry needs to man up and squash this whole lunatic concept and drag the school back to sound Catholic practice.

H/T to A & B News Blog (although, I suspect that they think the concept is great).
There is a link to a video on the A & B post.


  1. Looking at the picture it's hard to believe it's the same chapel where I made my First Confession. It was the chapel of the Sacred Heart convent.
    A&B has been very unlucky in its bishops. The policies of the first, David Cashman, who was educated at a private Catholic school, resulted three convents in Brighton and Hove - the Sacred Heart, Lourdes and the Blessed Sacrament convents - closing down and moving away.
    The rot was continued through CMOC's tenure and sealed by Conry.
    The Sacred Heart site was taken over by the comprehensive Cardinal Newman school attended by my now non-practising Godson; he, among many, I have no doubt. If there are tears in Heaven, Blessed John Henry, Cardinal Newman, must be shedding them.

  2. Welcome to my Diocese...

  3. I have to say the even bigger issue here is that they say that they brought in a non-descript Christian charity 'Off the Wall' (i.e. non-Catholic) to create the space. This is a far worse mistake.

    By doing this they are effectively saying to two thousand school children that all the other denominations are equal to the Catholic Church, which as we all know is incorrect.

    The sooner ecumenism is scrapped (or taught to Catholics correctly) the better.

  4. OPN, many thanks for pointing that out. I am sure CNS is not alone in its liberal ways and that many (most) Catholic schools are the same.

    Ah, Genty, didn't realise it was Pre Ref! :)

    Annie, perhaps Menevia could twin with A & B!

  5. I have arranged the vestry at the back of the chapel at one of my schools for the muslim boys to pray at lunch time. If you wish to write about it after you've recovered from the vapours, email me on my google address. Photos will be provided if you like.

    I however, am thrilled they want to pray, I have a feeling the Father's happy to hear from them also.

  6. The video seems to confuse prayer - the raising of the heart and mind to God- with relaxation.

  7. Deacon Flavin, no I am not having an attack of the vapours. I have, in the past provided prayer rooms for Muslim students in many educational establishments, all of them secular. And that, really, is the point. A Catholic School should be just that. You will not find a Catholic Chapel in any Islamic School, I guess in the whole world. As for making the 'Father happy', I think that Almighty God would be sad that these young people do not recognise His Divine Son and that members of His Church are contributing to that lack of belief.

  8. Patricius, absolutely...more common room than prayer room (or possibly, common prayer room).

  9. I make no secret of being dense so sorry for that. But how does having a prayer room contribute to a lack of belief please?

  10. Deacon Flavin, I am sure you are aware that Muslims deny the Divinity of Jesus Christ, therefore, to permit erroneous acts of religious worship in a Catholic school would be quite wrong. If you do not mind I would like to post on the subject and glean some responses.
    Furthermore, does your Muslim Prayer Room admit female Muslim students and, if so, do they worship with the males?
    Also, you appear to have ignored my point about equality within the Islamic faith. I wonder why

  11. 1-Girls have been in there with the chaps yes, and praying has gone on, I've been in the sacristy at the time and heard it. Although my understanding is that males and females pray differently, the school was asked for somewhere for them to pray, not how to pray, we can trust them with that as much as we can trust the chaps who pray the rosary in the chapel on the days I am not there. So that's what we gave them, a place to pray.

    2-the point on equality within the Islamic faith? Which one, it escaped me, sorry, mea culpa.

    I'm still not sure how praying leads to a lack of belief though.

  12. Deacon Flavin, there is an intrinsic lack of belief if they do not recognise Christ as the Son of God. Your school should not be part of that process.
    Why go to a Catholic School if you are a Muslim? What is the point?
    If Muslims feel that they should attend a Catholic School there should be an opportunity for them to opt out of attending religious services but we should not be providing them with resources for the development of their own faith. Simple as that.

  13. Are/were you involved in Catholic Education Sir?

  14. Tony Flavin @ 10.59am. If you were addressing me, I have never been involved in Catholic Education. If I had been I would certainly not have provided facilities for other faiths.

  15. Yep, sorry, that was to you. Thank you.

  16. I stand corrected, the girls weren't in there praying, they joined in a discussion, it was only the once I hear.

    They would not pray with the boys.

    Just like our girls don't get into seminary. Or are an abomination on the sanctuary, to some.

  17. The comment box is now closed on this issue, thank you.