Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Are Irish Catechetics a disaster? Looks like it.

Speaking about right of Catholic schools being just that in a pluralist society, Dr Diarmuid Martin of Dublin today had stiff comments to say about effectiveness of Catholic schools and catechetical programmes. Has the penny finally dropped about the total failure of present catechetical programmes used in Catholic schools to convey knowledge never mind commitment, to young Irish people. Eanna Johnson has a fine number of studies about deficiencies of AliveO programmes here.

Archbishop Martin says Catholic school identity at risk
CATHOLIC SCHOOLS must not water down their identity to conform with a more pluralist society, the Archbishop of Dublin Dr Diarmuid Martin said yesterday.

At a conference to mark the first Catholic Schools Week in the Republic, Dr Martin said the Catholic school system had its rightful place within a multicultural society.

“Pluralism does not mean watering down identity. Indeed, a Catholic school which waters down its identity waters down its real contribution to society and renders itself useless,” he said.

“The survival of Catholic education in Ireland will not depend on it fitting in to an overall pluralist secularist philosophy, but on it being fully Catholic, bringing that specific contribution of the message of Jesus Christ to society........"

The archbishop also questioned the success of Catholic schools in passing on the faith to young people.

“What are we to say about a Catholic school system and catechetical programmes which have produced the numerically largest cohort of unchurched young people in recent Irish history?” he asked.

“Irish young people are among the most catechised in western Europe, with religious instruction right through primary and secondary school, and yet we cannot say that they are among the most evangelised.

“Indeed, the biggest challenge that I, as archbishop, see for the church in Dublin is precisely that of the evangelisation of young people and their insertion as true and committed members of a believing and worshipping community.”.......

Bishop Leo O’Reilly, chair of the Bishops Commission for Education, said it was important that Catholic schools became more conscious of their identity as the schools system became more pluralist.

Souce: The Irish Times Tuesday Jan 27, 2009.

1 comment:

  1. Lisa, ex Dublin Alma Mater: Mater Dei and now Baltimore USApril 29, 2009 at 9:44 AM

    As a catechist in Irish schools - secondary schools - for more than 20 years, I can safely say that this comment is the most disengenous thing ever said by the leader of the Biggest Diocese in the country, who was out of it for more than 25 years, and who is the pastor of the College who trains nearly all of the country's most qualified catechists (Mater Dei). All of whom will tell you face to face, that it's the LACK of support emnbedded in this comment that has the the youth of the country among the most un-evangeliszed.

    To wit: the age old problem: Church v School v Home. For the past 50 years in Ireland the school has been the SOLE catechister, educator, EVANGLELIZER of young people. The Parish system lets us down at every hand's turn and the teaching system ASSUMES faith where the faith hasn't even been planted by the community of faith, never mind grown.

    I now work in a parish in the US where faith is DAILY nurtured and grown and our catechising is done in coperation, colaboration and prayer with our young people.

    Diarmuid Martin would do well to empower those who meet resitance and sneers every day from young people who totally accept that this thing called 'religion' has nothing to do with their lived lives and is just a subject in which they can play 'catch the religion teacher', instead of blaming them and the books.

    Physician heal thyself...