SIR'-As a Catholic school
master, I agree wholeheartedly with the views expressed by Senex Sacerdos on the teaching of religion in Catholic schools. Like him, " I am in despair about our school teaching of the faith," but all the blame must not be laid upon Catholic teachers.
One can easily condemn Catholic teachers for insisting that the children in their classes learn the catechism by heart, but what else is to be done when on examination many priests insist on verbatim catechism answers?
I am a recent convert and the chanting of catechism answers has always puzzled me. Particularly when, as your correspondent so rightly asserts, little is understood of their meaning.
With my own class of boys and girls in a secondary modern school I have taught by means of discussion and reasoning together, with the result that the doctrine becomes real to them.
I was fortunate in having as my class examiner a priest holding the same views as your correspondent. It might not have been so as he readily agreed.
I feel, Sir, that it is not only the teaching of religion in our schools that is at fault, but also the methods by which, in many cases, it is examined.
Catechism answers will not suffice when our children are in factories and offices and may be called upon to defend their Faith.