MR HARRY BIGGS Davison. Nov 13, shows a surprising ignorance with regard to what Catholic education is about and seems to be re-echoing the plea of the Bishops of England and Wales: "Support Catholic schools at whatever cost".
Well, the cost to many parents today is at the expense of the Catholic faith of their children that faith which above all else they wish their children to grow up in.
Nowadays there is no overall pattern of sound doctrinal teaching in schools. Each school must be examined on its own merits. Many brave parents are making this investigation in the face of fierce opposition and even ridicule.
In the Westminster area a survey is being carried out by Pro Fide (Westminster) on which your correspondent, Mr Christopher Howse, asked Canon Bourne (Head of Westminster Religious Education Council) to comment. His reply was: "Are they concerned to implement the teaching of the Council of Trent? That's where we part company".
Here is a man who has condemned himself out of his own mouth and who is allowed by the authorities to stay in the prominent position which he holds.
Is it to be wondered that in very many cases parents consider it infipitely better to send their children to non-Catholic schools and teach them their faith at home?
Secretary Pro Fide (Westminster) Hayes RELIGIOUS ORDERS working in independent schools have to suffer a great deal of criticism for doing so.
They continue their work because they know, from the inside, that they are not dealing exclusively, or almost exclusively, with the socially privileged insofar as that category has any meaning in assessing pastoral work.
They know they are supplying a need which is real, even if unfashionable. namely the need for boarding education. Who else will provide Catholic boarding schools for those children who, in the judgement of their parents or of professional social agencies, would benefit from boarding education?
The fact that having to pay fees excludes many in this category causes a lot of anguish but is not the fault of the religious orders. They plough back most of their surplus to enable families meet the fees in cases of need.
Perhaps the indignation and the pressure being applied to the orders might more usefully be applied to the Government to assist children to find the education they need.
Religious communities have a place in the church. To disband the monasteries and disperse the members as chaplains in comprehensive schools may meet a short-term need.
But it is to eat the seed-corn in time of famine. It is like asking a man to abandon his wife and children to serve a cause.
Rev B. O'Connor O.S.A.