Schools in a state
From Miss Isabel Vaughan-Spruce SIR – I feel it is vital that I respond to Austen Ivereigh’s misleading letter (Sept 2) concerning the Catholic Action Group. I don’t know whether to refer to Dr Ivereigh’s beliefs as wishful thinking or wilful ignorance but he is at the very least incredibly naïve. I quote his letter: “Let me spell out: there is no Catholic school in Britain, joint or otherwise, in which Catholic children are being taught less than the Catholic faith in its integrity.” Let me tell Dr Ivereigh about my Catholic education, received at a convent school. While still under the age of 16, I was taken with my classmates to what had formerly been our school chapel. The Blessed Sacrament had been removed but the altar still remained in place and it was in front of this we sat as we were all instructed about “safe sex” (the great misnomer). Our teacher made no attempt to keep her pupils safe from sin, since we were not taught about abstinence before marriage, love, chastity or Church teaching on contraception. We were all given a plastic model and a condom and then told to practise putting the condom on and taking it off again. When I refused to join in I was ridiculed and humiliated by the teacher.
Dr Ivereigh, if this is truly your idea of Catholic teaching please, for your own sake and for the sake of others whom you influence, read your Catechism.
I have friends who attended Catholic schools from the age of four to 16. Despite being intelligent and attentive, they have no idea what the Catholic Church teaches on important issues, let alone why.
If Dr Ivereigh is expressing his own personal opinions in his letter then it is both unnecessary and misleading for him to be referred to as “Director for Public Affairs of the Archbishop of Westminster”.
If he is expressing the opinions of Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O’Connor then I trust that the absolute necessity for the CAG is now a little clearer to all.
Yours faithfully, ISABEL VAUGHAN-SPRUCE Malvern Link, Worcs