Catholic World News

Bishop: why maintain schools that are ‘Catholic in name only’?

January 06, 2012

In a New Year’s Day pastoral letter, an English bishop asked the faithful to “join me in grappling with the two-fold task of planning how our diocese’s parishes and schools adapt” to new circumstances and “to make ourselves ready to launch into the challenge of the New Evangelization.”

“We are living through a time of great transition for the Church in which Christianity changes from a religion adhered to by the majority out of social convention to once again being a way of discipleship deliberately chosen by some, but not all; chosen by the faithful out of conviction,” said Bishop Michael Campbell of Lancaster.

He added:

Is it right or sustainable to expect our Mass-going population of 21,000 to support our schools and colleges in which often the majority of pupils, and sometimes teachers, are not practicing Catholics? Is it time for us to admit that we can no longer maintain schools that are Catholic in name only? …

We will not be able to find answers to these questions by human effort and planning alone, but only through a faith that seeks the will of the Father, through the grace of Christ and with the assistance of the Holy Spirit.

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  • Posted by: Te_Deum - Jan. 07, 2012 6:34 AM ET USA

    I'd be satisfied if the bishops and the Holy See would just analyze the works, writings and speeches of theologians at these universities and simply declared them "unfit" to teach on any Catholic campus. Let a university like Notre Dame deal with a loss of the heterodox McBrien

  • Posted by: bkmajer3729 - Jan. 06, 2012 7:49 PM ET USA

    Catholic Schools in this country were created out of a need to serve the Catholic children from immigrants to the US as well as serve the Native Americans. See the many works about St. Catherine Drexel and Saint Elizabeth Anne Seton. Today, the stregth of the pre-Vatican II Catholic subculture is gone - eroded most likely - by widespread acceptance and availability of contraception and proliferation of materialism. Bishop Campbell is on target. We need to authentically live our Faith.

  • Posted by: normnuke - Jan. 06, 2012 2:19 PM ET USA

    I think the original impetus for creating the Catholic School system was the overt anti-Catholicism of the public schools. My daughter's 'Catholic' high school was attended greatly by Hindus in search of prestige and staffed by young women graduates of nominally Catholic Universities. Help me pray that she and my grandchildren will oneday return.

  • Posted by: Lucius49 - Jan. 06, 2012 6:57 AM ET USA

    Why indeed?