‘Church education contribution presented negatively’

The Catholic Church’s involvement in education is being portrayed too negatively, Archbishop Diarmuid Martin has said.

He called on Catholic educators not to be discouraged, however, but to appreciate their relevance in society and look at how best they can serve today’s young people.

Dr Martin was addressing members of the Christian Brothers during Mass for the order’s European Province in Dublin when he spoke of Ireland’s changing society and the wealth of statistics he said “would send a saint into despair”.

“In today’s climate of secularisation there is the temptation for men and women of faith to feel that there are people who are out to disconcert us.

“Traditional values are scorned. The contribution of the Church in the area of education is often presented in a negative light. Even the word ‘Catholic’ with reference to education is presented in negative terms, almost as if the Church is at the root of everything that went wrong in Irish society.

“Sadly the Church has provided ample ammunition for such criticism. There is the temptation is such a situation to gather the wagons around us to defence ourselves.

“But I am not one who sets out in the face of this situation in a purely defensive mode. Unjust criticism must be refuted. But we must go deeper in our response.”

Dr Martin said it was important to examine the difference between the way Catholic institutions provided services to the community and the way the State or other non-governmental organisations did so.

“Certainly other organisations can provide better services in a technical sense than we have been providing. They may well have greater resources to do so. We have to focus, however, on what is the essentially different contribution that we as believers are called to bring.”

Ireland was a remarkably young society, he said, giving the example of his own archdiocese which had more people under the age of four than over the age of 70.

“The challenge of authentic education is therefore a vital one for the future of Ireland.

“Even though the Christian Brothers and the Presentation Brothers may not be as present in schools as they were in the past, the witness of the brother who is a man of God, a man of prayer, a man of wisdom, a man who represents the caring embrace of the Church, is vital.”

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About The Voice Of Bombay's Catholic Laity

Bombay Laity Ezekiel’s Chapter 3 Task as Watchman 17 “Son of man, I have made you a watchman for the people of Israel; so hear the word I speak and give them warning from me. 18 When I say to a wicked person, ‘You will surely die,’ and you do not warn them or speak out to dissuade them from their evil ways in order to save their life, that wicked person will die for[b] their sin, and I will hold you accountable for their blood. 19 But if you do warn the wicked person and they do not turn from their wickedness or from their evil ways, they will die for their sin; but you will have saved yourself.
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One Response to ‘Church education contribution presented negatively’

  1. In India, very often we hear terrible criticism about our Catholic schools. Local goons strong arm their way in and make all sorts of allegations and demands; very often they condemn the nuns and priests who head these great institutions; yet they make a bee line and try and get their kids into “convent” schools, because, despite all their bigoted targeting of our schools they know in their hearts our schools and colleges are the best institutions for the education and growth formation of their children. BUT we also have those glaring BAD examples, fortunately very few, of the priests and nuns who act in, what may be considered, a cruel and sometimes sadistic manner. This is part and parcel of life and in every basket there will be some bad fruit.
    All in all where would the education scene be in our country, without our schools ??? NOWHERE

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