Catholic ethos in schools

 

Sir, – Some national politicians have questioned why a Catholic ethos should be present in our schools.

Perhaps the reason lies in the fact that the overwhelming majority of children are from a Catholic background and that their parents have a sneaking feeling that the Catholic ethos is the most compassionate, coherent and comprehensive available. These parents are delighted to see kindness and a belief that our lives have a significance beyond our ability to fit into a consumerist-driven economy taught alongside mathematics, geography, etc.

Those who do not appreciate this are largely unwilling to put the time, effort and money into founding and sustaining schools having an alternative ethos. It would be strange if the presence of children from these parents – who are unwilling to set up their own schools – should result in parish schools dumping what is distinctively Catholic. If the tables were turned, would these parents, having gone to the trouble of setting up their own schools, consider it fair to be forced to abandon their preferred ethos, on account of the presence of a few children from some other backgrounds?

Democracy is founded upon the interchange of ideas, not an obsession with obliterating particular perspectives, Christian or otherwise. The dominant political, media and corporate driven ideology of today’s world casualises sex, relationships and even life itself; marriage, family-life and having children are optional extras. Currently the birth rate of every European country has fallen below its self-replacement value. In other words, we are in the process of self-extermination.

The Christian approach to life, including relationships and our sexuality education, helps our young people to embrace a life of meaning and personal responsibility that is both rewarding and sustainable. It is indeed worthy of our support. – Yours, etc,

GEARÓID DUFFY,

Cork.