Catholic School Closings Could be a Good Thing for Philly Catholics.
How Catholic are today's Catholic schools?
Growing up in a poor family in the South Bronx, my parents were unable to afford a Catholic education for my younger brother and I.
As a practicing Catholic, now in his very early forties, I believe my parent's inability to avail us of Catholic direction within the Church may have actually been a blessing in disguise.
For the days of the strict, no nonsense, ruler-wielding nun, whose passion for authentic Catholic catechizes outweighed both her bark and her bite seems to have exited the class room, decades ago.
In fact, where are the nuns in the Catholic Church today? Anyone see one lately? Anyway... according to a survey conducted in the 1990's, only 30% of Catholics believed in the true presence of Christ in the Eucharist.
Judging by the way many communicants approach our Lord at holy communion, Catholics may not fair much better if the same poll was conducted today.
While not all the blame can be directed toward formation in Catholic schools for the reprehensible lack of knowledege among Catholics, a good portion of it can.
My wife of 18 years, Gina, can tell you first hand. She spent all her young, academic life in Catholic school, only to become a wayward Catholic in later life.
Now, as a practicing Catholic who knows her faith well, She has attributed those nescient years to her formation, or lack-there-of, in Catholic school. And she is not alone. Friends of ours, have confided their Catholic education was nothing more than a waste of their parent's money.
While others remain oblivious and have gone on to become members of other denominations.
Today, there are those in the State of Philadelphia dealing with the loss of Catholic instruction from the many Catholic school closings taking place in the state. And my heart goes out to them. However, before they go shedding any tears, they should ask their children the following questions:
Do you know what the word, transubstantiation means? Do you know what the doctrine of Purgatory teaches? Can you explain the doctrine of the communion of saints? Or here's a good one: Why does the church oppose the use of artificial contraception? And how long has it done so? Why do we call our priests father?
If Philadelphia, Catholic students cannot answer these fundamental questions pertaining to their faith then, frankly, those running these schools should be exorcised and the schools themselves, should have been shut down a long time ago.
If, on the other hand, they can answer these questions eloquently, then there exists ample reason to mourn their closings.
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