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Catholic School Closings Could be a Good Thing for Philly Catholics.

Updated on January 29, 2012

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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    • cafeteria profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago from Lexington Kentucky.

      Thanks keithlipke. Our friend Dave professes to be Catholic but I think he is more of a closet-Protestant - who desn't know much about the Catholic faith - In my humble opinion.

    • keithlipke profile image


      7 years ago from Fort Wayne, Indiana

      The Catholic faith is purely based on the Bible Dav...that's how the Catholic faith is and it is the faith of Jesus

    • Dave Mathews profile image

      Dave Mathews 

      7 years ago from NORTH YORK,ONTARIO,CANADA

      Since alot of Catholic Doctorine is based upon twisting scriptures to suit their own purpose, is it any wonder people refuse to adhere to the church's teachings and precepts. If it is not biblically approved and correct, don't do it. That's my view.

    • cafeteria profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago from Lexington Kentucky.

      Hey keithlipke, thanks for the comment. I am originally from New York, my wife is originally from KY., where we have now lived for 20 years. I am basing my opinion on those we know from NY. and KY. As well as from friends we have in KY. who are here from other states.

      We also know younger kids such, as my niece who attended Catholic school all her life in NY., and like kids we know here in KY., she couldn't explain the immaculate conception if her life depended on it.

      From my own personal experience, it appears the lack of knowledge on Catholic doctrine by those who have attended Catholic schools is rampant.

      It's not a phenomenon restricted to Philly, NY., or KY., either. I believe it to be a national problem...I am not from Philly...just came across a news story which inspired me to write this hub.

    • keithlipke profile image


      7 years ago from Fort Wayne, Indiana

      Don't judge all Catholics and Catholic teaching just because of what you dealt with in Philadelphia. It's JUST Philadelphia. Its not the center of the universe What did YOU learn and are you a Disciple too?


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