Yesterday we posted the events relating to the new draft Curriculum being proposed to students in Catholic Schools in the Parramatta Diocese (Sydney Australia) under the leadership of Bp. Long.
In this post we see the information which has been sent to Catholic School teachers to pass on to parents. It is described using emotive propaganda: “delighted”, “recent endorsement”, “hope-filled”…
It seems they are very sensitive to Media coverage that does not suit their agenda-this email to teachers was sent out within a couple of days. They are on the defence. See below:
The email to teachers from Parramatta Catholic Education Office:
(the emphasis is mine)
Correspondence regarding the Draft New Religious Education Curriculum
In response to the “Signs of the Times”, Catholic Education Diocese of Parramatta is on the journey towards a hope-filled Draft New Curriculum for Religious Education. We were delighted with the NSW Education Standards Authority (NESA’s) recent endorsement of Stage 5 and 6 of the Curriculum.
Comment: I would not consider it an advantage that the State has endorsed the curriculum – a State that has brought in so many anti-Christian laws (abortion up to birth; discrimination laws which actually discriminate against Christians. etc)
There has recently been some media coverage about this new approach. Please find attached a letter from Very Rev Christopher de Souza Vicar General Episcopal Vicar for Education & Formation for circulation to your school community. Also attached is a letter to the editor from Fr Chris that was published in the Daily Telegraph on 27 August, a frequently asked questions document and a timeline outlining the process for developing the Draft New Curriculum.
Thank you to Director Mission Monica Officer for her grace and leadership, our dedicated Mission Team and each of our Religion Education Coordinators for the passion they bring to this work. We welcome the opportunity to work together as a Catholic community on this important initiative for children and young people in our schools.
Relieving Executive Director
2. Attached Documents(PDF)
(My comments are interspersed in these documents)
Diocese of Parramatta
Bethany Centre, 470 Church St, Parramatta NSW 2150, Australia
PO Box 3066, North Parramatta NSW 1750, Australia
T: 02 8838 3400 F: 02 9630 4813
26 August 2020
Response to The Daily Telegraph – 26 August 2020
New approach to Religious Education is ‘Good News’ for young people
The Western Sydney Catholic community has been working together to develop a new approach to teaching Religious Education at Catholic schools. There have been recent statements made in the media about this. The good news is that we now have a more relevant, thoughtful and up-to-date way to share our precious Catholic faith with the next generation.
Opinion writer Miranda Devine yesterday published an article criticising this new approach to teaching children and young people about religion. Miranda’s piece seems to seek to agitate and divide rather than make a meaningful contribution to public discussion about either religion or learning.
Comment: Since when is our Faith up for public discussion? All we need is Christ’s teachings.
Since when was constructive criticism not meaningful or useful?… unless you always intended to ignore it and proceed regardless.
What is the true source of agitation and division? It is those who seek to change Christ and His Teachings to fit the world (in any way they can devise) divided against those who are apparently ‘devout’- who seek to change the world to fit Christ’s Teachings, rather than the other way around.
The letter continues…
Today, I wish to share further thoughts on this subject with readers of the Daily Telegraph. Many clergy, parents, teachers and students were involved in the process of developing this new Religious Education curriculum over the past six years.
Comment: Really? Well they kept it a pretty close-guarded secret- especially re: the content. I know personally of at least 3 people who left the employment of this diocese because of this “new Curriculum”. They did not want to be involved because of where it was heading. Additionally, and most importantly, this does not make it right or holy before God. Many people can collaborate and agree on evil curriculum, even unknowingly or with what they think are good intentions. Number of people are not an endorsement, nor is length of time. If anything, the more shame because of it!
Let me be clear – Catholic Scripture, Tradition and Context remain firmly at the heart of our approach to teaching children and young people about our religion and everything we do in daily life.
Comment: We need to teach our children Truth not ways of distorting it. Their minds and souls are fragile. Firmly at the heart but not apparent? Maybe they are present only by doing lip service? Actually, Catholic Scripture, Tradition and Context should be all what its all about; the heart, soul, body of this Curriculum. But I do not agree that even the heart is there. Furthermore, they should be teaching “Theology of the Body” if they aim to improve children’s understanding of correct, holy, fulfilling, faithful to God and neighbour type relationships, including sexual relationship. This is sadly lacking, sorely needed and would fulfil their needs in the most satisfying manner: for there they would learn their identity as a Child if God and the secret to true happiness. The Truth is all they need, in all its wonderful fullness, richness and depth.
This Draft New Curriculum is a direct response to the call of the Second Vatican Council. Even this is not new – it has been more than 50 years since the Church was called to discern the “signs of the times”!
Comment: Anyone who has read statements from Abp. Vigano and Bp. Schneider may realize how much Vatican II has contributed to discerning “the signs of the times”. You cannot use the call of the Second Vatican Council as an excuse yet again to push through non-Catholic agenda. We are far more savvy than that now. All the abuses and shocking approaches, which de-sacralized the Liturgy and muddied Teaching- do they really think they can continue in this vein? It is no direct response because there was no direct question. Name the call you refer to. Then use a truly Catholic approach to fulfil God’s Mission- for the Church and for Catholic Schools.
Miranda suggests that the Diocese of Parramatta has a “woke agenda”. Though the Catholic Church is an organisation that very few would consider ‘woke’, this glib cancel culture catchphrase seems to suggest that our schools are too socially aware. Our Patron, St Mary of the Cross MacKillop, is famous for saying “never see a need without doing something about it”: there’s nothing new or woke in that.
Comment: Are our schools too socially aware? If they weren’t before, they soon will be!
Yes, St. Mary of the Cross Mackillop propels us on, as do all the Saints in heaven. And what we need right now is to teach the Truth – Christ’s teachings, and not to draw attention to the leftist God-less agenda, except to expose it for what it is and teach the children and adults apologetics. These Teachings are the basis of what our children need:- to fight evil externally and within; to be counter-cultural and for Christ.
Despite the attempts by some commentators to create moral panic, Parramatta Catholic schools remain strongly Catholic and proudly so. We are working together to strengthen the faith of our young people, encouraging them to become attentive, intelligent, reasonable and responsible adults. The real news here is ‘Good News.’
Comment: Moral panic? Do you like his use of derogatory hyperbole? We suggest that if you are not noticing the true ‘Signs of the Times’ and are not concerned about moral decadence and feeling really worried (if not panicking) then something is wrong with your radar!
Parra Catholic Schools are not “strongly and proudly Catholic” unless they are so in word and deed; faithful to Christ in every aspect- not faithful to the world and its new age concepts and methodology.
Since when has ‘Good news’ been enculturating children in lifestyles and thinking, condemned by Holy Scripture?! Jesus told us about scandalizing children (including young, very innocent ones)- that it would be better for a millstone to be tied around their neck and them thrown in to the sea. If they proceed with this agenda (for it is clearly not just a curriculum but seeking to ‘re-program’ Catholics) they will be blatantly building an anti-Christian generation, under the deceptive label of ‘catholicism’ which it will not be.
Very Rev Christopher de Souza Vicar General and Episcopal Vicar for Education.
Other documents attached for the perusal of parents:
An excerpt from yesterday’s post: (A simple letter from a priest)
Aims as listed in the Curriculum :
Thank God for the courageous priests (and journalists) we have that have stood up to be counted. And for the countless laity storming the CEO, the schools and Bishop Long’s Office.
Please pray that parents can read between the lines. Please pray that many more parents are aware of what is actually happening.
How can our children learn the Faith when many teachers in Catholic schools at present do not practice their Faith; when even non- Catholics are allowed to teach Religion so long as they complete a simple 12 month course? And according to RCoM, who completed that course, blatant heresies were taught within the teacher education course! (That Mary’s virginity was symbolic, that Christ’s Resurrection did not happen, that God is all Mercy, (not equally just) and that no-one or very few could be therefore be in hell…)
If it wasn’t for Fr Rizzo, who started the ball rolling, it would have all passed by, without anyone taking notice. When Vatican II started, we all trusted that our bishops would never do anything against the Faith, so we all just went trustingly along.
We can’t trust them anymore. They introduced pagan worship of idols just last October with the supposed ‘pope’ allowing it and this is only just a tiny bit of what has been done.
Express your displeasure!
Keep them on their toes.
The evil ones prowls like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour.