The article above from the National Catholic Reporter, that quotes San Francisco Auxillary Bishop Robert McElroy, provides a clue as to why our Catholic schools are degrading today. Progressive policies that seek to appease the public education system where curricula that coincides with public education and replacing knowledge of the faith with the activism of CCHD-Alinsky style community organizing social justice can only lead to the question why do we need dogma?
After all, it is about being a good person and always having a good intention. You don’t need the faith to get to heaven.
The parish priest who used to hire and fire the principal was the person who guaranteed that what was taught was faithful and worth parents making the sacrifice to send their kids to the local parish school. Catholic education was about forming the person and guiding them in see what the gifts God gave them and seeking a direction in how they would be used within a Catholic mindset. Now it is about getting to the next school and the right college. Now with lay boards, how does a parent discern what the board feels the “order of grace is” and is it something they agree with. What certification process is the board following and who has the last say in the school’s mission and evaluation of the outcome? Is the parish suppose to see the school as a mission to be supported, but not scrutinized, not even by the pastor? How do you force a board which is a democratic entity to change direction to a position lacking in popularity? How do you get a school that has to stay solvent to accept larger families with deep cuts in tuition to accommodate the financial demand on such a family? One could go on with all these questions, but, the point is made.
For a better discussion on the points made above and even more, the reader is directed to The State of the Catholic Schools in the US, a Catholic World Report article that is worth taking the time to read. The CWR article quotes Bishop Robert Carlson who puts the bottom line in a succinct quote:
“The school must have a vibrant Catholic identity,” Archbishop Robert Carlson of St. Louis said in a March 2011 pastoral letter. “It must be clearly and unquestionably a Catholic school, and everything about the school’s academic and formation programs must be grounded in the teaching and practice of the Roman Catholic Church. Every person in a Catholic school—regardless of his or her faith tradition or social, economic, or ethnic background—should be growing in their understanding and appreciation for what the Catholic Church teaches.”
The only way to ensure this is to keep the schools and the governing entity under the control of the local Bishop by ensuring that he can hire or fire the board and/or the principal directly or through the parish pastor he appoints.