[quote=ReginaNova]I very much disagree with the philosophy of blaming Catholic schools or CCD for the inadequate faith formation of adult Catholics. That is like blaming my public school education for my poor grasp of physics or inadequate grounding in world history. It is true that my education (at the best public schools in the state) was lacking. But at a certain point, as an adult, it is MY responsibility to fill in the gaps and not put the blame on my teachers of 10 or more years ago. Besides, between what the teacher says and what the kid “heard” and what the now adult student remembers and quotes the teacher as having said–well, it’s kind of like the game “telephone” except with Catholic morality.
I hear what you’re saying, but I am not speaking about gaps in theological education. If that was the case, I’d have no problem whatsoever. I am speaking about blatantly wrong theological information imparted as truth. Specifically, classes that I was a part of and in which I still discuss amongst friends of mine who have since gone on to professionally participate in Catholic ministry, but were students in the same classes several years ago. (These three friends are an adult formation director at a parish, a high school theology teacher and a DRE–hence the reason they care enough to still talk about it every once in awhile, as they know from their own career choice how important it is to impart the truth to anyone they are entrusted t teach.) I vividly remember several situations, especially since one particular scandal opened up the entire can of worms and much of what was being taught finally came out to parents and administration. (A long story having to do with a lesbian religious sister openly talking to students (me included) about her sex life with a fellow sister.) We were absolutely misguided in certain aspects of our faith. At the time, I was already educated in our faith thanks to my parents and personal interest, but many of my classmates’ formation was directly dependent upon the information provided by Theology teachers. Defending of the faith was not supported and in fact scoffed at by teachers who taught secularism instead of doctrinal truth.
I find it particularly dangerous in sending young adults off to college with utterly incorrect formation pertaining to sexuality and recreational activities. It directly influences their choices and therefore imperils their soul when misinformation is taught as truth. Some examples: Masturbation is not grave matter, mutual masturbation and oral sex are permissable before marriage, smoking pot is not grave matter, getting drunk is not grave matter, using artificial birth control is not grave matter, abortion in the case of rape or incest is not grave matter etc. I could go into errors that were taught regarding Church history or the sacraments, but that is not nearly as damaging as morality being mistaught.
At some point, yes, of course we are all responsible for our own knowledge about the Church and what she teaches but it is certainly not a leap of logic to assume that a child is being taught correctly in a Catholic school environment. I sincerely hope that all of my classmates chose to go and double check the truth at critical moments in their life, but I find that highly doubtful.
In terms of whether or not to send a child to a nominally Catholic school, I do not see the point in funding any institution which undermines not only the real truth of the Church but possibly jeopardizes my children’s souls. Considering this is a topic that has been a major point of discussion and concern in our diocese for several years, I am definitely not the only one to share the worry of mis-Catechizing young teens. A new Catholic high school has just opened this year in our area and is rumored to be a special project of the diocese in restoring orthodoxy. I hope that in 14-15 years it is a solid place to considering sending my daughter, but I would not put her in any surrounding Catholic school at this time.
As for your comparison between theology and world history or physics, I would say that we do not often send a child to school for the mere fact that a school specializes in physics. If we do, then we intend that child to be a wellspring of knowledge regarding the laws of physics. We do, on the other hand, send a child to Catholic school because he or she will benefit from learning their faith in a place which also affords them academic instruction. But if faith isn’t going to be properly imparted, then what is the point?
Again, if it is a mere matter of all the ‘bases’ concerning Catholic theology not being adequately covered, then that is one thing. My issue is solely with teaching misinformation about our faith to children whose parents are paying for a Catholic education.