Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Fr. Landry Weighs in on the Future of Catholic Education

Fr. Landry is a gifted priest, homilist and writer.   

The citations I mention herein don't do the entire piece justice  - so do read the entire thing. 

He brings in what many of us have experienced when we go to seek a Sacrament from the Church for ourselves or for our children:

The first principle is that the Catholic Church seeks to welcome everyone and to call and assist everyone to conversion and holiness of life. Specifically with regard to children, the Church is never looking for a reason to turn a child away, but sometimes, with great reluctance and sadness, needs to do so for the good of the child. This paradoxical situation happens not just with Catholic school decisions, but with something far more important and fundamental: the sacrament of baptism. The Church obviously desires all parents to bring their children to be baptized, but when they do, the priest, in order to celebrate the sacrament, has the duty to determine that there is a “well-founded” or “realistic” hope that the child will be raised in the Catholic faith (Canon 868 in the Code of Canon Law). The Church always welcomes the desire of parents to baptize their children, but needs them to understand that baptism is a sacrament of initiation tied to a way of life. If there is no realistic hope that the parents are going to raise the child in the faith — ordinarily by committing to teach the child to pray, take her to Mass, provide for her religious instruction, set a good Christian example at home, and choose godparents who will take seriously her religious upbringing — the pastor, outside of a danger of death situation, must reluctantly delay the baptism.
 I'm a believer.  The conversation happened to me at a time when I had drifted away in a river of rebellion and sin.

When it comes to being in the business of the salvation of souls, you have to do hard things.  

Things against your own will.

Things that sometimes come across as mean or hateful to those not looking beyond what they can see with their eyes.  We do these things as parents all the time.   We do them within our family, our circle of friends.

Priests do them every day. 

Fr. Landry eloquently speaks to what he calls the schizophrenic situation to a child manipulated and used to make Hehir, Grassa O'Neil, Reardon and the Cardinal look like they are ambassadors of Christ:

With regard to Catholic school admissions decisions, similar principles are at work. The Church never wants to turn a child away. Rather, it has a deep desire to share the blessing of a Catholic school education with as many children as possible. At the same time, however, there is a requirement, for the good of the child, that the parents commit to raise the child in a situation that at least does not contradict the values and formation given at the school. If the child’s education will not be coupled to a way of life consistent with it, the parents and school would be placing the child in a spiritually and morally schizophrenic situation — which is obviously harmful.
He says in a paragraph what a lot of us have been trying to articulate for days:

By alluding to an “inherent conflict,” Fr. Rafferty pointed to the obvious truth that the situation of children being raised by a same-sex couple is different from that of kids being raised in other non-traditional situations.  Kids being raised by couples who are unmarried, married outside of the Church, or divorced-and-remarried are seldom taught to look at those situations as models, or even as goods to be desired. Very often the parents of those children accept the Church’s understanding of marriage even if in their own circumstances they do not live in accordance with it. There’s a moral conflict, not an inherent one — and in many circumstances the relationship happily can be brought into conformity with the moral law.
 Yeah. What he said.

Of course everyone agrees with Fr. Landry here:

Catholic schools seek to welcome all children, provided that parents welcome the Church’s teaching and are prepared to partner with the Church for the good of the child’s overall and integral education. 

But the situation of the Hingham mother did not welcome the teachings of the Church.  The Cardinal and his Catholic School Board, his superintendent and his highest-ranking Cabinet member have consistently been dishonest about this fact.

The policy they are creating is about welcoming all children even if the parents oppose the teachings of the Church and make demands that those teachings be excluded in the curriculum.  

Most people are struggling with how we could protect the environment to teach the truth in the climate the Archdiocese has created.  How could you possibly do that when the dishonest and corrupt are carrying out that policy. 

Put the policy right up on the shelf with the policy to teach Humanae Vitae, Confession, Transubstantiation, the Rosary, Prayers, Marian theology.   Pull any kid aside who is being Confirmed and see how those policies panned out for us.

We don't have faithful teachers to introduce any more pockets of dissent and carry out our mission of salvation at this time.

Let's just have the decency to be honest, shall we?

A Catholic who is loyal to Christ above all things wrote me the following today:

The Cardinal is fundamentally a uniter who is not going to want a policy that says "no children of same-sex couples ever need apply," but he will reaffirm that those families who send their children to Catholic school need to recognize the Church's duty to teach the whole truth and not in any way create a situation that would frustrate the fulfillment of that responsibility.
My reply:
We are in a diocese where a generation has been misguided.  By and large our lay teachers dissent from the teachings of the Church.   Even those of us who made it through the dissent, on the practical level, where the reality show is, teachers will clam up - as they have in the teachings against contraception, abortion, promiscuity.  
Few of us have the zeal to love the Lord enough  - and among these - weeding out those who don't have the talent to know how to deliver  the message -- we're down to the rare teacher who will speak to these teachings.   

It is an oxymoron to say the Cardinal will place children of lesbians into a classroom in a way that will not create frustration in the fulfillment of the duty to teach the whole truth. 
Once you place a child living in these circumstances, you have indeed created the situation.

Our schools are not a place where there should be non-exclusion policies.  Our schools are training academies for our future evangelists.

Please forgive me for being blunt - I don't see a "uniter" in this Cardinal.  I see a Marxist and  I see a coward.  When the wolf came, he did not even run, he invited him in to maul Christ, his priests, his people and our two thousand years of history.  He is dismantling the Catholic Church in our country with the help of the communist he has operating the diocese while he is out taking pictures of himself to further his ego and his career.

Christ did not come to unite.  He came to divide.

Did you ever read Matthew 10

Check it out.

Some of these Bishops think it says,  "I have come to bring peace upon the earth. I have come to bring not the sword but peace."  "You will be loved by all"    "Whoever will not receive you or listen to your words, take their gold and silver and build your catechetical policies to please them"

Let's not even begin to discuss the last paragraph of the last chapter in the Bible?

Hey, maybe the geniuses in the Chancery can circumvent it.

As for me and my heirs, I wouldn't follow them out of a burning building.

Lots of luck to the lesbians.


Mary N said...

I agree that Fr. Landry is a fine priest and his column is very insightful.

You are correct--the Cardinal and his henchmen seem to be refusing to acknowledge the elephant in the center of the room regarding Hingham. To do so would require that they acknowledge the big money donors and the Catholic Schools Foundation and the $325K/year Superintendent of Schools were wrong! And to do so would be to acknowledge that admitting the child of a gay couple--especially a couple publicly opposed to church teachings--presents a virtually impossible problem to navigate around.

I would be curious as to how the Cardinal, his minions (or people pulling the puppet strings) and even the highly respected Fr. Landry propose to pull this off. If you are an unchaste gay couple whose relationship can never be licit in the eyes of the Church yet you say "Yes I will be a good partner with the Church in the education of my kid despite my immoral illicit lifestyle that will confuse the heck out of the kid and have him taught one thing in school while living and witnessing something radically different at home" then you get an entrance ticket?

Anonymous said...


I am sure that you must have a spiritual director to help you to wade through the present situation in the Church in general and the Archdiocese of Boston in particular.

Will you be so kind to tell me what he has advised in order to not be tempted to leave Holy Mother Church for the SSPX or sedevacantists groups? I have about two decades on you in years and am not as resilient as I used to be.


Jerry said...

Dear Veronica,

The Good God has given us a horrible chastisement in these bad bishops. But it is only worse outside the Church, for there is no way to save one's soul out there.

We know, as defined dogma (see Vatican I), that the Church will always have a pope, and that his faith cannot fail, as Our Lord prayed for St. Peter. No matter how dark things appear, one can never doubt the dogmas, for they are revealed by God.

The SSPX was in defiance of the pope's discipline, but there is no doubt now that they are in the Church. Not so the sedes, who are evil and to be avoided.

It is good for your soul to find a traditional Latin Mass, and there are many available. See www.latinmassnetwork.net for listings. At the Latin Mass you'll find many faithful Catholics who share the same concerns as yourself. God bless.

Carol McKinley said...


I wholeheartedly agree with Jerry's post.

About fifteen years ago a sedevacanist spent a great deal of effort trying to persuade me that the "Vatican II Church" was the whore of Babylon, Her Sacraments were not valid - etc., etc.

When I awoke from my slumber I went back in my parish and was shocked at the deterioration of our faith there. I went on from one parish to another parish and then more parishes.. found nothing but dissent and liturgical whackiness.

I remember going to somebody with solid faith and asking what the heck happened and is happening. He simply said "It's the devil".

I was ripe when the sedevacanist came along. I read a half dozen of he books he sent me - one of them the Catechism of Trent and others explained how the sacraments weren't valid - etc.

They were well written but I could not get past several things.

Christ would not set up a "real Church" that was separate from his pope and apostolic succession that was a puzzle of complex intellectual arguments to find. Why would He set a path of salvation so that the simple of heart and mind would not be able to find it? Our God is not cruel. Tom Foolery and trickery is just not his style. Sacramental power came from a line of succession that started with Peter and when you follow the line it leads to our Pope.

In our 2000+ year history, our Church has gone through a pope or two that dissented from the faith. What a trial and punishment that must have been. God in His Mercy has not gone that far with this generation. What suffering that must have been to watch people you love and care about being dragged off by the vultures.

Tie yourself onto the Ark. We are in a storm and the sea is tossing us around. If it is impossible for you to find a place near you that teaches the authentic faith - - or someplace you can hold your nose and consume the Sacrament of Confession and the Body and Blood of Christ - mosey on over to the Latin Rite.

Jerry said...

Just to be careful, let's not say that a pope ever dissented from the faith. Our Lord prayed for St. Peter that his faith would not fail, and this applies to the person of the pope and not just to ex cathedra teachings. An excellent explanation of this is found in a book entitled "The war against the papacy" by James Larson, http://www.joebourbeaupress.com/waragaistthepapacy.html

This isn't to say that the pope cannot err in theology, as even great saints and doctors have erred. A pope may also fail to defend the faith out of weakness. He can give grave scandal. But never can he become a heretic.

Carol may disagree with me here, but I think it is necessary to scrutinize teachings and actions of recent popes, just as it is necessary with cardinals. I'll offer as an example the website of Mr. Larson, the defender of the pope, who examines modern thinking in the light of St. Thomas: www.waragainstbeing.com By understanding the flaws in modern theology, we are more motivated to pray for his Holiness, and are better able to identify, avoid, and defeat these errors.

Anonymous said...


In all sincerity I tell you that you have just saved me from myself. It's funny how God works, and it is rarely in the way you imagine He will. He will give you some special graces for what you have, as His instrument, just confirmed for me.

Jerry, He won't forget you either!!

God reward the both of you, and may His Blessed Mother shower you with blessings!


Carol McKinley said...


Wow-that's a great way to start the weekend! Often when the Lord feels like riding into town for some glory, he's riding on the back of a donkey.


It reminds me of the passage from John when everyone tiptoes away when He explains how He will leave us His Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity...

"Will you leave me too?"

Lord, to whom would we go. You have the words of eternal life. Thank you for rescuing us from our ledges!

Jerry - You're absolutely right. Thank you!