A column appeared in my local rag recently in which the columnist, no fan of Catholics, has begun a cogent discussion about the merging of administrative functions in the different Boards of Education in Ontario. Read more here
Actually, this is NOT the beginning of the end of a separate, publicly funded Catholic school system in Ontario. The downward spiral started before this.
Some blame Archdiocese of Toronto Cardinal Carter and Premier Bill Davis, who struck a deal for full funding of the separate school system. The argument goes that he who pays the piper calls the tune - when the funding came from general taxation we began to lose our independence.
I think it might be more subtle. I wonder how strong can a religious school system possibly be when it's own students, parents and educators can't find their parish church without a map and a compass? If a teacher in a Catholic school system does not regularly attend Mass, how can they teach math?
Teachers don't teach children reading, writing and arithmetic. They form young minds and teach reading, writing and arithmetic. Catholics can expect they will teach Gospel values, but when the teacher hasn't attended Mass regularly they can't possibly be in communion with the church, and by that I mean with Catholics; students, parents, trustees and other teachers.
Some would argue that it's no one's business who attends church and who doesn't. That would suggest that it doesn't affect anyone else. It does, and as a parent I would argue that my child be taught by a devout Catholic, or why even bother attending a separate school?
Make no mistake, there is nothing to fear from others outside our own Catholic system. We're doing a good job of making it irrelevant every Sunday that students, parents, educators, administrators, support staff and trustees skip Mass.