Abortion, contraception and divorce promoted in Catholic schools through AQA’s GCSE Christianity module

A reader of Protect the Pope has posted a comment that is extremely alarming if confirmed because it appears that some Catholic secondary schools in Southwark are opting to use AQA’s Religious Studies Christianity: Ethics module in preference to the AQA Catholic: Ethics module, thereby choosing to exposes their students to the promotion of abortion, contraception, divorce and homosexuality:

Verity Szukam writes:

‘Parents have to be vigilant, insist on seeing sex ed materials etc. At least in secondary schools you can see the text books. Several Southwark secondary schools use the AQA Unit 2 RS GCSE ‘Christianity: Ethics’ module (instead of the Unit 4 Catholic: Ethics module), which is filled with the secular and liberal Protestant world view, and negligible Catholic content on the contentious issues like abortion and homosexuality. The following are some quotes from GCSE material used in many top Catholic schools:

The teaching of Jesus suggests that love is most important thing – and that the most loving thing to do may be to have an abortion.

The planet’s population will increase to 9 billion in the next few decades and some environmentalists argue it cannot sustain the current population. Birth control and contraception are suggested as ways of reducing this problem. The United Nations has promoted birth control as one way of reducing poverty in developing countries where overpopulation has stretched local resources.

The experience of a marriage based on a loving and equal relationship has grown recently. If people want to split up, they are financially able to do so. Women are now able to work and live independently.

… Christian faith means finding the loving thing to do in the modern world, which might mean breaking with tradition.

Most sexual relationships are between men and women. Biologically, this is how new life is created. Many cultural traditions assume heterosexuality is normal, so marriage rites have traditionally been presumed to be between a man and a woman.

I hear so many parents and teachers patronisingly tell me that the children have to hear both sides of the argument. Hello – the children hear the anti-Catholic side every day from their peers and the media. A few dogmatic quotes from the CCC are not going to convince them.

In one top Catholic secondary school I know, 90% of the pupils supported abortion let alone contraception and sex before marriage. 99% in favour of same-sex marriage – even the few who had orthodox parents and opposed abortion.’

Protect the Pope comment: The shocking allegation that some Catholic secondary schools in the Archdiocese of Southwark are opting to use a GCSE Religious Studies programme that positively promotes abortion, contraception and divorce comes on the heels of the equally shocking news that the Archdiocese of Southwark supports Stonewall going into Catholic primary schools. Urgent questions need to be asked of Archbishop Smith and the Education Service – why would Catholic secondary schools reject the Catholic ethics module in favour of a liberal, protestant ethics module? How many Catholic schools are doing this? And a question to the CES – how many Catholic secondary schools in England and Wales are doing likewise?

55 comments to Abortion, contraception and divorce promoted in Catholic schools through AQA’s GCSE Christianity module

  • AsItIs

    Archdiocese of Southwark, comment please.

  • Rifleman819

    Deacon Nick ,

    It is not rocket science is it-change Boards and syllabi.

    AQA might get the message if lots of schools drop from their provider list.

    Schools examinations are a multi-million pound industry these days. The real alarm bells will ring when all GCSE Boards start offering very similar syllabi with the topics mentioned above.

    If AQA’s revenue drops -they will listen.

  • Mark Thorne

    I’m coming to the opinion that I shall no longer contribute financially to the Archdiocese of Southwark, where I reside. The money would be better spent being redirected to a worthy Catholic charity such as Aid to the Church in Need. Perish the thought that I may ever have children growing up in this archdiocese!

    • Michael Petek

      Better contribute to Family Life International. They’ve just held their annual conference at Southwark Cathedral.

      All a school has to do is promote contraception, and it’s game over. Since the control of human fertility is a fact of sovereignty, contraception amounts to compassing the overthrow of Christ the King. Herod tried it and ended up slaughtering infants.

    • Pat

      I came to that conclusion years ago. I live in Westminster and stopped giving the diocese money via parish collections over 20 years ago. One day we will have to answer as to how we have used the resources given us, and I don’t want to be responsible for funding, at worst, evil and heresy, at best, mediocrity. Yes, we have a duty to support pastors, but that can be done in various other ways – like donating to the Fraternity of St Peter and other organisations that are 100% loyal to Catholic teaching. Stop giving money to the diocese. Money, and bad publicity, are often the only things that diocesan bureaucrats understand and the only things that bring them to heel.

    • Tony Flavin

      Don’t fret Mark, it’s no where near as bad as the scaremongerers would have you believe.

  • Rifleman819

    Dear Dr Thorne,
    It’s fast becoming like imagining British troops in WW2 paying for “Winterhelf” goodies for the soldiers of the Wehrmacht, isn’t it?
    I can see your point!

  • Dominie Stemp

    My daughter went to a private Catholic school and at gcse age they went to a non Catholic retreat centre and the speaker was promoting IVF. The lady chaplain organised it. They all lapsed. So sad

    • Michael Petek

      The reason they lapses is that they were seduced into the high treason of IVF. Deacon Nick is probably getting tired of my banging on about this, but too bad.

      Any attempt to contracept or to procure a human conception otherwise than by natural sexual intercourse is an attempt on the Divine Sovereignty which reserves to God the sole control of human reproduction. It is analogous to the treason of compassing the death or overthrow of the Queen.

      • Varity Szukam

        Interesting you mention IVF. The most Catholic GCSE text book I could find was last published in 1988 and was very orthodox on abortion, slightly less so on contraception and very weak on IVF. All the current text books accept IVF without question. Indeed some of the exam questions cannot be easily answered without implicitly assenting to the legitimacy of IVF.

        • Michael Petek

          Weak on IVF probably because Donum Vitae was promulgated only in 1987 and because the remarks of Professor Robert Edwards were not as widely known as they might have been.

          Professor Edwards, the colleague of Dr Patrick Steptoe in the manufacture of Louise Brown, expressly affirmed that the reason for developing IVF was to find out whether God was in charge of human reproduction, or whether we were. “And what we found out” he said “was that it was us.”

          Don’t forget that King Herod started by impugning the new King he heard had been born just down the road. He ended up slaughtering the Holy Innocents. And so it is that the most effective contraceptives are also abortifacients, while IVF procedures occasion collateral deaths of embryos on a scale unrivalled by any other human activity other than warfare.

    • Tony Flavin

      Always easier to blame the school than home, I find.

  • As somebody who works in a school I would urge caution here. Oftentimes, people climb the barricades over something which ‘promotes’ such-and-such when in fact all it does is mention that it exists and that certain people agree with it because… before giving a clear Catholic view on the matter.

    As the original poster said, asking to actually see the material and asking *how* it is actually taught are vital before taking matters any further.

    It’s also worth remembering that – despite what’s read on the internet – most RE teachers are good Catholics who would have no intention of promoting these things. Though, I have seen some shocking examples to the contrary during my career, so vigilance is a good thing.

  • Lola

    Teaching children with a view to hear “both sides of the argument” will only work if the three-legged stool of Catholic formation is solid…not when it limps!

    • You’re totally right there… Catholic teaching must be emphasised as being what we believe to be true and revealed.

      Nevertheless, as a youth minister of 15 years I would also be hesitant against an approach which ignores other viewpoints. Why? Because young people *will* hear those viewpoints eventually, and it’s so much better if when they hear then they can immediately hear a half-decent priest/ youth minister/ teacher telling them exactly why they are so flawed. That’s by far the best way to tackle these issues!!

  • In one top Catholic secondary school I know, 90% of the pupils supported abortion let alone contraception and sex before marriage. 99% in favour of same-sex marriage – even the few who had orthodox parents and opposed abortion.

    I have worked in one way or another with about a quarter of the Catholic secondary schools in England, and I find those numbers to be… well, if true that school would be quite exceptional. These numbers are worryingly high, for sure, but not quite that high!!

  • Varity Szukam

    Dear Deacon Nick,

    This highlights the dangers of blog posts. The original post was simply a polemical reply in a thread about inviting Stonewall to give training in a Catholic School. Pulled out of that context into a main post, it is clearly generating more heat than light because it was only a polemical call to parents for vigilance and to actually read the text books which their children use.

    It may be more helpful to pull this post as it would need to be significantly rephrased to give a clearer picture. This is not just a problem with one AQA module. The same approach is taken with the Christianity modules across all the boards: Edexcel, OCR and WJEC. The RC modules still have a strong secular bias, but there is more RC content; by no means a robust Catholic apologetic, but better than nothing. There is no justification for any Catholic school to use the Christianity (i.e. mainly Liberal Protestant) ethical issues module from any exam board.

    The Edexcel Unit 3 RC life issues module is the most common, but all the offically endorsed text books have a secular bias. A teacher would be better off gathering his or her own materials from the Magisterium etc. as many good teachers do already.

    The best module (IMO – of a bad bunch) is the AQA Unit 4 RC:Ethics which takes an approach far more in keeping with Catholic teaching (starting with the Ten Commandments and the Beatitudes). The course does copy some bad sections from its sister module (AQA Unit 2 Christianity: Ethics), but a good teacher could critique those parts and supply an authentically Catholic alternative.

    To my knowledge we do not have an authentically Catholic text book to address these highly controversial issues in a holistic and persuasive manner. CTS, Gracewing … how about it?


    • Deacon Nick Donnelly

      Verity, I think your post has been very useful in alerting us that there is an alarming problem with the teaching of RS in Catholic schools. I had no idea that the teaching of the Faith in RS was so deficient, and at times heretical and immoral. Deacon Nick

      • kfca

        You write: “I had no idea that the teaching of the Faith in RS was so deficient”. I mourn for your loss of innocence, Deacon – but welcome into the world of deeply scandalised parents, nonetheless.

        You may be interested in this short review of the Edexcel ‘Catholic Christianity’ course by Fr Hugh MacKenzie (Faith magazine Nov 11).

  • Andrzej

    The whole idea of “debating two sides of the argument” in the case of abortion is a moral sham.

    Why don’t we have “debates” about child molestation or rape of women? – shouldn’t we let the “other side” present their case?

    To engage in a “debate” about “whether raping children is wrong” is to concede the possibility that it might just possibly be acceptable. But since it obviously isn’t, we don’t have such debates. AND THAT’S VERY GOOD.

    Abortion is WRONG – and I think there has been way too much “debating” about it and hearing “both sides”. Just as with child rape, there should be NO DEBATE.

  • Rifleman819

    John Dare,
    You are a very naughty boy.You said you were leaving this blog.Now you are back.
    Of course atheists can be good-a mite misguided but in every atheist there lurks a potential Catholic …………..

  • same old, same old

    When the RCC starts on a campaign of excommunication against those of its representatives that have committed rape then I’ll agree with you that this should not be debated. Or if there is ever a move within the church to excommunicate people such as Robert Mugabe rather then I will take your protestations seriously.

  • Rifleman819

    Same old same old,

    When Peter Tatchell clarifies his position on man-boy love we will start although we are well underway(the church’s second German Reformation under a Bavarian(Benedict) rather than its first under a Saxon(Luther)) -not that that will happen in Tatchell’s case..

    Why rape particularly??…you need to find out more about Catholic teaching on excommunication before displaying trenchant ignorance , don’t you?

    You obviously have not been paying attention either to what the Catholic church in Africa has to say about Robert Gabriel.
    Lazy-just google the stuff

    • Tim

      below is the clarification you seek. Cut and pasted from Peter’s website.

      Note: My articles urging an age of consent of 14 are motivated solely by a desire to reduce the criminalisation of under-16s who have consenting relationships with other young people of similar ages.

      I do not support adults having sex with children.
      I do not advocate teenagers having sex before the age of 16.

      But if they do have sex before their 16th birthday, they should not be arrested, given a criminal record and put on the sex offenders register.

      Perhaps the ideal solution would be that the age of consent remains at 16 but that sexual behaviour involving young people under 16 should not be criminalised, providing there is informed consent, no one is harmed and there is no more than two or three years difference in their ages. This would end the criminalisation of similar-aged young people, while protecting the under-16s against sexual abuse by those much older. I hope this reassures you – Peter Tatchell

    • same old, same old

      “When Peter Tatchell clarifies his position on man-boy love we will start”

      Why wait until then, particularly as I suspect that Tatchell has no intention whatever of explaining his statements. However, if we are talking about the same comments, then it’s interesting to note that Tatchell was proposing to bring down the age of consent to that which applies in the Vatican City.

      Whatever the position of the church in Africa regarding Mugabe it does not hide the fact that the Vatican had taken no action against him – unless you count allowing him to flout the travel ban by inviting him to Rome on several occasions.

      So people on this site can demand the excommunication of someone for professing that people of the same sex should be allowed to marry and yet have nothing to say about war criminals.

      • Rifleman819

        Same old ,
        A stupid canard about age of consent -this was the Lateran Treaty protocols -your cheap short fails again.
        How do you link war criminals to gay sex then?-this particular thread has nothing to do with war criminals.It is about the dubious syllabi content of some GCSE Boards.
        How can the Vatican stop Robert Mugabe entering the Republic of Italy?
        He could have been stopped perhaps by an International Criminal Court injunction-but he wasn’t.
        And you defeat your own argument don’t you…the RCC in Zimbabwe is part of the worldwide Catholic church and the resident Nuncio or local hierarchy would keep Rome informed.
        Also -why single out the Church?-the whole international community has indeed been full of opinions but has not done much against him , either.
        Short of a coup by parachute -trained Swiss Guardsmen…what can the Holy See enact?
        The UK government stripped him of an honorary KCB(awarded in 1994) in 2008-Mugabe was reportedly shaken to the core and has been crying ever since.
        Please try to refrain from being absurd.

        • Same old, same old

          Then what is the age of consent in the Vatican City?

          I am linking war criminals (in the shape of Mr Mugabe) not to gay sex but to gay marriage – but very telling that you automatically link the two. Many contributors to this site have said or hinted that anyone condoning or participating in a same sex wedding should be excommunicated and I was simply asking why that act hasn’t been carried out against monsters such as Mugabe. BTW does anyone think that a registrar should be able to refuse to officiate at the wedding of a divorcee? Does anyone think that they should be excommunicated if they did

          The RCC could very easily prevent Mugabe from entering Italy – by not constantly inviting him to the Vatican City. There is a travel ban on him and his cohorts in the rest of Europe and the only way he is able to flout this is to use his ongoing pass to the Vatican.

          • Rifleman819

            It is 12 -the same as Italy’s was at the signing of the Lateran Treaty in 1929.The City state took the vast bulk of Italian domestic law as a package as part of reciprocal rights with the then Kingdom of Italy.
            But the Vatican is 110 acres with no children,no families and no schools.What is your point here?

            What is the difference between gay sex and gay marriage?-there is none.They are both condemned by the Church.Orientation is not.

            You clearly have little understanding on the Hague Convention regarding Heads of State and international travel.The Vatican does not invite Mugabe-he invites himself.

            From your earlier posts I surmise that you did indeed look up about the resistance to Mugabe by the Catholic church in Zimbabwe and found that the reality was not rather to your argument…and then rather airily dismissed it.

          • same old, same old

            I think you are factually wrong on virtually every point of your answer. What were the chances?

            I think you’ll find that the official age of consent is actually higher than you claim – it having changed in Italy since Mussolini sighed the Lateran Treaty with the Pope. The fact that the Vatican has no children, no families and no schools does not mean that no sexual activity takes place there and there would need to be an age of consent in place to differentiate between the immoral and the illegal.

            The Vatican is actually off limits to non-residents or non-citizens unless they have a special pass. And yet Mugabe seems to have no difficulty in travelling there. The Hague Convention is meaningless in this regard, everywhere else in Europe there is a travel ban on him so he could ‘invite himself’ to London, Paris or Shepton Mallet as often as he wanted, but he wouldn’t get in.

            The stance taken by the Church in Zimbabwe would have a lot more clout behind it if only those higher up the food chain had the decency to take action.

  • Varity Szukam

    Jack, of course other viewpoints need to be presented clearly, exactly as Aquinas did, ie recognising any truth they contain and followed by a clear refutation using rational argument. All students would be free to argue the merits of the position put forward by the teacher on behalf of the Church. Yet such an approach would probably be attacked as indoctrination. However, ‘indoctrination’ has been turned into a pejorative term by those who pretend not to indoctrinate, but do so by underhand manipulation of the emotions.

    For example it is right that children learn why some women want an abortion, so that those reasons can be addressed in the light of Catholic teaching; not by holding a ‘free’ debate in class, which is a highly manipulative techinque. The figures I quoted were anecdotal and strictly speaking should have been phrased as fewer than 10% of Catholic GCSE students in this school (over 90% ‘practising’ Catholic) were prepared to stand up and argue the pro-life position in class. I know this from four students in different classes who were either alone or had support from only one or two others.

    The teachers didn’t take sides in the debate, nor did they state abortion is wrong, only that pro-choice say this and pro-life say that. It seems to be a cardinal rule in Catholic schools that RE teachers must avoid ‘indoctrinating’ and leave the students to form their own ‘informed’ opinion as is required by Ofqual for Religious Studies. Yet the children are given no basis on which to evaluate the relative merits of the pro-choice and pro-life views; so they tend to go with what is legal (1967 Abortion Act) and the majority opinion in the class discussion.

    A major pro-abortion advocacy group was at pains to point out that you are ‘pro-choice’ even if you are personally ‘pro-life’ as long as you don’t seek to impose your personal views on others (ie ban abortion). On that basis all schools that teach the National Curriculum are ‘pro-choice’ by default.

  • Joseph Matthew

    Varity, You have made a really important point. I have been puzzled by pro-abortion organizations that claim to be “pro-choice”. Does this mean that a pregnant woman can go to Marie Stopes and ask them to help her through the months of pregnancy ? Hardly !
    Until further clarification, the laity ought to give to the Good Counsel Network and support the Archdiocese of Southwark with prayer and penance.

  • P.D.

    The very fact that so much of what appears on this blog is finger pointing and whining about this or that (amazing how certain Christians (for want of a better word) are so adept at turning ANYTHING into whine) – mainly cheap righteousness. i.e. Going on about what others do – when it is evident there is and has been much within the Catholic fold that needs attention! Our nearest Catholic neighbour – Ireland – is a leader in Europe when it comes to single-parent families. Odd to that when we look at the countries needing EU bailouts – the Protestant countries seem being a good deal better than our Catholic cousins. And if we look at world rates of murder, teen pregnancy etc. by country we see that Catholic countries are far, far higher placed than secular, liberal democracies. Perhaps because there is so much finger pointing and scape-goating in Catholic societies when perhaps the use of a mirror would be more beneficial? Abortion and homosexuality – the biggies at present on many a reactionary conservative Catholic blog – strange that these things are the least personally costly when it comes to any semblance of righteousness. Saints in the street and devils in the home is an adage applied to Catholics… And perhaps deservedly so… Whatever – the above post is just scare-mongering from someone who perhaps should do some first hand investigating, rather than making his know-all pronoucements from the safety of his Lancaster home…

    • Tony Flavin

      “for want of a better word”. Nail on the head there PD, nail on the head
      Like Cissy and Ada in the hairdressers.

      • Denis

        Extraordinarily enough with a name like Flavin you agree with someone who has condemned the Irish as feckless and lazy and Catholics as feckless, lazy, immoral and criminal. In other contexts that would be described as self loathing.

        • Tony Flavin

          Thanks for the ad hom.

          • Denis

            Sorry Tony, wasn’t meant as that, but per my later post what PD wrote was very nasty stuff. There was a post in yesterday’s Guardian which in part said the Catholic Church is attempting to fill Britain with criminal immigrants. PD ‘s comments are in a similar vein and would be more appropriate to a BNP handout than this discussion.

          • Tony Flavin

            Denis, there’s a little glitch that won’t let me reply to you. Thank you for your apology.

    • Lynda

      There’s nothing wrong with a teenager becoming pregnant per se. A married teenager being pregnant is the result of sacred marital relations. Ireland is not CatholIc, in the sense of truly believing, assenting, practising Catholics. Also, thankfully, a much smaller percentage of Irish women have their children killed in utero than elsewhere, meaning the pregnancy figures are recorded as higher – this will change if the abomination is legalised.

  • Rifleman819

    You obviously have issues, don’t you?
    But you never whinge or whine either. Glad to see that.

  • Tony Flavin

    I have got hold of the AQA text book and have it in front of me P14, 4th line down “The Catholic Church is completely opposed to abortion”. What’s not to like?

    The quote on family planning is a statement of fact, not doctrine. It’s on P54. On P55 under the heading ‘The Bible and contraception’, the truth is presented. There’s also an examiner’s tip explaining that “Most Christian Churches have a quite different approach to Contraception as compared to the Catholic Church. Make sure you understand the reasons for those differences.”

    “The experience of a marriage based on a loving and equal relationship has grown recently…..” is under the heading “a very brief history of marriage” It’s preceeded by a statement on the social economic peramiters of marriage in the past.

    “Christian faith means finding the loving thing to do in the modern world, which might mean breaking with tradition” like the tradition of sticking kids up chimneys for example, I don’t see that as a preference myself, so there must be other examples. I cannot find that one line, perhaps Verity can point me to it and we can discuss it further.

    “Most sexual relationships are between men and women….” again a statement of fact, the same chapter soon goes onto Christian responses to homosexuality. the only failing I’d find there is a lack of anything from the CCC, but the text book is not taught in isolation. Teachers in Catholic schools have studied how to present Catholic teaching, why should we doubt they will? The chapter (p50-51) summerises that the student “should be able to discuss moral questions about homosexuality and heterosexuality and evaluate Christian responses to them”. Which is what the chapter equips them to find.

    I know of a child taken out of Geography classes by parents because reprting the fact that China has a one child policy was seen as promoting artificial family planning.

    I know a History and RE teacher who in a lesson on martyrs mentioned Mary I, only for the History head of subject to get a letter of complaint that they were teaching anti-catholic history in the school.

    Keep calm and say a decade everyone.

    • Denis

      GCSE Biology OCR gateway, used in my children’s Catholic secondary school, when discussing evolution by natural selection: “the theory went against common religious beliefs about how life on earth developed. It was the first plausible explanation for our existence without the need for a creator God. This was very bad news for the religious authorities of the time” Cue picture of angry “religious types”.
      Factually wrong and bad science to boot. This is the difficulty Catholic schools are in. If any teacher reminds students that trans species evolution is nonsense they are branded as religious nuts when in fact what they are doing is perfectly sound. If you really think there is no problem with the way way science is presented, when was the last time you heard Father George Lemaitre, leading cosmologist of his generation mentioned?
      What concerns me is the broader context in which knowledge is imparted, rather than what AQA say in their attempt to cover Christianity.

    • Verity Szukam

      Tony, my post was to alert Catholic parents who accept the teaching of the Catholic Church in its fullness and integrity and want their children to be taught the same. For those who don’t accept Catholic teaching on divorce, or contraception, or sex before marriage etc. the book will appear fine and dandy, because it is written from that perspective. I assume you fall into the latter category in which case we will have to agree to differ.

      Denis, to be fair to Edexcel RS, both the official text book (Hylton p14-15)and at least one of the independent books (Taylor, p22) made reference to Fr. Lemaitre. I don’t know if he is mentioned in science; though given the lack of historical narrative in school science, I would be surprised if he were mentioned.

      • Tony Flavin

        Thank you for the sly ad hom Verity, I was warned you’d sink so low while avoiding points made to you. Good luck justifying yourself on the last day.

        Did you not see this line? “Christian faith means finding the loving thing to do in the modern world, which might mean breaking with tradition” like the tradition of sticking kids up chimneys for example, I don’t see that as a preference myself, so there must be other examples. I cannot find that one line, perhaps Verity can point me to it and we can discuss it further.

        Perhaps you can point me to it, or might you shy away from the discussion? I honestly can’t think why!!!

        • Verity Szukam

          Tony, I genuinely don’t understand your reaction, nor the point you are trying to make, unless it is simply that all my quotes are invalid (to which you can add the one on p48). They are invalid in the way you are taking them. The polemical intent was explained above, i.e. to get parents to read the books.

          For someone who doesn’t accept all of Church teaching, my position is invalid since our arguments are based on different premises. (If you still consider that to be ad hom, please explain it to me without resorting to insults). If you believe that using a general Christian Ethics course is better than a specifically Catholic Ethics course for passing on the Catholic faith in its fullness and integrity, then we have some basis for a discussion.

        • Verity Szukam

          All education is indoctrination in a sense. Sadly, the education system has long abandoned the explicit teaching of doctrine in Religious Instruction and replaced it with a value-free pluralistic approach as exemplified by all the current RS syllabi. This is subtle indoctrination into relativism, far more insidious than explicit religious indoctrination, because it doesn’t announce itself. Children in these lessons assume they are left free to form their own opinions, whilst they are being subtly manipulated. Of course a strong Catholic will have little problem picking out the Catholic teaching from the other views and filling in the gaps, but that presupposes they have a sound formation to begin with. How many children have been explicitly taught that abortion, contraception and divorce are wrong, and know the reasons why? How many hear it from their parents or teachers? How many hear it from the priest in the Sunday homily?

          To be fair to AQA, the Unit 2 Christian Ethics is not intended for Catholic schools, they have Unit 4 RC Ethics for that. E.g. Christianity Ethics p15 exam tip, “Remember Christians are divided on the issue of abortion. The exam might expect you to be able to explain fully two very different Christian responses to abortion.” How is the average teenager in a Catholic school going to respond to that personally? My guess is that rather than take the absolutist (p140) RC position in total opposition to abortion (p14), they will take one of the more liberal ‘Christian’ positions; after all, it would still be an acceptable ‘Christian’ response because the book says so. Right? The AQA RC Ethics course, for all its deficiencies, does not confuse Catholics by making them state Christian reasons in support of abortion.

          The secularists happily exploit the divisions in contemporary Christianity to marginalise the moral teaching of the Catholic Church, which was also accepted by the mainstream Protestant denominations until the last century, when one by one they became secularised. The Ofqual RS subject criteria classes Roman Catholicism as a Christian denomination, and effectively states that where Catholicism is taught it must be “in the context of the broader religious tradition to which it belongs.” So the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church is portrayed as just another denomination in a ‘tradition’ that has abandoned Tradition and largely embraced secularism.

      • Denis

        Thanks Suzy.
        I didn’t know about Edexcel. The OCR book I quoted quite rightly gave huge scientific and historical importance to Darwin. Lemaitre was scientifically more significant than Hubble who “borrowed” Lemaitre’s ideas and arguably in the same league as Einstein who said at the end of one lecture, only one man fully understands the significance of my (general) theory. That man was Fr Lemaitre.
        Off topic Prof Brian Cox in his BBC series essentially on cosmology failed to even mention Lemaitre. Important because how often do our young people hear that Catholicism is anti-intellectual.

  • Joseph Matthew

    P.D you seem to be doing a lot of finger pointing ! If you had been following this excellent blog, you would have learned that Ireland is no longer a Catholic country. Same goes for Portugal, Spain and Italy.

  • Denis

    “Our nearest Catholic neighbour – Ireland – is a leader in Europe when it comes to single-parent families. Odd to that when we look at the countries needing EU bailouts – the Protestant countries seem being a good deal better than our Catholic cousins. And if we look at world rates of murder, teen pregnancy etc. by country we see that Catholic countries are far, far higher placed than secular, liberal democracies. Perhaps because there is so much finger pointing and scape-goating in Catholic societies when perhaps the use of a mirror would be more beneficial?”

    PD may I respectfully ask where this nonsense comes from other than a pamphlet handed out at. BNP rally. I have in previous posts said how much I welcome open discussion. My welcome diminishes when this kind of “Protestant work ethic” ” lazy, feckless Catholics” nonsense appears.

  • Tony Flavin

    So we’re all clear there. No promotion at all.
    A misleading headline on this blog.

    • Verity Szukam

      Not blatant direct promotion, but more a insidious promotion. Christian Ethics modules don’t even pretend to be Catholic. Unless a student is already convinced of the truth of orthodox Catholic teaching on these moral issues before they start the course, there is nothing in the content to convince them otherwise. A few references to the “Catholic Church teaches xyz” are just one opinion amidst the competing opinions of liberal Christians and the overall secular bias of the text books, which happen to match the ‘cool’ opinions of their peers and reinforced by the mass media.

      The odds are stacked against a Catholic school being able to pass on the Catholic faith in its fullness. What justification is there for a Catholic school to use an ethics course that is not specifically Catholic?

  • Rifleman819

    Same old ,

    Read what I said about age of consent -it was linked to the Lateran Treaty at that time.
    Sexual activity in the Vatican -evidence please?

    Mugabe and travel bans-utterly farcical…if this were so …why then is he not immediately detained by the government of the Italian Republic?

    Suggest you contact the Italian Foreign Ministry.

    You have to land in Italy before you get to the Vatican.

    The RCC in Zimbabwe acts with the advice of the Vatican in sensitive matters-but I’m glad you have checked this out.The Holy See has to tread a very delicate line with monsters like Robert Gabriel-if only because he will and has taken revenge on both Catholic and Anglican communions in his country.
    I presume all of this stuff is because Mugabe’s bodyguards gave Tatchell rather a going over-not quite the staged publicity outcome he was wanting.
    Your simplistic take on these matters is very dangerous.

    • same old, same old

      Are you really saying that should be no law against anything that does not take place? As far as I know there have been no murders in he Vatican (recently) but does that mean that there shouldn’t be a law against it? As for sexual activity within the Vatican, I suppose we’ll have to await the publication of the report that has featured so heavily in La Repubblica – although I won’t be holding my breath.

      My thoughts on Mugabe have nothing to do with Tatchell but with his murderous regime that has possibly killed up to one third of the country’s population.

      And you are absolutely right, you do have to land in Italy before you get to the Vatican. So the travel ban on Mugabe would normally preclude this, but because he has a Vatican invitation in his blood-soaked hands there is nothing the Italian authorities can do about it.

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