What religion is being taught in Catholic schools?

This has been a puzzle for many Catholic parents, including myself, for a number of years.

At a May 27 meeting of the important Metropolitan (Toronto) separate School Board’s Religious Affairs committee, chaired by Father Ed Boehler, the Religious Ed chicken feathers hit fan.


It all started in response to what was perceived as stonewalling by senior MSSB staff of an annual, board-wide test in religious knowledge for students in Grades 5, 8, 10, and 12.  The project had been initiated by Father Ed Boehler, a former chairman of the board.  Trustees Michael Doyle, Harold Adams and Owen O’Reilly, members of the committee had also been behind the project.

We have become a generation of illiterate Catholics.  Some students attending Catholic schools can barely make the sign of the cross, they don’t’ know their prayers, they don’t know the Ten Commandments; 80 per cent of them don’t go to Sunday Mass.

There are even rumours that about a third of Catholic teachers don’t go to Sunday Mass either.

Are Catholic students taught that the Catholic Faith is the greatest gift they’ll ever get?  They should be, because it is.  There has been a feeling that the presents religious teaching program has torn the core out of the Catholic Faith and teaches the students little of importance, making God into a combination of Santa Clause and the Good Humour Man.


Some feel that our religious curriculum has drunk deeply from the last quarter-century of pseudo catechisms.

These include the Dutch Catechism, which omitted eight major areas of Christian doctrine, according to the Cardinals who reviewd it in 1967; or the U.S. catechism, Christ Within Us, a book which had its Church approval withdrawn after 15 years of protest and 3 million copies later.  It is still being published by the secular press.

Then we come to the Canadian (there’s an American version, too) of the Come to the Father series.  This took the concise 100-page catechism that served the Catholic community well in years gone by, into a multi-volumed, vague and wordy series of books which went through several revisions without much improvement.

Now that the Come to the Father series is no longer acceptable to feminists, it has been re-packaged and given a new life under the title Born of the Spirit.