As Catholics, we live and learn with God’s grace
This week's editorial
IT COMES as no surprise that education is in the news at this time of year, what with students up and down the country knuckling down to end of year exams and summer looming. What exciting news it has been on Catholic education, however.
Firstly the formal launch of the St Andrew’s Foundation at Glasgow University. Not only does this bring Vatican heavyweight Archbishop Gerhard Müller, Prefect of the Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith, to our country to give the 2013 Cardinal Winning Lecture on the importance of Catholic education, it also strengthens the position of Catholic teacher training at Glasgow University after recent restructuring there.
Then there is the Caritas Award, launched as part of the legacy of Pope Benedict XVI’s visit to Scotland in 2010, extending its reach to primary pupils. Given the great joy and opportunities this awards programme has brought to Scottish senior secondary school students and their parishes and communities, the idea of extending its reach to senior primary pupils with their own two-year award programme has been well received.
The 2013 Caritas Award ceremony in Glasgow on June 2 promises to be a day to remember as a record number of secondary students from throughout the country gather at the end of their journey on the programme to celebrate all that has been achieved.
Given that all too often the only time Catholic education hits the headlines these days is in relation to school closures, shared campus battles or incorrect links to the casual factors behind continued sectarianism in Scotland, it is indeed important to shine a well-deserved light of the achievements of Catholic schools and Catholic education in this country, and to pray. Doubly so at a time when secularists are once again campaigning against religious education in Scotland.
What is left to be said after last week’s statement from the Vatican on Cardinal Keith O’Brien’s departure from the country for a period of spiritual renewal and penance? Nothing that is going to make any difference to the cardinal or those who accuse him; nothing, either, that will satisfy those in secular Scottish society still baying for blood or hoping to bring down our Church; and precious little more that will help the Scottish hierarchy—who must now rebuild—further to SCO columnists Hugh Dougherty and Kevin McKenna’s recent comments on the Faithful’s urgent need for strong leadership in dark times.
One thing is for certain, however. Those who took it upon themselves to throw stones at the Scottish parish where the cardinal was due to retire—or any parish for that matter—should be reminded of John 8:7 “Let he who is without sin cast the first stone.” And they should know this also: Stone throwing and name-calling will have no impact on the future of our Church.
If you find yourself in need of uplifting inspiration, don’t miss Cath Doherty’s new SCO series, beginning this week, on the vital role of the laity and parish life.