BY Amanda Connelly | November 10 | comments icon 0 COMMENTS     print icon print

6-ARCHBISHOP-CUSHLEY

Schools must make Jesus their central focus, archbishop says

Archbishop Leo Cushley of St Andrews & Edinburgh Archdiocese has said that Catholic schools must go beyond RE departments and aim to ‘make Jesus Christ the cornerstone of any contemporary curriculum’

He made the claim writing in Reclaiming the Piazza II: Catholic Education and the New Evangelisation, which features chapters penned by clergy and leading experts within Catholic education including both Archbishop Cushley and Bishop John Keenan of Paisley.

Archbishop Cushley said:  “All academic disciplines should find their meaning in Christ. Not just theology but psychology, neuroscience and biology too. Black gowns as well as red. Faith as well as science. All things renewed in Christ. God as all in all.”

Archbishop Cushley noted that this not the ‘intellectual instinct’ of the society in which the young people of today exist and learn, citing the history of the Enlightenment period as bringing about a ‘polarity’ between religion and reason.

“The intellectual lineage of the Enlightenment is such that the vast majority of our young people are now born into a society where such modernist or, more often, post-modernist nostrums permeate the cultural air they breathe: there is no ultimate purpose, no objective truth or, if there is, we can neither perceive nor grasp it,” he said. “Not surprisingly, in response many young people recuse themselves from the search for life’s essential meaning, settling instead for a dizzying tinsel show of distractions that can sometimes bring a moment’s satisfaction but all too often leaves the youthful soul unhappy and unsatisfied.

“Indeed, the anecdotal and statistical evidence suggests that the ever-enveloping culture of ‘debonair nihilism’ gives our young people little reason to laugh or even, sometimes, to live.”

He praised Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI’s visit to Scotland as a ‘turning point’ towards a new evangelisation in the UK and beyond.

“Here was the common language of reason being intelligently employed to propose a coherent, compelling and compassionate re-presentation of the person of Jesus Christ to the intellectual classes of the West, who historically have been shaped by Christianity but who have slowly drifted away from the credo and custom of the Faith in recent centuries,” Archbishop Cushley said.

The archbishop (above) issued guidance for Catholic teachers, saying that they must have their words and actions be ‘consonant’ with proclaiming the Gospel message.

He said this can only happen when our personal life is ‘nurtured’ by prayer. “It is only private prayer than will lead to a Catholic ethos that fosters a new evangelisation,” said the archbishop, which will lead to having Catholic teachers modelled on Jesus Himself.

The book is edited by Ronnie Convery, Leonardo Franchi and Raymond McCluskey, it also features a foreword by

Archbishop Rino Fisichella, president of the Pontifical Council for the Promotion of the New Evangelisation.

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