Advanced search

Catholicism 101? Also dealing with school being different to home

(14 Posts)
BrittaPerry Fri 21-Sep-12 11:19:12

Dd1 is at a Catholic school (only one with a place) and we are atheist/feminist/liberal/socialist - although i did breifly go to a very happy clappy evangelical church as a child.

She is 5, and a bit morbid grin so keeps randomly crossing herself and praying. If she asks about things like god, death, jesus etc, i go fir "well, nobody knows for sure, because it can't be tested, but I think the world is just nice/people stop existing except in memories/jesus was just a Man with some good ideas, but other people have different ideas and that s fine too."

The only things i am insistant on are equality (gay marriage, women in equal power, etc) and that sex/cohabiting/having babies outside of marriage/condoms etc is fine.

I think i could possibly do with some kind of guide to Catholicism, so i at least know what school are telling her.

Also, what does everyone else do when school has a different belief system?

MaryBS Fri 21-Sep-12 16:41:41

Wow, thats tough. Can I ask why she's in a Catholic school? It can't be easy for her hearing one thing at home and a different thing at school, or easy for you either, when she tells you about what she has learnt at school about God.

It might be worth asking the school what they would recommend to help you understand the Catholic faith. Or perhaps someone else can suggest something here. I know there's a "for Dummies guide", which presents it in a fairly lighthearted way, but whether that is whats best for you....? I saw it in a branch of Waterstone's, so you could try there...

MaryBS Fri 21-Sep-12 16:42:16

Oo, sorry, only just saw it was the only one with a place... blush

GoldandOrangeAnnunziata Fri 21-Sep-12 17:35:09

You maybe could get a copy of their RE books? In Scotland I think they are using This Is Our Faith, it used to be Alive-O. But really, I don't think you need to worry, I highly doubt they will talk about gay marriage, sex, condoms etc in a primary school- it's more (IME) God made us, God made the world, we are all special etc.

BrittaPerry Fri 21-Sep-12 18:42:37

My (non religious) primary school talked about sex, sexualities, safe sex, masturbation, contrception and so on, and that was back in the olden days, when it was technically illegal to say it was ok to be gay. It was part of sex education, and a very good thing imo. I might be the first parent considering withdrawing their child from sex and relationships education because the school won't talk about important things, but i do strongly beleive that things like that need to be reinfoced outside the family - i don't want to tell my future 11yo that is ok to masturbate, because that would be massiely embarrasing and possibly inappropiate. As part of an official school 'talk' though,mit is fine. Same goes for condoms, various sexualities and gender identities, and so on.

Tbh, i'm mostly concerned about them tackiling homophobia, sexism etc earlier on in the school. Dd has already been in a few arguments with other 5 year olds about whether or not girls can kiss and love other girls, and whether girls can play football. I know all this is coming from the kids, and by extension the parents, but i hope the school would come down on it like a ton of bricks. I would like to know what the official catholic line is on all that, though.

BrittaPerry Fri 21-Sep-12 18:44:28

Btw, i freely admit, this is frm a position of ignorance. The school coukd be fine with all this, but i know ver little about catholicism and have no idea here to even start learning.

mariamma Fri 21-Sep-12 19:24:11

SRE policy and textbook / web resource

seeker Fri 21-Sep-12 19:26:58

And make sure she's on the waiting list for all the other schools in the area.

GoldandOrangeAnnunziata Fri 21-Sep-12 21:24:49

Again, going on personal experience, sex ed in that detail is not something that was brought up in Catholic primary school (my own school days and my children's.) You will need to go and see the school to be sure, explain your concerns and see what they have to say. I'm a bit confused on your last point- do you not want to talk to your child at all about sex? Are you wanting the school to do it all?

i'm mostly concerned about them tackiling homophobia, sexism etc earlier on in the school.

The Catholic line on girls playing football? grin You know all these problems can be present in a non-Catholic school, and not all Catholics are sexist homophobes! But specifically- as far as I know- they are not explicitly taught about homophobia and sexism, especially at such a young age. I believe that the most important education comes from parents- if you are not sexist and not homophobic then your children will be the same.

Finally, you are not asking about Catholicism really. Catholicism 101 would be the Holy Trinity, transubstantiation, Our Lady... this is our religion, this is what your DD should be taught.

sashh Sat 22-Sep-12 07:36:17

The problem is you are being open and honest, saying there is no proof etc. But at school she is being taught that God exists as a fact. That Mary was a virgin and gave birth to Jesus who died for her sins.

I think you need to make her aware that what she is being taught is an RC point of view. If she is prating and crossing herself at home than she is certainly doing it at school.

She is not going to be taught that men and women are equal, she is going to be taugh that they are different with different roles. She will be taught that marriage between men and women is the norm and the only option.

I think the first thing to watch out for is the Baptism and origional sin, it can be quite upsetting for small children. Basically RC teaching is that a baby is born with 'origional sin' and this is erased/washed away at baptism. So, assuming your dd isn't baptised, at some point the RC teaching will be that if she dies, she will not be able to go to heaven.

I don't know how you deal with that, just trying to fore warn you. A friend with muslim children handled it well. One of her children came back from his cousin's really upset because if his mum died she would go to hell. She told him not to worry because all her friends would be with her.

Another concept she will encounter, probably around age 7 when classmates are prepping for first communion is that of transubstansiation (?sp). When a Roman Catholic takes communion they are not eating a piece of bread and drinking some wine they are actually consuming the flesh of Jesus and drinking his blood.

Of course there is no physical change, for RCs it is a spiritual change, a miracle.

But one of my RC relatives who attended mass every week with her family was terrified that on her first communion she would be given a lump of flesh to eat.

If you contact the school they should be able to find you some literature. There is some written for people thinking of converting that might be more useful than a children's book.

GoldandOrangeAnnunziata Sat 22-Sep-12 09:36:19

Jesus died for our (humankind's) sins, Mary was born free of sin (the Immaculate Conception) smile

Reconciliation comes first in our area, where you make your first confession, then Communion, then Confirmation.

They are quite big on the lives of the saints too, whuch can be a bit gory. She might be taught to use a rosary and some basic Bible stories. I have to say again that gender roles and marriage don't tend IME to be taught like that, but I might not have picked up on things that you wouldn't like.

seeker Sat 22-Sep-12 10:00:27

Oh, and it's Mary who was the product of the Immaculate Conception, not Jesus.

Not a lot of people know that. Useful if you need to play the "I'm more Catholic than you" card at any point.

BrittaPerry Sat 22-Sep-12 10:48:45

I'm fine with talking to her about sex, and we have included non traditional families in our explanations from the start (babies need an egg, seed and womb, but they on't all need to come from the people who will be the mummy, daddy, mummies, daddies, etc, who just need to love the baby and look after it). I just think that it is usefl for it to be reinforced at school.

She has been taught ancient greek and roman stories as well as stories from modern religions and literature since she was a baby - they are currently reading an adaptation of Wuthering Heights as a bedtime story, before that it was the tempest, we do activities from home education books on mummification, she likes to play doctors with our modelsof brains and skulls ]grin] - so goriness and such isn't a worry.

Dh is being a dick about it and saying she can't change now she has started :-(. It is a lovely school, and fairly academic, but the catholic aspect is very offputting. I wanted to HE, but i was seriously ill while the school places were being sorted out. We had decided to send her to school, and i only let dh put her on the catholic school list as i didn't think she would get in. As it happened, we were on the list for eight schools and i was in hospital, one month before school started, when the place was offered.

milkandribena Sun 23-Sep-12 19:50:26

Slightly different for me As I was/still am (a very very bad) Catholic. But I went to catholic schools. And the views I was exposed to at home and with family contradicted what I heard at school.
Admittingly it was confusing earlier on but by the time it got to the point of exact beliefs on things - women's rights/abortion/gay rights etc. I was old enough to know I disagreed with what school (and church) told us.

I wouldn't worry about the politics part - in the words for my da 'You can't be a christian and vote tory'. I was brought up with very radical parents still went to mass twice on a sunday. Just me and my siblings had our family telling us that some of what we were taught was a load of codswallop.
It is just a matter of balance.

and seeker once had an argument with my mam over that one turns out her old nuns had taught her wrong

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now