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Denying consent for religious visits

257 replies

BlueUggs · 09/10/2018 11:23

My son goes to a fantastic private school, which is catholic but we aren't catholic....
Since he entered year 7, I feel they have really started to push Catholicism onto my child. I have just refused consent for him to attend the local catholic church on a visit next week because I feel they are trying to convert him and he knows enough for year 3 from what they tell him at school.
We knew the school was catholic when we sent him there but didn't realise quite how much they were going to push it.....

OP posts:

user1495390685 · 09/10/2018 15:21

from activities, that is.


ainsisoisje · 09/10/2018 15:28

I didn’t know what charismatic Christianity was so just had a google. It does sound quite different to Catholicism tbh. Have you raised your kids in this faith and are now worried they might be swayed/influenced by other teachings?


ainsisoisje · 09/10/2018 15:31

I know there’s a lot of ceremony in Catholicism but we just went through the motions and it didn’t bog us down. It did give us a decent moral grounding though I think.


Poodles1980 · 09/10/2018 15:49

@blueuggs are you worried about him being brainwashed by Christianity or specifically Catholicism?


BlueUggs · 09/10/2018 15:50

@ainsisoisje - no. I've not bought him up in any faith particularly

OP posts:

Banana8080 · 09/10/2018 15:52

It’s a Catholic school! What did you expect?


Luvly12 · 09/10/2018 18:59


This is almost laughable.
You choose to send your child to a Catholic school
If you don't like that they have a focus on the Catholic faith then choose another school

You are being Absolutely bloody ridiculous.

Get another school. You are definately not going to like next year's focus on first holy confession and subsequent first holy communion 😂


Purpleartichoke · 09/10/2018 19:12


Some practical advice.

With my very literal and rational child, I have explained what I believe and the basic ideas behind an assortment of religions. I was honest that I do not share any of those beliefs, but Dd gets to make up her own mind and decide for herself. As she has aged she has asked for more details about the predominant religions in our area. I have explained the stories those religions present. Again, I repeat that I don’t believe those stories, but many people do. I’ve made it very clear that she will is allowed to disagree with me. As an example, I have told her about how I was not allowed to disagree with my parents religious beliefs.

I also highly recommend introducing older mythology. Greek and Roman are very easy to access at any age. It provides a framework for understanding that belief in certain narratives can change over time.

This could be turned into a learning opportunity for your son. You can teach him that he doesn’t have to believe what those in authority are telling him. It is a good lesson in life. You can remind him to be respectful, but skeptical in everything he encounters.


BlueUggs · 09/10/2018 22:19

@Purpleartichoke thank you. Good advice. Smile

OP posts:

sashh · 10/10/2018 07:09

Slight derail.

Holy Communion is an incredibly sacred act to Catholics. This is why FHC is so important to them and why they spend so much time preparing children for it.

My family is a mish mash of RC, other Christian and no faith. One of my parents was a convert, the other 'cradle Catholic, out of 4 grandparents I ha 2 cradle catholic, one convert and 1 protestant so I've always had cousins who were not RC as had my parents and grandparents.

But occasionally we are all together in a church for a wedding or a funeral or a baptism, and if it is an RC church someone usually ends up taking communion by accident, because they have gone for a blessing and forgotten to fold their arms or on one occasion the bridesmaid didn't realise the best man wasn't RC so walked him up the aisle for communion.

It's now almost a tradition.


Backinthebox · 10/10/2018 09:46

"This is almost laughable.
You choose to send your child to a Catholic school
If you don't like that they have a focus on the Catholic faith then choose another school"

You are being borderline offensive here. Sometimes, try as you might, there are no alternative schools. I had a choice of incredibly religious CofE school with a head who greeted you with the words 'Peace be with you' and expected the reply 'and also with you,' as you would expect a priest or vicar to greet their congregation in church. The school had a school prayer, played hymns as the background music when the kids all entered or left the hall in groups for any reason, had numerous church visits. It's logo incorporates a cross and the head has had the school acknowledged as a school of outstanding religious education. This is the local state village school. My agnostic DC1 had a happy education there.

Otoh, there is the Catholic school, which (having had a very indoctrinated catholic upbringing myself) I veered away from. After DC2 suffered at the hands of a bullying class teacher and the head who backed his bully (and who could do with a few lessons in Christian compassion himself!) we sent him to the Catholic school as it was the only other state alternative. We live very rurally and to find a secular school we would have had to travel a considerable distance. I gritted my teeth and prepared for the worst but have found it's religious education to be fairly comprehensive in terms of world religions as well as teaching Catholic concepts well disguised as English, music, art, etc. The 9% of all teaching to be religious component does not get in the way for the school delivering an excellent education - DC2 is getting access to more science, language, sport and humanities than he ever did at the CofE school. There is an emphasis this year on Communion, but this is being driven by the parents as much as by the school on the parents social media group. I've decided to ignore it as we won't be taking part, and my son feels much the same way about it as he does football ie the other kids seem to be more into it than he is but thats ok.

In a perfect world all schools would be secular with a strong bias towards the moral and ethical education of children rather than religious. In my mind religion is not always morally or ethically right - too many atrocities are committed in it's name. However schools are not always secular. And even I, with my neutral stance on much of religion, acknowledge that a school that does not celebrate or educate about the great holidays such as Christmas or Easter is poorer for it. My children and I have discussed in length about Jesus's birthday, how do they know when it is, how they don't actually and the ancient Christians co-opted in an older festival, how Father Christmas and St Nicholas have incorporated gift-giving and the North Pole into Christmas and how all of it adds up to a magical time of year whichever angle you come at it from. We've done the same for Easter vs Eostre, and the whole concept of new life and how this applies to Christianity but also to the Easter Bunny and to chocolate eggs.

We've picked the best schools for each of our children and there are aspects of every school which don't always tick every box for every child but compromises often need to be made. The ridicule that is being sent the way of the OP for the compromises she has made in order to try and get her child the best start in life and an education that is best for him are somewhat, well, unchristian in their nastiness, and for that I'd suggest that you all go to confession later in the week and say 10 Hail Marys right now, and be grateful that Catholicism allows such getout clauses from such unkind behaviour.


larryharryhausen · 10/10/2018 10:46

Hi BlueUggs,

You'll probably find they're not targeting your son. The religious vocation is broadly spread throughout the school for all the pupils and making an exception for your boy would more likely isolate him, draw attention to him, and create unanticipated difficulties. Remember, many of the parents are likely sending their children there precisely because they want them to have a Catholic-themed education, and are paying for it. Ultimately, you need to sit down with your son and ask him what his feelings are and if it makes him uncomfortable then move him to another school.


yikesanotherbooboo · 10/10/2018 15:38

My children went tour local primary which is Cof E affiliated. They were taught about Christmas and Easter as fact. I am not a church goer but I expected this to happen. It hasn't turned them into Christians . I don't think the school are trying to convert your DC it is just that they don't see Catholicism as an optional thing. The way they bring the children up includes Christ's teachings .


Luvly12 · 10/10/2018 19:44

Backinthebox... how am I being offensive???
Catholic school , Catholic ethos and focus. Don't like it ... Don't go. Simple.

I wouldn't send my child to a Jewish school and then complain about the religious focus????

OP may have had to compromise to get her child into a school of her choosing but that doesn't mean the school or anyone else has to compromise.

I do agree with your points of your own experiences and hope the OP is reassured by that.


BlueUggs · 10/10/2018 20:25

I'm not asking anyone to compromise?!
I was asking people's opinion on not letting my child go on a church visit? Who is being asked to compromise and what am I asking them to compromise?

OP posts:

bandthenjust · 10/10/2018 20:39

op I understand your predicament! My kids went to a faith school as it was the only one in the area and we were desperate - we're an atheist family lol. W e let our kids make up their own minds about religion, and let the school spout their b.s.
In terms of your son going on the trip - tell them no lol. Joining in on assemblies/RE and whatnot is fine, but if you don't want him going on a school trip that's YOUR right. I don't know what it's like in your son's school, in the school my kids were previously at there was a muslim kid in my daughter's class who sat out when they prayed/did RE etc and it was never an issue.
If you feel iffy enough about it that you're asking online strangers for advice, you have your answer! Follow your gut.


Luvly12 · 10/10/2018 21:44

Sorry OP I've become all over zealous in this thread!!


yikesanotherbooboo · 10/10/2018 22:35

OP, as far as your little DC is concerned; I think they should go on the trip unless a large number of children are not going. It is important to children to belong and DC are too young to understand your qualms. Apart from anything else, a school trip always feels exciting. Like it or not, Christian culture is still a major building block of our civilisation. It is our social and physical history. As I said above there is nothing sinister going on. Many of us have been brought up and have brought up our children attending faith schools. You chose the school knowing its ethos. Don't make your DC feel left out , don't criticise , just answer questions as best you can and allow them to draw their own conclusions. Most people are not practising church goers .


dawnmist · 10/10/2018 22:55

Your child will probably benefit from going to a catholic school. What the hell harm can it do. Going by what i’ve read on some threads, children brought up catholic are far better behaved, are better mannered, more thoughtful etc than children from other schools.

I went to a catholic school years ago when religion really was rammed down our throats, Guess what, i’m still in touch with quite a few of my old class mates, and they’ve all turned out into nice well rounded human beings. Some are atheists, some have a strong belief in God. As adults we form our own opinions. Our catholic teachings harmed us not one jot. Your child has far more to gain than lose. Be grateful.


expatmigrant · 10/10/2018 22:59

Well I was brought up through catholic schooling in a catholic country. It did not stick and I have been an Atheist for as long as I remember.


Rebecca36 · 10/10/2018 23:02

They don't normally push it even on Catholic pupils nowadays unless it's one of those Opus Dei type schools.

Going on a visit to a church is not pushing religion. The children will visit lots of places which will give them an insight into many cultures.

Pushing religion is saying, "This is what you must believe".


reallyreallynow · 11/10/2018 00:36

Take your kid out of the school, it's a catholic school where catholic parents send their children for a catholic education!

You don't like it.... move on!


reallyreallynow · 11/10/2018 00:38

I'm not asking anyone to compromise?!
I was asking people's opinion on not letting my child go on a church visit? Who is being asked to compromise and what am I asking them to compromise

Would you say no to a visit to a mosque?


Lalliella · 11/10/2018 00:48

YABU. You chose a Catholic school so you should expect a catholic education. It’s not fair on him or the school to start picking and choosing what he learns.


BlueUggs · 11/10/2018 07:39

@reallyreallynow - I answered that already upthread. I don't know. I don't know whether to send him on this trip, so equally I don't know whether to send him on a trip to a mosque....

OP posts:
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