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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:

CherryPavlova · 11/10/2018 08:16

I think, as people say, if you send your children to Catholic schools, you can expect them to be taught Catholic doctrines. That seems obvious. You wouldn’t send your child to a Muslim school and expect them to serve bacon rolls at breakfast club.

If he’s seven rather than in year 7 then there will be increased teaching about the faith because it’s the time most Catholic children make First Holy Communion. This is the first sacrament which children play an active role in, a foundation stone for a life of Catholicism and generally considered quite an exciting time.

That said, most Catholic parents have enough difficulties raising their children as practising Catholics. Many, many children who are not Catholic attend Catholic schools learn about the faith but choose not to join or follow the religion. Many Catholic children also choose not to follow the faith. Similarly many Catholic children attend non Catholic schools but continue through life without becoming Anglicans.
I think your overreacting to the teaching and overstating the influence. It’s surely a good thing to understand other religions beliefs and practices. It means we grow up a more tolerant society.

It’s interesting you chose a Catholic school for your son because of additional needs. Catholics might have many failings but there is a strong tradition of accepting all people/children as of equal value and worth and very special in the eyes of God. The very Catholicism you are now berating is probably why your son feels comfortable and secure in the setting.


sliceofcheese · 11/10/2018 08:17

All faith schools at the very least have a daily act of worship (usually a quick prayer at lunch) The rest will be down to the school. Some are very strict, some teach based around biblical values.

As a non religious parent I asked the question at open days. I made my choices with those answers in mind.

Catholic schools are notorious for really pushing their ethos. The RE lessons are heavily skewed towards Catholicism. I've also known GCSE RE be compulsory. This is why usually you have to be baptised catholic to get in.

It won't stop. If you disagree and want them to stop you will likely need to move schools.


peakydante · 11/10/2018 08:33

I understand your concerns OP. My children will go to a catholic school because I'm in Ireland and over 90% of state schools are Catholic (disgracefully) so I have no other option. I was brought up catholic but am a staunch atheist now so I hate the thought of my children being indoctrinated with such bile.

However, if you just explain to your son that "some people at school believe in god but we don't " and the reasons etc. then he will most likely be fine! By seven I was already questioning religion and refusing to go to mass on Sunday so he'll see it for what it is. Generally speaking, Catholic "values" taught at school aren't bad. We were encouraged to be tolerant, kind and to help those in need etc. so if it's a good school otherwise it will be fine.


BlueUggs · 11/10/2018 10:27

@peakydante, I agree!! So much of what they teach him is fab, but because of coming up to FHC, it's ramped up massively.....
I've been told very firmly that I'm BU!!

OP posts:

Rach182 · 11/10/2018 10:38

@BlueUggs I went to Catholic school but we werent Catholic. Your concerns are valid though but you can't stop your child attending mass etc. But my mum always told us not to say the prayers along with the other kids, and if it was a celebration day, she wouldn't send us with flowers etc to put in front of the statue. We also always had our arms crossed for a blessing instead of receiving communion as we never did confirmation. The rest of the stuff you can just accept as part of his life education- understanding how religious people behave. The balance is in allowing him to decline participation in certain aspects of the service without being disrespectful to the religion (I.e. it would be disrespectful to stay seated during communion but not disrespectful to receive a blessing instead, it's disrespectful to keep your eyes open/ walk out during prayers but not disrespectful to bow your head in silence). The biggest influence on his life will be his parents so you need to explain to him why the Catholics do what they do in a way you're comfortable with. Oh and none of us were converted despite all going to Catholic schools all our lives.


flowercrow · 11/10/2018 10:40

OP, personally I would let him go on the church visit as he is learning about Catholicism daily anyway. Plus in non-religious schools they visit churches, mosques etc.
Advice from my own experience: when I was 11 I took something literally ( am ASD) in an evangelical Christian club at a state, non-religious school. We asked Jesus into our hearts. Until my mid-forties I believed I was "possessed" by Jesus and that he was inside me watching my every move, waiting to get me for any sin.
What I would focus on if I were you is talking to his teacher and working out strategies for his literal way of thinking, for checking what he has understood by teachings in school. This might involve your learning more about Catholicism yourself, eg the explanation of transubstantiation above.


peakydante · 11/10/2018 13:52

BlueUggs well I don't think YABU - you have my vote Grin

It will calm down once his class make their communion. Granted it will ramp up again when they make their confirmation but that won't be for a few years and there's a lot less fanfare around that one!

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