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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:

OlderThanAverageforMN · 09/10/2018 12:05

Both DD's went to Catholic private school. I went there too, and when I went they had nuns (!), I even wanted to BE a nun at one point. They went to all the masses, and got taught all the Catholic doctrine, they came home and questioned it all, and we discussed it dispassionately, and by the time they were in Year 6, thought it was all a load of baloney. I wouldn't worry too much, they have to teach about other religions as they go up through the school, and in many ways you get lots of lovely religious festivals thrown in, Christmas is always traditional in a Catholic school, which I loved. DD's never took part in any of Holy Communions or anything like that, they are not even Baptised, so couldn't anyway. You can send him to a secular school for secondary.


Lweji · 09/10/2018 12:05

If you are concerned about the visit to a catholic church, why not also visit places of worship for other religions? It's all part of education and learning about religious diversity is good for everyone.


DarlingNikita · 09/10/2018 12:06

YABU. I don't know what you expected.


Thatstheendofmytether · 09/10/2018 12:06

Well it is a Catholic school so yes yabvu.


Clandestino · 09/10/2018 12:06

DD goes to Catholic school and she goes to church. She uses the occasion to daydream or sleep.


MyCatIsBonkers · 09/10/2018 12:06

He at first communion age now. Most Catholic schools have an increase in religious content at this point as most of the kids will be preparing for it. Once you're through that it'll quieten down again I expect.


SillySallySingsSongs · 09/10/2018 12:07

We knew the school was catholic when we sent him

Well there is your answer. You sent him to a private Catholic school then complain when they teach within a Catholic ethos Hmm


OlderThanAverageforMN · 09/10/2018 12:08

Clandestino This, always..... incense helps too Grin


chockaholic72 · 09/10/2018 12:08

They won't be trying to convert him. But you can see it as a healthy thing - at my catholic school we obviously went to mass and made our communion, but we also visited a synagogue, a mosque, sikh and hindu temples, and a quaker meeting house. They were all really educational visits, and we were taught that there are many religions in the world, and we need to be tolerant of other people's beliefs.


Improve12 · 09/10/2018 12:09

Depending on what country you are in, there are recommendations on how even religious instruction is given to children. Concepts such as heaven and hell and using fear to motivate children can be considered child abuse. Children have rights and a voice. It is clear your son is not Catholic. He should not be made specifically to participate in anything religious in nature. If all the teachers and fellow students are Catholic, won't your boy feel left out, naturally pressured or susceptible to mild bullying?


pmac62 · 09/10/2018 12:10

At this age many of the children will be preparing for their 1st communion, and reconciliation. The school will teach him along with everybody else, the preparation for these sacraments.
You chose to send him to that school. So yes YABU


CoolCarrie · 09/10/2018 12:13

YABU you must have realised that a catholic school would be expecting your child to take part in mass, RE,etc. He will have plenty of time away from school to make up his own mind about religions of all kinds.


Rememberallball · 09/10/2018 12:14

It probably seems that the catholic faith is more heavily focused on as Y3 is usually the school year when catholic children prepare for, and participate in, First Holy Communion. Schools play a big part in that preparation - in my DNiece’s school they encourage the children to do their First Holy Communion together and usually split all catholic children over 2 services at the church the school is affiliated to.


Somerville · 09/10/2018 12:14

You're paying Catholics to educate him but you don't want him walking into their church building?


Fink · 09/10/2018 12:15

Obvs YABVU, as pp have said. Visiting a church is a perfectly normal activity for a Catholic school and if you choose a good Catholic school then you can reasonably expect the Catholic ethos to pervade every aspect of the school day.

But just to point out as well, it is really very highly unlikely they are trying to convert him. I'm Catholic and I work in the Catholic education system, both with schools and parishes, and believe me, converting 7 year olds does not come into it at all. For a start, he would need parental permission to convert; then it's very unlikely that a priest would be willing to baptise him if neither parent was a Catholic (not unheard of but there would either have to be some exceptional extenuating circumstances or a very lax priest) because he is required to have a reasonable belief that the child will be brought up Catholic, which it's hard to argue if there are no other Catholics in the home; then someone would have to give up their time to catechise him for months, probably one-to-one ... etc. etc.

RCs do not generally proselytise in the sense of going out trying to convert people who do not otherwise show an interest, although we welcome conversations with people who do. If children are interested in converting without their parents, we would normally make them wait until at least 16, and even then between 16-18 they would still need parental consent. We really are not at all into converting 7 year olds.

If you seriously have misperceptions about the Catholic Church to this extent I think you have chosen the wrong school.


SalemBlackCat4 · 09/10/2018 12:15

I don't understand. It is a Catholic school. Of course they are going to push their religion hard. There are plenty of private schools and non-religious private schools you could have sent him to. You are being unreasonable and very foolish if you don't consent to him going to the Catholic church of which the Catholic private school is attached to. Why do parents like you do this? It is absolute absurd.


Jeanclaudejackety · 09/10/2018 12:15

Basically you want to have your cake and eat it. I'll bet the Catholic school is higher performing than the alternative bog standard comp.


Glumglowworm · 09/10/2018 12:16


you chose a private catholic school. It’s not even like state school where you may have had not much choice. You actively chose to pay for a catholic education. And you’re surprised that that’s exactly what you’re getting?


LibraryLurker · 09/10/2018 12:16

You are being unreasonable. It is a private catholic school, so a lot, admittedly not all) parents will have chosen it precisely because it teaches in a catholic ethos and they have the money to pay for it. If there was no demand for this kind of approach then the school, and those like it would soon close. You need to weigh up if the smaller classes and their accommodation of your child's SN outweigh your reservations about the school. If it was a state school and you had been forced to accept a faith school then there would be more sympathy for your position.


Hissy · 09/10/2018 12:17

What out of interest were you expecting?

If your DC has SN, and is more susceptible to mind moulding, you should never have sent him to a Catholic school. You will need to reconsider your choice for him, it's not going to work for him long term.

Sorry, but even you know YABU (((hug)))


MeAgainSparkle · 09/10/2018 12:18

Of course YABU. What a silly question. Catholic schools are hardcore in their indoctrination. Why on earth would you chose to send your child there if you don't respect or even have any interest in the religion? And to bleat "because it's a good school" is ridiculous if you can't accept that they will be underpinning Catholicism at the heart of their teaching.


Ellie56 · 09/10/2018 12:19

This is the nature of faith schools. I 've worked in a C of E school where about 98% of the children were Muslim, but we still took them regularly to the local Christian church and involved them in the important festivals. I've also worked in a Catholic school and the Faith ran through everything they did.

If your son is happy, he is making progress and his special needs are being met I would keep him there, but I wouldn't stop him from participating in anything, otherwise he will feel isolated.


MrMeSeeks · 09/10/2018 12:21

Yes,yabu, massively,
Really sad that you’re not going to let him go on an essentially a fun trip with his classmates because of your beliefs.
I went to visit churches and to church camp.
I’m an atheist.


ileclerc · 09/10/2018 12:21

DTs are in a catholic school, we are practising catholics and are n y4. They are in church or at mass for something most weeks, and i dont even know about it half the time until after it's happened.

By withrawing consent I would imagine you risk isolating him assuming most of the other kids are catholic. I remember a girl at my convent school who was Sikh and she was so upset not to be doing FHC with the rest of us.

Worth noting it will ramp up in year three if they are doing in school prep for FHC.


scaryteacher · 09/10/2018 12:23

Have you asked why they are visiting the Church OP. Could it part of the syllabus that children are introduced to different places of worship? Would you refuse permission if the visit were to a Synagogue/Gudwara/Temple or Mosque?

I went to RC Primary for a couple of years, and got to sit Mass out as we were CofE. I grew up to be eventually an agnostic RE teacher, so setting foot in a Church won't harm or indoctrinate your ds in any way, any more than weekly church attendance for most of my life til 16 did for me. I have a healthy appreciation of ecclesiastical architecture and church music, but no religious belief, much to my DM's distress.

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