A rather stale news but one that did not escape my eyes!
MANILA, Sept. 18, 2009— A senior Catholic bishop called on Catholic educators to look into the current deficiencies like the trend towards competition among schools bordering on unhealthy contest.
Cebu Archbishop Ricardo Cardinal Vidal said the problem defeats the real intention of Catholic education: evangelization. [now its commercialization!]
“Competition is good but when it is interpreted to be a contest among the rich, the values of charity and justice ear (sic) easily lost,” he said. [It was obviously a typo. It should have read "and justice are easily lost."]
Cardinal Vidal made the statement in his homily on Friday during a Mass to formally close the three-day national convention of the Catholic Educational Association of the Philippines at the Manila Hotel.
According to the archbishop, the minds of young people are “impressionable” to dire things they see from their teachers of superiors.
“When they see their superiors and elders giving them a sense of being better than everyone else, then looking down on others as inferiors, charity and justice become patronizing attitudes,” he said.
The Church official said Catholic schools are called to be missionary because they are the potent means of evangelization. [Which was the reason why missionaries of old found schools. It was a very effective means to evangelization and eventually towards conversion. If the salvation of souls is still the reason why the religious congregations are in existence then this would be a no-brainer for them. Unless they have a twisted theology on salvation...like those from Richard McBrien.]
Unhealthy competitions and even the growing cultural fixation of affluent people towards elitism in education, he stressed, are destroying Catholic education. [Couldn't agree more. Most employers look to an applicant's Alma Mater rather than what the applicant can offer to the company. My friend who was an HR Manager told me so. She said that there is a some sort of "preference" for graduates of Philippine "Ivy League" Schools, if I may use the term. But as per my experience as an employee and supervisor, the diploma is not an assurance that your employee would not be as stellar as the reputation of his school. I've had my fair share of those who trumpet the name of their school but have nothing to prove whatsoever. Just full of hot air.]
He said the emerging phenomenon that education sector is being used for profit should not just cause for alarm, but calls for action. [Aside from founding a new religion or sect, education is a sure fire cash cow!]
“But then again we’re not after the money. The primary purpose of Catholic education is evangelization,” said the prelate. [I can suggest one teaching congregation that we can zero in on commercialization Your Eminence!]
Cardinal Vidal said Catholic schools are therefore challenged to work closely with the local Church and to be missionary institutions.
He added the schools are also called to advance a relevant yet prophetic education that seeks to promote social transformation in its programs and activities.
“This is the challenge of the Church to the schools to bring about the social and moral regeneration so that our people can participate more fully in the life of our nation and share in the goods of development,” he said. (Roy Lagarde)
My brother told me of a story after a game between the famous Blue Team and Green Team, the fabled rivalry in collegiate basketball. His eldest is studying at the Blue School while his nephew is studying at the Green School. Both kids are still in primary school. He said that his nephew told him that he saw his classmates in their school yard crying profusely! Why you might ask? Just because their team lost to the Blue Team...
My goodness! Are these the values Catholic schools are teaching our kids these days?
I am all for what the great Cardinal Vidal has said.
Huzzah to the Cardinal!