I think I failed to mention in yesterday’s post about DD’s visiting a Catholic school that we are NOT Catholic. We are actually Congregationalist (a form of Protestantism). As part of the consideration of this school, we have to consider the impact on DD’s religious development. Part of school means attending a Catholic mass daily and participating in Catholic religious classes.
We did have an opportunity to sit through mass during our visit yesterday. I’m not sure how the kids felt, but it was awkward. Not only were there parts of the service obviously different than ours i.e. genuflecting at you enter you pew, actually turning wine and bread into blood and body, reading from books that are not included in our Bible, but also in subtle ways: being refused communion since we are not Catholic, watching only men allowed to participate in the service, and hearing that God sanctified the first Pope, Saint Peter. Its greatest difference was that it wasn’t even introduced in our language, but in Latin. Now I must admit, this was kind of cool and I actually came home and wrote it on the kid’s Educational Accomplishments. This service not only let them peek into another world religion, but allowed my daughter to see that Latin was not dead. But it means that you are not 100% sure about what you are hearing or in essence agreeing to as you pray to God.
My brother went to a Catholic high school back in the late ‘80’s early 90’s, escaping with his protestant faith basically intact, so I know that it is possible. But intact and unaltered are two different things. While I do appreciate their basic morals and more modest approach to living, I greatly disagree with many of tenants. However, there is great benefit when a school’s largest class/teacher ratio is a 9 to 1. There is something to be said when moral rights and wrongs are clearly laid out. So the questions become – Do the benefits outweigh the costs? Should I be supporting a denomination that I disagree with? Should our commonalities be seen as greater than our differences? Should I consider these same questions when judging the public alternative?