The Catholic Identity in Catholic Institutions

[ 2 ] February 27, AD 2012 |

I am an undergrad student at a known university in the Philippines, and this is my last year before moving on to the corporate environment. Apparently, it’s a Catholic university and is named in honor of a famous saint. It is simply one of the many Catholic schools in the predominantly Catholic country.

What plagues Catholic schools in the Philippines, however, is the increasing influence of radicalism and secularism within campuses. I would have to admit that way back when, when I was like 17, I supported many radical organizations who wished for change and “equality” within the school. Eventually, I’ve grown to accept the fact that the identity of the university has to be preserved and not to be tainted by the sort of relativism these organizations hope for.

Here’s my problem: There are a lot of good, government run schools in the country, and I fully understand that these institutions are highly secularized. That’s not really favorable for someone who belongs to the Catholic culture like me, but I have accepted that as such.

Catholic institutions on the other hand belong to the private sector, run mostly by religious orders and congregations. It is only natural that these institutions would have rigid set of rules based on the maxims of orthodox Christianity. Students who would enroll in such an institution would already know what to expect: Catholic education based on doctrine and positive moral values.

Generally, private institutions have the right to impose policies which are favorable to their identity. This includes uniform policies, proper haircut, and so on and so forth. I would like to discuss more on that later and probably relate it with the Catholic culture.

To put it bluntly, students know that they are enrolled in a Catholic institution. They should not expect teachers telling them how to use artificial family-planning methods. They should not even expect teachers criticizing the Church and the clergy as a whole. Unfortunately, in Catholic schools nowadays, this happens a lot.

Catholic prayers during assemblies? Ditch that—we can just play an inspiring Josh Groban song without making the sign of the cross. Seriously? Well, I understand that we have protestant brothers and sisters in such universities, and we respect them as we should, but that does not mean we need to compromise our creed in favor of the creed of others.

How about New Age teachings being taught to students during retreats and recollections? Well, let’s do away the fact that Christ is the way, the truth and the life in favor of Gnostic premises. Now this bothers me so much, as many schools in the country are doing this.

Marxist inspired organizations who wish to abolish repressive school policies? I’m not merely talking about those who’d want to get rid of school uniforms; I’m also talking about those who’d wish to promote LGBT rights on campus. While I respect those who are outside the heterosexual circles, promoting same-sex relationships for us is just not acceptable, especially within institutions with Catholic identities.

Touching more on these Marxist inspired organizations, I do not see why they ought to use the conflict theory as a means of fostering change to push through with man’s utility. The contempt Marxists had back then for the Church also reflects what these organizations are doing: They are also showing contempt for the institution’s Catholic identity, which so needs to be preserved.

Moral relativism within these Catholic institutions? There are a lot of students and teachers in many of the Catholic universities here who support the use of artificial contraceptives, divorce and same-sex union. This is quite alarming since positive moral values within campuses are degrading and teachers who influence students aren’t doing anything about it, save for a few who actually stand up for the Catholic position on these matters.

What would happen to the future of such students who’ve apparently been fed with the sort of relativism which I’ve mentioned? Awkward things would happen to them, apparently and their faith in the Church would degrade over time—they would take their faith into their own hands, instead of Christ’s.

If that’d be the case, then the world would plunge deep into the abyss, and who knows what would happen next. Future professionals would not have God and objective morality with them. What do you think the future would look like then?

Slowly, what once was immoral is becoming lawful, because of the brooding radicalism within schools, even within Catholic institutions. These institutions, however, are still taking measures to preserve the Catholic culture within the campus. But they need help, since among their ranks, there are those who deviate from Christian precepts.

And what role are we to play in this affair? What are we to do as faithful Catholic Christians who uphold the teachings of Christ and His bride? That question may only be answered by you.

[author] [author_image timthumb=’on’]http://www.ignitumtoday.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/09/jaredavatar-2-e1317737695228.jpg[/author_image] [author_info]Jared Combista is twenty-one and comes from the Philippines. He writes about the Church, touching on the topic of distributism although he still considers himself a student and not a scholar on the economic philosophy. He writes for Verum Nocet, as well as his personal blog, The Secular Catholic. He also plays music and he has no idea how that has to do with anything.[/author_info] [/author]

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Category: Catholic Education, Columnists, Symposiums

About the Author ()

Iconoclast, interested in economics, history, philosophy, Catholicism and a whole lot of other stuff.
  • Ink and Quill

    All those issues are common in the US as well. So many Catholic universities (and some high schools!) are losing their Catholic identity. This generation of students who have been spoon-fed relativism have been eating intellectual baby food for their entire lives, and don’t want to have to handle something solid because it might hurt their teeth, or maybe it’ll hurt the feelings of some animal or plant.
    ~Ink

  • Edward G. Radler Rice

    Regarding Marxism in the United States, I suggest you read Fr. John Hardon’s article, which is found here:

    http://www.therealpresence.org/archives/Communism/Communism_002.htm

    Sincerely yours in Christ,

    Edward
    High School Theology Teacher
    San Antonio, TX

    M.Div.; currently completing Masters in Catholic School Leadership