Recently, the Catholic Diocese I am a part of introduced a new Religious Education Curriculum. It is honestly one of the most forward-thinking, innovative and realistic curriculum’s for this subject that I have ever seen — I think it is great and has so much potential to engage students in the Catholic faith. However, the Bishop who commissioned it and the leaders of Catholic Education in this Diocese have become the targets of harassment and abuse as conservatives label it as the work of the ‘anti-Christ’.
I, as someone teaching this new curriculum want to address some of the mistaken perceptions around this Religious Education curriculum as well as some of the misunderstandings people seem to have about the Catholic Church in general. Unfortunately, some of the worst of this abuse and harassment is coming from people claiming to be Christians.
Among the many things that I could refer to from the Gospels about the behaviour of these people towards the leaders of the Church and Catholic Education in this Diocese, I am going to start with this. I wish I could say that this teaching of Jesus’ from Matthew was self-explanatory, but judging by the words and actions of Christians who persecute their brothers and sisters, I may just have to explain:
You cannot accuse others of not teaching the correct Catholic teachings until you know what the Catholic teachings are yourselves. Not only knowing these teachings, but practicing them as well.
Here’s a very brief crash-course on the foundation to ALL Catholic teachings:
The Diocese of Parramatta’s Catholic Education Curriculum (NSW) has this at its heart; it is what informs each topic; it is the lens through which each topic is explored. It upholds the teachings of the Catholic Church and the fundamental dignity of all persons.
Perhaps those who currently persecute this Diocese and its leaders should reflect on human dignity and how they and their actions show love in the way Jesus’ calls them to.