Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Cardinal Pell and Catholic Schools

From the Sydney Morning Herald "Pell plans fidelity oath for principals" especially worth viewing for the cartoon. Principals will have to publicly commit to a "vow of fidelity" by adhering to church teaching on homosexuality, birth control and women's ordination.
In the 80's I was a teacher in a Senior Catholic Boys' College within the Sydney Archdiocese and my sexuality was common knowledge.
 A very few boys approached me for counselling , a lot made life difficult, 
a few stated they had formed different views of homosexuality as a result of being 
in my class, the Principals at the time (religious Brothers) were probably uncomfortable but supported me.
Occasionally I receive an email such as the following from an ex-student (now with a PhD) 
"although not apparent as a young guy it was important to have people like you in the school. Made life a little easier.
Anyway won’t go on, just wanted to say hi and let you know that there are people out here who appreciated knowing you."

Eventually I moved to a different school with younger children
and decided life would be easier if I was more discreet. 
It makes me angry to think that young people struggling with their self identification are still prevented from observing role 
models. Fortunately I have been in State schools and heard Gay teachers 
being quite open with their senior students. I can inform Pell that it will not stop young men discovering 
and hopefully accepting their homosexuality. 
Just from looking at class photos of the 70's I can 
list many young men I later met in gay bars. Not many of them, however, would still be found attending the church despite attending Catholic schools
for their whole primary and secondary education .. 

1 comment:

Davis said...

It took me weeks to figure out how to post on Google blogs!

The cartoon in the Morning Herald (I guess) was superb - minds in the rubbish bin - yes and the typical "Catholic" reaction to anything they can't figure out. Sadly it remains a religion based on fear for many. Thanks for posting the email which was touching and sad.