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Our religious instruction is failing our young

Archbishop Diarmuid Martin said in The Irish Catholic, July 30, that the future of the Irish

Church rests on “strong and articulate” lay people making their voices heard. What does that mean? What platform has the laity to make themselves heard?

Did Jesus Christ not instruct the apostles to go out to the whole world and proclaim the good news? The laity were instructed to live the Faith — having learnt it from the teachers.

The laity, for many years, has been complaining to the Irish Bishops about the religious instruction in national schools but the complaints have fallen on deaf ears.

How can we make ourselves heard?

If the young people are deprived of proper religious instruction in their early years, there is little hope of their receiving the faith as teenagers.

On page 3 of the AliveO book for sixth class, it says: “In the time it takes to read this, the universe will have expanded almost a quarter of a million miles in all directions.”

AliveO was commissioned by the bishops in 2004. How much has the universe expanded since then? That would be a question for the author of AliveO as well as for the bishops.

For centuries, The Penny Catechism was used in national schools in Ireland which ensured a faith so strong that the Irish were not overcome by King Henry VIII’s persecution of Catholics. What has happened in recent times?

Anna Brady



Co Cavan


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