He doesn't believe in Catholicism but wants his son in Catholic school

By Wally Arida, Publisher of

We ran across this article dated Sept. 9, 2006 in the Toronto Star. Columnist Ken Gallinger responded to it. We thought it would be interesting to share it with you and ask you what your thoughts are about it.

Here is the article in its entirety:

Q.: I'm Roman Catholic and my partner is Protestant. We never got married because of all the hoops my church wanted us to jump through. I haven't gone to church since.

We have a 4-year-old and want to start him in a Catholic school next fall; they have a nicer building than the public school, and it's right down the street. But now the church is setting up more hoops.

Our Catholic friends have told us he can't go to a Catholic school unless he has a baptism certificate. We never had him baptized, and don't want to as we believe the Church's positions on marriage, birth control and abortion are outdated and offensive.

Still I've been a separate school taxpayer all my life and it's not fair that our child is kept out of a publicly funded system because of a Church rule.

A.: Your Catholic friends were likely asked to show their children's baptismal certificates when they registered their kids. That's normal practice at Roman Catholic schools and establishes that the kids are Catholic. But the policy of the Toronto Catholic District School Board is that, as long as one parent can "prove their Catholicity," their kids can attend the school, even if the kids themselves are not Catholic. Proving you are Catholic usually means producing a baptism certificate or letter from the parish where you were baptized. So as long as you have your baptismal certificate stored away somewhere, presumably with other documents you consider outdated, you should be okay.

Please don't have your son baptized. There are promises and commitments associated with that sacrament, and they are clearly not commitments you want or intend to honour. If your local principal insists, refer him to Catholic school board for clarification.

You raised the word "fair" so let me ask you this: if you find the Catholic Church's positions on marriage and family life so troublesome, why enrol your child in a school where those positions are going to be taught and reinforced? Catholic education is a package designed to reflect the values and ethical standards of the Roman Catholic Church. If those standards offend you, are you really being fair — either to the system or to your son?


Well, now what do you think? Share your comments with us. You can sign it anonymous if you so wish.


Paul Dion, STL said...

Anyone who thinks that being a disciple of Christ through baptism and life in the Catholic Church as "jumping through hoops" is not truly Catholic to begin with. I suggest that the writer and many people like him stop throwing stones at the Church and start examining their conscience for personal honesty and true Faith in God and in His organizational structures. With a little honesty they would come to realize that the guilt that they feel is not the Church "making them jump through hoops" but the misplaced attitude of entitlement that they carry around because they were baptized when they were two weeks old but then never lived the search for divine truth that the Catholic Church expects of all people.
Put your child in public school where he belongs and let him grow up defining his own path back to God and to ultimate eternal salvation.

G. Poole said...

Maybe regular people like myself need to be educated more about our Catholic teachings so we can be made to understand "why" we are asked by the Church to jump through hoops. I'm sure there are good reasons. We just need to be educated better at the local parishes. Then maybe we can see them not as hoops but as ladders to get to God.

Teresa Martin said...

Why bother putting your child in Catholic School if you won't reinforce the teaching at home? No wonder our youth leave the Church after confirmation. It's because of parents like these.