This letter appears in today's Leicester Mercury:
The ethos of Catholic schools is cohesive
Mr Allan Hayes raises some interesting questions about the nature of faith schools, but his focus on divisiveness makes me wonder whether he has missed the point of what is the nature of religious faith (Mailbox, February 13).
I can't speak for all faith schools, knowing nothing about Islamic or Hindu schools, but Christian schools at least serve to educate a child on the bedrock of charity.
We are taught to love God and to love your neighbour as yourself, the first command leading naturally to the other.
Individual failings do not alter the Christian call to love, to honour parents, to serve others, to be modest, dutiful, disciplined, patient, unselfish, etc. This is not divisive – it is cohesive.
Catholic schools further protect the child against the worst excesses of modern secularism, such as the horribly explicit sex material paraded before children as "education" and the attempt to redefine marriage into a choice that a man can make with another man, rather than the holy and sacramental union of a man and a woman which has children as its greatest gift.
This resistance to the numbing of conscience encouraged by a secular (social engineering) society is preserved in a true Catholic school, for the good of the children it teaches and for society as a whole.
As for selecting staff and students by their religion, Catholic schools have long accepted large numbers of non-Catholic children and, sadly, there are many Catholic teachers nowadays that do not actually practise their religion.
Francisca Martinez, Leicester