Wholly inappropriate. My children go to an ordinary state school, and if these were shown to them, my wife (who is not Catholic, but Baptist) and I (Catholic) would be straight onto the Head. In a Catholic school they are disgraceful. Shocking. There are ways of addressing these subjects in a 'balanced' way from a Catholic perspective which does not use such material and the school shows both a lack of integrity and a lack of imagination by using them. It ought to be ashamed for defending its position.
I echo the sentiments of Mrs Kathryn Hennessy. The older three of my six children attended Catholic schools and although the high school they went to ( and two still attend) seems to be unusally orthodox ( and like the Vaughan, doesn't appear to have a huge fan base amongst the education wonks in the Diocese of Westminster) the catholic primary school showed them the Channel four 'soft porn' sex ed programme ( Living and Growing). My expressions of concern met with wry sidelong glances to eachother and heaps of patronising condescension.
All these schools talk a fine talk about parents being the first educators of their children, and they craft wonderful "mission statements" to hang on the wall in which they wax lyrical about the "catholic ethos". Far from being reassured by these noble sentiments, they are now like red warning flags to me. There is only so much hypocritical can't one can take.
I have been home educating for about six years now and have never looked back. When I first took my son out of school I felt liberated and light, freed of a burden that I had become so used to carrying I hardly knew it was there. Often I found myself repeating in my head the words of MLK "Free at last, free at last, thank God Almighty we're free at last!"
Recently, Ben Trovato, the (Countercultural Father) wrote to the Head of RE at the non-Catholic secondary school which his children attend. He had followed the case of Bonus Pastor School with interest only to find out one day that his own son had been watching Keeping Mum in RE.
The Head of RE phoned up promptly after receiving the letter, to say that he would look into the matter. A few weeks later, Ben received a letter from the teacher to say that he had reviewed the film, agreed it was inappropriate and withdrawn it from the syllabus.
It would be unjust to avoid making the observation that Ben's treatment by the non-Catholic school is markedly different from the response that the Clovis family received from a Catholic School.
Taken from: http://the-hermeneutic-of-continuity.blogspot.com/2011/12/model-response...
I'm not going to watch these videos- because I don't need to. Catholic Secondary schools have been taking the lead for years in showing wholly inappropriate, disturbing and corrupting materials to children. As another respondent said, you couldn't make it up - it is Kafkaesque, and truly diabolical.
My husband and I voted with our feet when our first child reached school age, and not one of our eight children has ever been near a Catholic school. Why not? Because we are trying to raise them in the Catholic Faith. We weren't going to risk their souls in a so-called Catholic school when we knew this kind of thing was going on.
We have written, respectfully and repeatedly, begging our bishops to act and change things, but our pleas have fallen on deaf ears.
Perhaps if more Catholic parents abandoned the schools, the bishops would listen. Home-education is one way to escape all this horror, and more and more parents are choosing it. It's perfectly legal, and easier than ever before with all the resources available online. And you have COMPLETE control over that all important area of 'SRE'. If you are a horrified/concerned parent reading all this, please consider HE. You don't have to be crazy to do it - in fact, when the schools are doing stuff like this, it's becoming the only sane option.
Mrs Kathryn Hennessy
Hi, can you provide some key resources for HE please?
For the latest on how my kids' non-Catholic school have responded to my complaints about Keeping Mum: http://ccfather.blogspot.com/2011/12/keeping-mum-about-keeping-mum.html
Hundreds of comments and 70+ letters to school have been posted in support of this campaign. The overwhelming majority of visitors to this website have been shocked at the material used by Bonus Pastor Catholic College's RE department in the context of Religious Education.
This website has been clear on what must be done to stop this campaign, yet the RE department stay silent, to the detriment of the whole school. We are looking for mediation to stop this campaign and it has never been our intention to cause damage to the good reputation of the school. If you wish to contact us regarding this post you can do so anonymously via the feedback link or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Things were bad when we were trying to protect our five children from explicit sex education; even 20 years ago a Catholic secondary school was the best place to undermine our best efforts to teach the faith - we had to move them to non-denominational private schools where there was no RE and we could monitor the sex education. Catholic schools appear to have accelerated into a Kafkaesque world where explicit pornography is used as the basis for teaching the faith. You could not make it up. This is totally unsuitable, corrupting material which is unsuitable for 14 year old children and is a form a child abuse.
Keep up the fight,
I would humbly ask that you give an assurance that the explicit videos shown on the Bonus Pastor exposed website will not be shown to youngsters anymore. Such videos are scandalous, and give Catholic education a very bad name in the diocese and the wider church.
Fr. Stephen Boyle
I can’t believe the Head teacher is trying to stop parents access your website, by suggesting on the school website that ‘it could compromise your email account’. You don’t need an email to access it. I agree with the promoters of this website, this RE programme is not Catholic and should not be shown in a Catholic school.
I agree with the principal of relevant education for children, but not with showing the kind of materials that abuse this principal, by exposing young people to immoral and destructive images and vidoes in the name of education. Children need to be prepared for facing the challenges of life, but not by merely showing them the solution of the secularised world to life's challenges, such as sex outside marriage and suicide. They should see and hear, especially in a Catholic school, what the Catholic Church teaches about life issues without exposing them to destructive images and stories. It is a shame of any shcool to present anything in such a one-sided way, especially it is a shame of a Roman Catholic school. The Bishop is obliged by canon law to step in if significant disturbance is caused amongst the faithful. If he doesn't do that, this matter can easily be brought to the attention of the relevant congregation of the Vatican by any of the faithul.
I have watched only a few minutes of the first video and felt sick. Prior to retirement I was a police officer and a social worker.I have a wealth of experience with young people.What I saw will damage these children.It is not suitable for anyone. Shame on the whole school not just the department. The school has failed in its duty to protect the children in its care and I feel you should all be under investigation.Your motives are not pure.
As for the Bishop I need say no more we have seen very clearly what has happened to the Bishops of this country and where we have been led.
As a Mother and Grandmother I would encourage every parent to remove their children immediately. Their souls are what you have to protect and you have the responsibility to do this.Quite clearly the Church and so called Catholic schools will not protect them.
Thank God for people like Greg Clovis who I will pray that he has the strength to continue to do Gods work.
Actually, if children are to be shown 'real life,' then all they need to do is watch ordinary TV, as this is replete with the depiction of every situation and even vice that one could imagine, and which no doubt surrounds us all.
I thought schools were supposed to provide pupils with solid values and arguments to meet evil and falsehood head-on, and propose real alternatives, and not to fill their minds with falsehood and vice because it is found in 'real life!'
Besides, pictures are harder to remove from our memory, and therefore have the potential to do more lasting harm. Thank God my children are now grown up!
I can't understand why the hierarchy is silent on this. Does the papal Nuncio know about what is going on? Does anyone have contacts at the Vatican? What about the Law? Could parents denounce the school in a court of Law?
God bless you all for challenging this errant school!
The title Catholic should not be used by this school. There should be pressure on the Archbishop to have the title stripped from them and any material referring to them. This is a deceptive school and parents should be warned of the contents within it.
This is a very interesting story by Ben Trovato, the school his children attend have proposed using the ‘Keeping Mum’ video, Ben wrote to the school, which can be seen here:
Here we go again!
The school responded promptly and have understood Ben’s concern:
I might add this is a non-faith school, what does that say about Bonus Pastor, who strongly defend their use of this material and feel concern from parents is unfounded!
I heartily support what you are doing.
Most parents feel weak and defeated by the twin might of the school and the Diocese.
Any dissenting voices are usually swiftlly dealt with by the diocese who, by the accounts of close friends, do not shrink from very underhand methods of bullying.
I found it interesting that this story 'broke' at the same time as another story concerning a second catholic school in the Archdiocese, Coloma Convent School in Croydon. In the case of Coloma, the Archdiocese reported the school to the official admissions watchdog.
Delation of a catholic school to a secular authority is not a uniquely Southwark practice. The Archdioces of Westminster did it fairly recently in respect of the Cardinal Vaughan Memorial school. The hierarchy now has impeccable politically correct standing with the secular political elite. Yet it seems incapable of resolving concerns regarding dubious sex education programmes used in catholic schools such as Bonus Pastor. Tolerance of them is a form of child abuse....
I fear these three episodes lead to the possible conclusion that the Hierarchy of England and Wales is not fit for purpose. There may be other possible conclusions that ordinary decent catholic parents are not sophisticated enough to work out for themselves. Yet the average catholic is unlikely to receive the courtesy of an explanation much less a justification from the hierarchy or Archdiocese of what is being done in the name of the Church.
Children in the school should be presented with clear information on why these films will no longer be shown and why they were and are inapproriate viewing for any Catholic and anyone at all with norms of respect for self and others
Parents whose children had to watch this rubbish should be advised that their child may be distressed or disturbed. I was and my childhood days are past. I see from other comments on this site that children may feel embarassed and ashamed by having viewed such material. They should be assured by the school and by their parents that the school was at fault. They are sent to school and expected to obey their teachers. Their teachers failed them.
Any staff member or governor responsible for the showing of this material should no longer work for this school. They can no longer expect the children to take instruction from them or see them as authority figures.
Children should be assured that it is right to expose what is wrong and to seek to right it. Those who speak out often face the most villainous false accusations and trials themselves. Our Lord knows that experience personally. He willl support and bless us through it all.
Further to the comment about Catholic youngsters in many psuedo-"Catholic" schools running a daily gauntlet of contempt ... I would add that my belief is that the same is endured by authentically Catholic teachers in a psuedo-"Catholic" school. The head and governors at this school have made misleading comments, (eg:regarding the syllabus* content) told outright lies (eg headteacher's letter to parents alleging compromised email safety) and made false allegations of assault against people who are genuinely faithful to Church teachings.
*these films are not specified in Units 3 and 10 of the Edexcel GCSE. This can be checked on the exam board website,
It looks like this story has hit the newspapers, have a look at Bonus Pastor – Latest News, there are two articles, one in ‘The Catholic Herald’ and the other in ‘The Tablet.’
Does the school still really support their position in the use of this material when everyone else in the Catholic community agrees that it is an evil?
Thank you for your website. Hopefully this will encourage more people to stand up to supposedly Catholic RE educators who, whilst being well remunerated, fail to provide Catholic teaching and who scandalise children.
A hard headed business person looking to maximise their return on investment would write off certain Catholic schools as “not fit for purpose” owing to their poor outcomes in terms of current or continued Catholic practice amongst pupils.
Youngsters who practice their faith in many "Catholic" schools run the daily gauntlet of contempt from their lapsed Catholic peers and some of their teachers. I wonder if the current lack of true Catholic spirituality in schools means that some children may be better nurtured in an open-minded secular school whilst inspired by an active family faith life and a dynamic and engaging parish community.
If Catholic schools cannot demonstrate they are authentically Catholic then they have no claim to be called Catholic at all. The time has come to discuss openly whether scarce church resources would be better invested in more successful evangelical and faith-sustaining programmes in preference to schools.
Your objections are very wide of the mark. The school has an obligation to teach RE according to the guidelines laid down in the national curriculum. Parents have no right to seek to impose their personal views on what should be taught, or to try to interfere in the professional judgement of the staff involved. The place for the teaching of a specific religion is at home, or in Church. The school may well use media to stimulate debate and expose children to alternative views. That is healthy but I doubt very much that they endorse them, which is what you imply. As parents you have but one choice. If you are so unhappy with what is offered you should withdraw your child. However, I would doubt if any other school will approach this very differently. Well done the school! Shame on you.
You could not be more wrong. I've taught in several non-denominational schools and I can assure you that nothing remotely as offensive as these videos would be shown in RE lessons - not least because they are acutely sensitive to the strong beliefs of the Muslim parents who, you won't be happy to learn, are not at all shy of "imposing" their "views" on such matters.
As for the "professional judgment" of the staff involved - ALL of their judgments should be rooted in Catholic belief and practice. That's what is meant by a "Catholic ethos."
And, by the way, even if only ONE parent objected to this scandalous RE Department in a college laughably named Bonus Pastor, it would be that parent and not you (with your anti-Catholic opinions) who would have the right to insist that nothing contrary to authentic Catholic doctrine be tauht or practised in the school.
...you said "The school has an obligation to teach RE according to the guidelines laid down in the national curriculum."
Parents have an obligation to stand up to immorality as laid down by the Catholic Church
...you said "Parents have no right to seek to impose their personal views on what should be taught, or to try to interfere in the professional judgement of the staff involved. "
Nonsense, our children are our responsibility, if they are being led astray who else is going to stand up for their souls? Must we all follow blindly what are leaders are saying and never standing up against them? Many governments have got it very wrong in the past with many high profile errors, there were people who just went along party to the evils and some who refused. At what point would you speak up against a educational or legal system should it deviate from morality?
...you said "The place for the teaching of a specific religion is at home, or in Church. The school may well use media to stimulate debate and expose children to alternative views. "
What if they start exposing them to hard core pornographic materials because that is what they can access in the 'real world' is that OK? How about Execution style videos and anti western propaganda to stimulate debate and alternative views? How about showing some programmes glorifying racism, genocide etc? Is there really any need in the name of education? Would parents be wrong to stand up against this? Where do we draw a line?
...you said "As parents you have but one choice. If you are so unhappy with what is offered you should withdraw your child."
Obviously not, they also have the choice that has been taken which is to use the schools complains procedure, if that fails to raise awareness through protesting and discussions in forums like this; after all this, the option to withdraw is still open but that fixes the problem for their own child, not at making a change at the root cause.
This is NOT parents' personal but the view of the Catholic Church. In a Catholic school which claims to have a Catholic ethos; the materials used are what is being objected to. Parents do have rights about what is taught - The CATHOLIC school should be an extension of the home and Church. Would you approve of schools in a Communist country teaching your children atheism.
On the contrary the website only shows others what the school shows pupils of 14. If the school does not want their pupils to use the ‘F’ word at school or view soft porn, then teachers need to lead by example. If the school has a problem with parents viewing material the school show to their children at Bonus Pastor, then maybe the school should reconsider using this material. Further, as a parent I have every right to expect my child not to be exposed to smutty foul-mouthed videos dressed up as education. The Catholic Church teaches that the parent is the primary educator which means as a parent we have the right to say what is categorised as acceptable educational material for our children. Our children can learn about the damage cohabitation, adultery, fowl language does without exposing them to it in an entertaining setting.
I can’t see where anyone is seeking to impose their personal views on what is being taught at Bonus Pastor Catholic College, surely it is the views of the Catholic church, a view which all Catholic should hold. Therefore if Bonus Pastor is showing 14 year old children these films uncensored, I think anyone who claims to be a Catholic should have a problem with it.
Do you think it is appropriate for a 16 year old daughter to tell her mum “You are just jealous because you are not getting any and I am!,” I would be horrified if my daughter said something like that, yet they are being shown exactly this is their RE lessons. These videos glamorise sex before marriage, getting revenge for an injustice, disrespecting parents, voyeurism, adultery, need I go on? I presume you believe that these are a good for society? I wish for a Catholic school to teach our children ideologies in the light of the Catholic Church’s teaching.
Finally, are you suggesting by your comment, when confronted with a moral issue, that running away is a solution? That would be naked cowardice. Those who have made a stand after a year of struggle with the school are to be applauded for their courage in taking on the authorities.
I think that showing these films to school children is disgraceful and completely anti-Catholic. I do not see how Bonus Pastor can call itself a Catholic school and sincerely promote the faith. I am very glad to see that a parent has chosen to stand up for the truth and fight for the Catholic schools and try to ensure that our children's faith is not corrupted and destroyed. I commend this website and those behind it. I cannot believe that a so called RE teacher can think that this is teaching children about the Catholic faith, when it is doing the complete opposite
We are running an opinion poll on this subject on our website at www.catholictruthscotland.com - so far, the favoured option for parents is to homeschool.
I'm meeting more and more teachers at primary stage who are young parents and expressing themselves determined to home-school their own children. I think that says it all.
I am one thousand percent behind the conscientious parents who have set up this website. As a former Head of Religious Education who battled against the liberal dominance in Catholic education for years, I am full of admiration for your courage in exposing this scandal. It is unthinkable that these teachers are showing pupils videos that adults couldn't view before the (alleged) 9pm watershed. Incredible. God bless.
Keep it up and don't back down in any way. Some people, supposedly with religious conviction including some clergy, think that they know it all. Catholic Schools should stick to promoting Catholic values and if this does not happen they should be closed or become academies (but even academies tend to look more carefully of what they expose children too than Bonus Pastor does)
Interesting that in the letter on this site, governor Pat Barber justifies the use of these films based on the need to teach children for the "real "world but points out that a teacher merely deflected the question asked whether Our Lord is a homosexual.
Surely any committed Catholic- never mind an RE teacher -should have the knowledge of the Gospels and Church Teachings to more than adequately address the pupil's rather audacious question - or at least commit to addressing it on another occasion. What an opportunity lost.
The freely available and very "real" Church Teaching that needs to be taught head-on is being actively hidden from the children whilst time is wasted on confusion and relativism. No wonder so few who attended such Catholic schools are practicing Catholics. If this gets-you-nowhere approach is presented as Catholicism no wonder it repels them and who can blame them for looking elsewhere.
On the school website the Headteacher advises "you not to access the website as we believe that it could compromise your email account."
I am NOT having any trouble at all with my email account since accessing this website. Anyone else?
What basis does she have for this belief? Is this a lie?
They are very determined to prevent people accessing the website that they chased leafleters, snatched leaflets from parents and appear to have spread false allegations and lies.
Follow God’s example, therefore, as dearly loved children and walk in the way of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.
But among you there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality, or of any kind of impurity, or of greed, because these are improper for God’s holy people. Nor should there be obscenity, foolish talk or coarse joking, which are out of place, but rather thanksgiving. For of this you can be sure: No immoral, impure or greedy person—such a person is an idolater—has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God. Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of such things God’s wrath comes on those who are disobedient. Therefore do not be partners with them.
For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light (for the fruit of the light consists in all goodness, righteousness and truth) and find out what pleases the Lord. Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them. It is shameful even to mention what the disobedient do in secret. But everything exposed by the light becomes visible—and everything that is illuminated becomes a light.
Dear Website... please of course include "teachers" in that list of people paid by the Church on my last comment. If they do not wish to teach authentic Catholic teaching they are not obliged to work in a Catholic school. I'd be surprised if any other school would welcome this material either.
What were the hierarchy doing to allow this to happen in a church school? Where are they? Good to see one comment by a Priest on here but where are the rest?
To all other Bishops, Clergy, male and female "Religious" of the Catholic Church... If you don't want to promote and defend Catholic teaching then please leave the security and status provided to you by the Catholic church. You'll find life gets a lot more interesting when you have to earn your money.
The people who have set up this website are doing your job for you and perhaps their time and costs should be covered instead.
I am an experienced, retired Head of Religious Education in both Catholic and non-Catholic schools, including one sixth form College. There is no way that any of the material used by Bonus Pastor College would have been used in any Department headed by me. Clearly, the staff, including the Head teacher of Bonus Pastor are Catholics in name only.
If, as Sacred Scripture teaches, 'those who instruct many in virtue will shine as bright stars for all eternity' what of those who teach vice? Any teacher using (or permitting the use of) this appalling material, must reflect urgently on the words of Our Lord in St Matthew's Gospel (which are wrongly, incidentally, applied only to paedophiles) 'Those who scandalize one of these little ones who believe in Me, better that a millstone be put about his neck and he be drowned in the depths of the sea.' To set young people on a path of immorality, as the RE staff at Bonus Pastor College are doing, is to risk their very salvation.
Well done those parents who have acted to expose this scandal. I hope you sue the socks off these scoundrels masquerading as Catholic teachers
Patricia McKeever B.Ed. M.Th.
Seems like the school is only upset because their dirty little secret is out. They are not ashamed of what they have been doing. The shame is only in being found out. That is the case for any pervert and criminal.
This site is making some bold statements! If they are NOT true then the school has a very strong case against those who put out these lies. I don't understand why the school is fretting, just get your lawyers to have the site shut down and the owners locked up, problem sorted, dust your hands off and move on.
Since that has not happened, I can only assume that these bold statements are true!
I had two kids in this school. The last one left 2 years ago and I asked her if these films were screened. She said yes she had seen these films. I was very shocked and asked why had she not said anything. Her response was I was too embarrassed, I did not know what to say and I was trying to put it out of my mind. However my son said that although these film were shown to his year he slept through most of the films in RE.
I am teacher and with such a full curriculum I have had to plan and account for every precious minute of each lesson. A wholesome fun film might be considered an optional free time treat once a year perhaps... How on earth do they think sitting the children passively in front of a very dubious film is a good use of time?
The material being shown at this school is not education but blatent anti-faith anti-value propoganda. Who do these "teachers" think they are? Do they not have the skills to educate our children without explicit materials? We will decide ourselves if we feel there is any more graphic and unpleasant material we feel we need to share and discuss with our children in the right context.
The sexual video is completely unnecessary. There’s no discussion that could arise from that garbage that couldn’t come about in much more benign ways, even if such a discussion were desirable.
I’m somewhat more disturbed by the euthanasia video, though. That’s such plainly evil propaganda! The sexual video is a work of our sinful flesh, but the euthanasia video must have come straight from the mind of a demon.
Our Lady of Fatima warned that "more souls go to Hell through sins of the flesh than any other sin" so I would not downplay the danger to the souls of these pupils by the showing of what is, by any decent standard, pornography.
"It is an illusion to think that we can build a true culture of human life if we do not help the young to accept and experience sexuality and love and the whole of life according to their true meaning and in their close interconnection.... The trivialization of sexuality is among the principal factors which have led to contempt for new life."
Quote from Blessed John Paul II
And whoever shall offend one of these little ones that believe in me, it is better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and he were cast into the sea.
I have never seen such absolute filth in my life, God will protect our young but I wouldn't like to be at the receiving end of His Wrath, when it comes to the corruption of our young.
And all this in a Catholic School, have the Bishops seen this material?
I was asked to cover an RE lesson about a year ago, and the material for the lesson was 'watch 'A Short Stay in Switzerland''. It didn't get to the part where the suicide took place, but it was clear where it was heading. I stopped the video before the lesson ended and spent some time talking to the pupils about the heroine's evident lack of faith. I also mentioned a friend of mine who has Motor Neurone Disease and who campaigns against euthanasia, the retired Anglican vicar Michael Wenham. I hope I left them with something worthwhile to think about
This is unbelievable, the school have supposedly banned a parent from attending the school or events organised by the school, simply for their involvement in handing out leaflets. Check this out:
Bonus Pastor – Latest News
Exclusion for leafleting - this is a world gone mad!
This parent should contact a solicitor as they may feel it is appropriate to send a letter to the school. The school is on dodgy ground, as it sounds that this parent was not even on school premises at the time. Although the police were called, this parent had no allegations of assault against them (as far as I can work out from the limited quotes given from the letter). Bans are only appropriate where there has been violence or a serious threat of it. This one is probably winnable - but only do so via legal advice.
I am the Catholic mother of five , now adult , children. I would have been very angry and upset if this material had been shown to them at the age of 14 or 16 ! I find the attitude of the Head and Chair of Governors arrogant and bigoted. In the latter's letter to the parents she labels their views as ' strong ' . No Madam , the views are the teaching of the Catholic Church ! I can only pray that the bishop intervenes in some way - the sheep are being led astray !