Wednesday, August 8, 2007

We'll get right on that

The Catholic Church is now demanding that students at its schools, and their parents, be more devout:

Church leaders headed by Cardinal George Pell yesterday issued an edict to all Catholic schools, demanding that students and their parents be more devout and outlining a plan to lure back thousands of poorer families who have left the system.

Some of the other components of the plan, such as giving preference to Catholic students, seem fairly reasonable, given the institution. The schools are run by the church, and part of their mission is to promote Catholic values; if they want to give preference to practicing Catholics, that's their concern and their right.

But "demanding" people be more devout isn't likely to get far; after all, they've been "demanding" such things for years. As Yogi Berra is reputed to have said, "If people want to stay away, you can't stop them."

Of course, there's a more fundamental problem for the church here... enrollments have been dropping because they're being seen as less relevant, and less credible, with less moral right to make patronizing statements of morality. (The whole thing about preaching divine love while molesting children really has hurt their PR.)

So if they downsize to, oh, zero or thereabouts... well, so what.

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