Teacher Quits After Being Accused of Being Too Catholic
LONDON (RNS) The head of a Catholic secondary school in Britain has resigned after dissident students accused her of being too religious because she forced them to attend Mass.
According to London's Daily Mail newspaper, the rebel students at St. Luke's Sixth Form College in Sidcup, southeast England, were also angered that Maria Williams ordered them to march around a playing field singing hymns and carrying religious icons such as a statue of the Virgin Mary.
Another item on the list of complaints from the high-school-age pupils was an address by an American evangelist, Barbara McGuigan, who told them that no unmarried couples could have a successful relationship and called homosexuality a "disorder."
McGuigan, founder of the Catholic charity Voice of Virtue International, was a visiting lecturer at St. Luke's at the time.
The Daily Mail quoted one student, Michael Aldis, 18, as saying that under Williams' regime, "they used to herd us into Mass and then post teachers at the doors to stop us leaving."
He said he and fellow students were sharply critical of McGuigan, saying she "told us that if we had an abortion we'd go to hell forever, and she showed us pictures of
fetuses aborted after 12 and 20 weeks. Some of the girls were in tears, but no
one was allowed to leave."
Williams resigned in mid-September after a no-confidence vote from her staff. The Rev. Tim Finigan, chairman of the school's governors, quickly followed with his own resignation, angrily insisting that "it is ridiculous to call a Catholic institution too Catholic."
"It's a Catholic college," Finigan fumed. "That's what it's advertised as, and that's what students sign up to. There will be some religious worship -- that will be part of the life of the college."
Williams was unavailable immediately for comment on her resignation.
Fr. Tim Finigan responds in his blog to this article.
Actually, we could use some of that in this country in a few colleges that remain Catholic only in name. Then, these colleges should be declared non-Catholic.