Pennsylvania Catholic bishop criticized for Hitler comment

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HARRISBURG, Pa. (RNS) "In totalitarian governments, they would love our system," Bishop Joseph McFadden said. "This is what Hitler and Mussolini and all those tried to establish: a monolith so all the children would be educated in one set of beliefs and one way of doing things." By Diana Fishlock.

  • gilhow

    Joseph McFadden is a deceitful bigot! It is he who is like Hitler and Mussolini–and throw in Josef Stalin for a complete picture. I attended a parochial school for eight miserable years–as McFadden probably did also. During those years most of the nuns were convinced that physical fear was the best way to control classes of 40-50 kids. Many years later, one of them responded to my inquiry about their preparation that they were strongly advised not to smile before Christmas. Hell, I suffered under some who never smiled until the school year ended in June. I was on the receiving end in one such abusive event at the end of my eighth grade. An ignorant, nasty nun made a line of kids who were late for a weekday mass in May line up in the hall outside our classroom. As each kid approached her inquiry as to why he or she was late–mostly boys, of course–they received a slap across the face before they could utter a word of response. I had no time to explain that I had gotten up very early to attend an earlier mass so I could receive the Holy Communion back in those Eucharistic fast days, and my late mass was my second one. Seventy years later, I have not forgotten nor forgiven that abuse. All that aside, no schools exist for a more monolithic purpose than church schools, including the Catholic schools in the Diocese of Harrisburg where McFadden unfortunately presides. The very purpose of religious schools is the propagation of their faith. McFadden is either weak or deceitful when it comes to apologetics or debate. He is also deceitful in his unconstitutional attempts to obtain public funds to support his religious schools now that the unhappy, nasty nuns don’t provide near slave labor to keep them going. And the education we received, because it was mostly rote catechism, was abysmally bad. I taught school for thirty-five years after that, I know. I especially know because the first five of those teaching years were with nuns in parochial schools. It was more of the same. I quit parochial schools. I quit Catholicism. But I will never forget!