A few weeks ago an aspiring political candidate visited my home seeking endorsement. I was not at home, and he said he would return. He hasn’t! If he does, my answer will be: I will publicly support the party and the candidate who promises to return to me, my Belize, Constitution and my school.
As far as I know, there is only one place where I have been mentioned in a historical document. It is on page 262 of the “Years of Grace”, the history of the Catholic Church in Belize. It says: “Scholastic Paul Rodriguez left the Society.” This happened in 1964, a time of peaceful political change in British Honduras. However, it was an era of upheaval in the Catholic Church worldwide. Vatican 2, inspired by Pope John 23rd, had been in session for almost 2 years. Here and elsewhere, cosmetic changes took place with nuns getting rid of habits and leaving convents to live in private homes to appear to be more like ordinary women.
In British Honduras, the most disruptive change took place in a school for girls when St. Catherine Academy abolished the rule to expel girls who had become pregnant. Bishop Hodapp objected. However, Sr. Consuelo’s wish prevailed. This perhaps was the beginning of the sexual revolution in Belize that has shaken our society at its foundation. The main consequence is the widespread disregard for family life at its very start. In my parish of St. Ignatius, so far this year there have been only two weddings. Last year- zero. No marriages, no strong families – no constructive societies envisioned by the Preamble of the Belize Constitution.
It’s better to learn from the mistakes of others than from your own. Spain is a living example of where we do not want to go. My friends tell me that on the internet, they are advertising their new immigration policy. If your surname is Spanish, like Rodriguez, Romero, Martinez, etc, you may apply for immediate citizenship! Why such generosity? Is it not that like the rest of Europe, their younger generations, their babies, and their future have been lost to the policy of state sponsored abortion and contraception? Did not Pope Paul 6th warn against sexual excesses unhinged from the restraints of divine wisdom proclaimed in the commandment to discipline our sexual appetite? Sometime in the 1960’s, Pope Paul 6th had written”Humanae Vitae” an encyclical (letter) cautioning against unbounded sexual expression.
In Belize, perhaps the greatest influence on sexual mores has been “Beka Lamb”, which all high school students must read and study. On the back cover, it is advertised as being against the dominating influence of the Catholic Church. In more humble and wholesome times, our girls read “Little Women” which describes the vision of girls anticipating the charms of courtship and the wholesome relationship with a man who becomes your husband.
Also, our children used to read and study “Shane”. It is the story of a cowboy who in his conversion from gunslinging passes by a little farm, where the owner, Joe, is being threatened by a cattleman who wanted to gobble up the whole prairie for his cattle empire. When passing the farm, Shane stops to talk with Joe’s son. Joe is the leader of the resistance to the cattleman who brings in a gunslinger to take care of business. Shane makes this a fight of his own, not to get the young, pretty wife, but for the sake of father, mother and child. In other words, the former gunfighter becomes the protector of the family.
As our society continues to disintegrate, perhaps we need to read and study as a very instructive trilogy “Beka Lamb”, “Little Women” and “Shane”.
When the political aspirant returns, I will tell him: “I will support you and your party IF you promise to give me back our Belize’s Constitution and my school. During the past few years, the management of our Christian schools has been taken away from the Church. Lawyers on both sides have been tricking us to believe that the legal work “after consultation” means the same thing as “with the concurrence”. I was angry when I saw this in the new Education Act establishing a Teacher Commission with the power to appoint “after consultation” with the management of the churches.
I want back my schools! Every year the media blankets our broadcast wave with the news of the top 25 PSE performers. This is very elitist – and very shallow. Instead I would like to see the average passes of every single school – north, south, east, and west. That is the best way to measure the value of our school system: its management, our principals, our teachers and our education department and ministry. My school and alma mater, St. Ignatius, used to be one of the best at a time when it had twice as many students. Now, can I be truthful without hurting feelings? Anyhow, I would like to see all the stats.