British archbishop denounces 'bigoted' faith schools policy
Facebook Twitter Google+ Pinterest Addthis

.- Archbishop Vincent Nichols of Birmingham has denounced a government proposal, which would control admissions to all new Catholic schools in England, as “muddled” and “prejudiced”.

An amendment to the government’s Education Bill was tabled last week in Parliament. The proposal would force new faith-based schools to admit 25 percent of students from other religions or no religion.

In a letter to the head teachers at the country’s 2,075 Catholic schools, the archbishop noted that while there already exists an hefty enrollment of non-Catholics in most Catholic schools and while Catholic schools are not closed to non-Catholic applicants, "the amendment will, in effect, remove from new Catholic schools control over their admissions."  He pointed out that the proposal was drafted without consulting religious bodies, and he urged the teachers to communicate their outrage at the proposal and at the government’s “coercive measures” with their members of Parliament.

An opinion piece he authored on the proposal was also published in the Daily Telegraph yesterday. The archbishop was scheduled to meet Education Secretary Alan Johnson to discuss the proposal today.

In his Telegraph article, the archbishop said the proposal is based on inaccurate information and on the false assumption that Catholic, and other faith-based schools, are divisive and not representative.

“Oft-stated statistics confirm that the pupils in a Catholic school closely reflect the national school population in terms of levels of disadvantage and special educational needs,” the archbishop pointed out. “Catholic schools have a higher proportion of pupils from minority ethnic groups than other schools. “

“Catholic schools, on average, already welcome 30 per cent of their pupils from other Churches, faiths or none,” his article reads.

The archbishop said studies also show that Catholic schools are twice as effective as other schools at developing respect for others and are also successful at social integration.

In his article, he warned ministers that they risk losing the co-operation and respect of the very faith groups they need to build a harmonious society.

“A precondition of this co-operation (between faith organizations and the government) is that partners must be treated with respect for what they are and what they can contribute,” he said.

The archbishop also criticized the attempted model of multi-culturalism that has been implemented within a purely secular mindset, one which does not recognize spiritual and religious roots.

“The diversity of cultures has been encouraged, but without genuine engagement with their moral values or beliefs,” he wrote. “This has left us with a spiritual vacuum at the heart of life, illustrated in the poverty of so much religious education in state schools.”

Ads by AdsLiveMedia(What's this?)

* The number of messages that can be online is limited. CNA reserves the right to edit messages for content and tone. Comments and opinions expressed by users do not necessarily reflect the opinions or beliefs of CNA. CNA will not publish comments with abusive language, insults or links to other pages


Ads by Google (What's this?)
Ads by Google

Featured Videos

Cardinal Luis Tagle to Pope Francis
Cardinal Luis Tagle to Pope Francis
Pope Francis in the Philippines: Manila Welcomes the Pope
Pope Francis in Sri Lanka: Highlights
Pope Francis in Sri Lanka: Interview with Cardinal Ranjith
Pope Francis in SriLanka: Inter-religious Faith Meeting
Little Sisters of the Poor press conference in Denver
Family thrilled to see Pope Francis in Istanbul
Syrian Refugee, Sara, 14, Before Meeting Pope
Ebola orphans thousands of children in West Africa
One year after Haiyan: Philippines rebuilds homes, lives
An Indian contribution to the Vatican's Synod on the Family
Christ Cathedral CNA video Sept 2014
Alejandro Bermudez of CNA accepts ice bucket challenge
'The Real Albania,' remembering those who fled
Pope Francis in Albania, "one of the most important visits of the post-communist era in Albania"
Pope Francis greets paralyzed man who risked all to see him
Franciscans on the banks of the Tiber in Rome, working for the New Evangelization
Pilgrimage from Czech Republic to Assisi and Rome for intentions
Testimony of young Indian who met Pope in Korea
Preparations of the Closing Mass of 6th Asian Youth Day

Liturgical Calendar

January 29, 2015

Thursday of the Third Week in Ordinary Time

All readings:
Today »
This year »

Catholic Daily

Gospel of the Day

Mk 4:1-20


Daily Readings

Saint of the Day

St. Romuald »


Homily of the Day

Mk 4:1-20