Quebec to cut Catholic and Protestant religious instruction in public schools

.- The Quebec government has announced that it intends to cut Catholic and Protestant religious instruction from public schools and to implement a new program on ethics and religious culture by 2008. Minister of Education Jean-Marc Fournier presented a bill in the provincial legislature yesterday proposing the change, despite the fact that more than 60,000 citizens had signed a petition in favor of maintaining religious instruction in the schools. The petition was presented to the province’s Liberal government March 24.

The Minister of Education said the new program would better respond to “the current social challenges and the needs of Quebec youth today.”

“In a pluralist society like ours, it is important that schools actively contribute to the acquisition, by youth, of the knowledge, skills and attitudes that will serve them personally and socially the rest of their lives,” Fournier said in his press release.

Fournier said the move was “largely supported by a majority of Quebecers.” But a February poll by Leger Marketing indicated that 56 percent of Quebecers favored confessional instruction in public schools; 40 percent were opposed.

The new program, Fournier said, would allow place “for reflection on values and laws, and it would recognize religious heritage as an important part of our culture.”

In order to allow enough time to create and implement the new program, the ministers said the provincial government would renew the notwithstanding clause. This would allow the status quo—which offers parents and students a choice between Catholic and Protestant religious instruction, or moral instruction—to continue for the next three years.

Fournier also announced that certain groups would be invited to present their opinion before a parliamentary committee in the coming weeks.

The provincial Liberal government intends to pass the bill before summer recess at the end of June.

Quebecers have enjoyed Catholic and Protestant religious education for more than 150 years. It was a right that was guaranteed in Canada’s founding document—the British North America Act of 1867.

In 1997, the Quebec government sought an amendment to the Constitution, requesting to opt out of this legal assurance. Catholic and Protestant parents fought against the move.

But the Supreme Court of Canada eventually ruled in favor of the Quebec government. Since then, the Quebec government has been slowly phasing out religious instruction through a series of successive laws, despite repeated promises to Catholic and Protestant parents that religious instruction would be maintained.

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?)

Featured Videos

New book 'The Vatican unknown'
New book 'The Vatican unknown'
A Look at India from Rome
3D Church mapping
#PAUSEforPeace Initiative
Dedicating art to San Juan de la Cruz
A state without territory elects new government
The renewal of the Legionaries of Christ
Presentation of the book "The Pastor"
Synod on the Family October 2014
Preferential option for the poor
God is alive, even in sport
'A forbidden God' named Best Film at the International Catholic Film Festival
Vatican backs a 'Pause for Peace' during World Cup final
The effects of religious violence in Sarajevo 
The origin of Corpus Christi 
Corpus Christi at the Vatican 
Homage to an Indian Cardinal
Train of the Child's Light
New book explaining gestures of the Mass
Encounter between Pope Francis and the Charismatic Renewal in the Spirit Movement.

Liturgical Calendar

August 2, 2014

Saturday of the Seventeenth Week in Ordinary Time

All readings:
Today »
This year »

Catholic Daily

Gospel of the Day

Mt 14:1-12


Daily Readings

First Reading:: Jer 26: 11-16, 24
Gospel:: Mt 14: 1-12

Homily of the Day

Mt 14:1-12


Ads by AdsLiveMedia.com

Ads by AdsLiveMedia.com
Text only

Follow us: