Scottish bishop condemns 'bigoted' attack on Catholic schools
By David Kerr
Facebook Twitter Google+ Pinterest Addthis

.- The Catholic Church in Scotland has condemned as “bigoted” a call by a leading legal journal to abolish the Catholic school system.

“The blunt truth is that sectarianism fuels the continuous attack on Catholic education in Scotland,” said Bishop Joseph Devine of Motherwell to the Scottish Catholic Observer May 13.

“The real enemy of all religious people is secularism which breeds sectarianism and those who espouse it and propagate it are Christianity’s greatest foes.”

The editorial in this month’s edition of the Scottish Legal Action Group journal was written in the wake of a parcel bomb being sent to the head coach of Celtic Football Club. The Glasgow soccer team is closely associated with the Catholic community in Scotland.

Devices were also sent to two prominent Celtic supporters, as well as to an Irish Republican supporters group. Two men have now been arrested in connection with the incident.

In the view of the legal journal, “The degree to which such legal measures can counteract sectarianism is questionable and even doubtful when in other regards our law and civic bodies continue to enshrine, protect and systematically promote social division on religious lines.”

“That is done most widely and effectively in our education system where the maintenance of religious instruction and observance, along with the public funding of denominational schools create and perpetuate religious discrimination.”

The Catholic school system in Scotland is fully funded by the state. The Church, though, provides pastoral care to its schools and maintains a veto over appointments to key teaching posts.

Bishop Devine says the success of the system should silence critics.

“I challenge these groups to produce the hard evidence to support their irresponsible claims or withdraw them. Around 130,000 young people—just over 20 per cent of the school population—are taught in 369 Catholic schools across Scotland. It would appear that the greater the achievements of (our) Catholic schools… the greater the hysteria grows for their abolition.”

He was also eager to point out that the Catholic school system enjoys the backing of all political leaders including the Scottish First Minister, Alex Salmond, and the U.K. Prime Minister, David Cameron.

“The Prime Minister believes that faith schools should be seen as the model for all state schools to follow, while Scotland’s First Minister urges us to celebrate our distinguished achievements.”

“Most important of all, of course, is the fact that over 95 per cent of Catholic parents freely choose to have their children educated in Catholic schools.”

He concluded by noting the significant number of non-Catholic families who wish to send their children to Scotland’s Catholic schools.

“(This is a) a clear demonstration by their parents of their recognition of the value of Catholic schools in providing their children with an excellent academic, spiritual and well-rounded education,” Bishop Devine said.

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

Little Sisters of the Poor press conference in Denver
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
Missionary of Charity, Korea
Testimony of Christian Love during Pope's Visit to Korea
Religious Sisters in South Korea react to Pope Francis kissing a baby
Warm atmosphere during Holy Mass at Daejeon World Cup Stadium
Images inside Pope Francis flight to South Korea

Liturgical Calendar

December 19, 2014

Advent Weekday

All readings:
Today »
This year »

Catholic Daily

Gospel of the Day

Mt 21:23-27


Daily Readings

First Reading:: Judg 13: 2-7, 24-25A
Gospel:: Lk 1: 5-25

Saint of the Day

St. Romuald »


Homily of the Day

Mt 21:23-27