Madrid, Spain, Mar 22, 2004 / 22:00 pm
The newly elected Spanish government, under the leadership if the Socialist PSOE party, has announced it will immediately strip religious courses of their accreditation in schools and change the way teachers are hired, signaling an end to religious education in Spain and in violation of the Concordat signed with the Vatican in 1979.
Carmen Chacón, who heads up the Socialist Party’s Education, Universities and Culture Committee, said in an interview that “the first act of the PSOE will be to revoke” what she considers “the imposition of obligatory Religious education.”
The measure will do away with educational reforms instituted by the outgoing Popular Party that allowed for more freedom in the teaching of religion and will strip religious education of any accreditation in school curricula. The Spanish bishops supported those reforms, calling them a step forward in “the exercise of religions and intellectual freedom.”
Later in the interview, Chacón also announced the State take a more aggressive role in the oversight of teachers. That would mean a violation of the Concordat between Spain and the Holy See, which guarantees the right of the Catholic Church to select teachers based on its own academic and moral criteria.