Monday, 9 April 2018

Opinion: 'Religious instruction and worship should take place outside core school hours'
This proposal seeks to find a workable compromise between different belief groups at minimum cost, writes David Graham.
thejournal.ie

David Graham Education Equality
DISCRIMINATION BEGINS WITH a refusal to acknowledge the existence of the ‘other’.
As the long-running debate over the religious control of our national schools continues, Education Equality has noted that those who are the keenest to proclaim the ‘inclusivity’ and ‘diversity’ of our schools are also the most reluctant to acknowledge the growing number of non-Christian families.
A changing Ireland
Last year’s marriage statistics, which have just been released by the Central Statistics Office (CSO), are further evidence of a changing Ireland. This is a country where a quiet revolution has taken place in the last 30 years with respect to religious belief and practice, and the role of religion in society.
Of the available figures released by the CSO since 1980, there has only been one year when the proportion of Catholic marriage ceremonies has not fallen. Since 2015, over one in three marriages in the State has been celebrated in a non-religious ceremony.
Last year, civil and humanist marriage ceremonies reached a new high of 37%, while Catholic ceremonies fell yet again to 50.9%. If the long-term trend continues, more couples will choose non-religious marriage ceremonies than Catholic ceremonies within the next few years. Soon after that, non-religious marriages are likely to outnumber all religious marriages combined.
A tangible indicator
These statistics matter in the schools debate for a number of reasons. First, the marriage figures relate directly to the demographic with the greatest stake in our education system.
As most babies in Ireland are still born within marriage, the wedding ceremonies that couples choose give us a good sense of the beliefs of today’s parents and allow us to draw reasonable inferences about how they want to raise their children.
Second, unlike the Census, the marriage figures are a tangible indicator of religious practice. Third, as the CSO produces a marriage report every year, the figures are always right up-to-date.
In short, while by no means a perfect indicator, the annual marriage statistics give us the best quantitative data we have about the prevalence of religious belief and practice among young Irish families.


96% of schools under private religious patrons
Notwithstanding this profound societal change of recent years, approximately 96% of our publicly-funded national schools remain under the control of private religious patrons. About 90% are run by the Catholic Church. Many of these schools indoctrinate all of their pupils throughout the school day, with or without their parents’ consent.
It is effectively impossible to ‘opt out’ of the religious-integrated curriculum, essentially a form of subliminal indoctrination.
Meanwhile, opt-out arrangements for the daily 30-minute periods of formal religious instruction and worship – overt indoctrination – are often inadequate at best, with ‘opted-out’ children typically sitting at the back of the class, isolated and excluded while absorbing the religious instruction regardless.
Our schools are out of touch with the beliefs and needs of a growing number of families in the diverse local communities they serve. These families do not want their children to be indoctrinated at school. The religious doctrine being taught there has no relevance to them, and is regarded by many parents as an unwelcome imposition on their family life, not to mention directly contrary to their own conscience.
Yearning for change
They are yearning for change. They don’t want a history lesson about our education system’s origins in pre-Famine Ireland, or hand-wringing from policymakers about the difficult legacy of Church land ownership.
They are simply calling on the State to take action that vindicates their freedom of conscience and upholds their Constitutional rights. And non-religious families are joined in these calls by many minority-religion families who have the same human rights and face the same discrimination. How are Hindu or Muslim parents to raise their child in their beliefs if the local school treats the child as Catholic?
As a first step on the road to equality we need equal access to local schools for local children, irrespective of their religious status. Sadly, even this modest proposal is facing fierce opposition from vested interests. However, equality is a threat only to those who fear the loss of privilege.
As a second step, we need to fundamentally examine whether our denominational schools, as currently run, are fit for purpose in a changing society – and whether the narrative of ‘school choice’ is an appropriate response to diversity. The status quo is not sustainable, but neither is a response that would seek to segregate 5-year-olds along religious lines. We don’t have the money, the land or the need to build a parallel school system for non-Christians.
A focus on parental consent
Instead, achieving true equality in our schools will require a careful balancing of competing rights and a clear focus on parental consent.
In addition to calling for equal school access, Education Equality proposes that religious instruction and worship should take place at the end of the school day, outside core school hours, so that parents can effectively choose whether or not their children receive instruction in a particular religion. This proposal seeks to find a workable compromise between different belief groups at minimum cost.
In the meantime, we have a choice. We can face up to the need for change, or we can continue to ignore the existence, and the rights, of the ‘other’.


David Graham is a father of two and Communications Officer with Education Equality.

PAT:

If I had my way there would simply be state schools and no religion would have its own schools to brainwash people - neither Catholics, Protestants, Muslims etc.

Religious education should be confined to the family home, the place of worship and Sabbath schools.

The only religion I would allow in schools is a non-denominational classes on ethics and comparative religion.

I would also let children know about the options of humanism, atheism, and agnosticism.

Denominational education is at least partly responsible for the spread of misunderstanding and hatred amongst communities.

Churches and religions should be private, taxable organizations.

The State should be democratic, pluralist and secular.

Many church members are not really committed believers. They are there because of childhood brainwashing or for social and political reasons.

Religion truly is "THE OPIUM OF THE MASSES".

Its spirituality we need - not religion.

"GOD WANTS SPIRITUAL FRUITS - NOT RELIGIOUS NUTS".









88 comments:

  1. Dr Spock i.e David Graham has a Planter name. Should he declare an interest? Catholic marriages are falling because of higher divorce rates so the second time around brigade have to go to the registry office.

    Can someone explain to me how it is possible to take seriously "till death do us part" if uttered by a person on their second, third, fourth or fifth marriage? Did Elizabeth Taylor or Henry VIII see the irony?

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    1. I would imagine that the vast majority of couples really mean what they say on their wedding day.

      But then things happen and the marriage fails.

      Sometimes people marry the wrong person or the person they marry changes.

      I believe in the IDEAL of life long marriage.

      But we then must have a fall back position for those who fail to reach the ideal.

      That's why Jesus came - to be the bridge between the IDEAL and the REAL.

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    2. Does the poster at 00.07 know that divorce was acceptable for hundreds of years if the person seeking it was at the right level of society.

      Ordinarily Henry VIII would have been given a divorce for the sake of stability in the kingdom. However his wife's nephew was the Holy Roman Emperor, a man on whose power the pope relied at that time. The Emperor, not wanted to see his aunt humiliated, objected so the pope said no.

      As the comment itself; you write with an academic understanding of marriage. What about priests who leave ministry and get married. Were their vows not genuinely intended, but for whatever reason they could not uphold them. Even Deans of Maynooth get married nowadays.

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    3. My question was more about the people who get "married" repeatedly. Why do they say "till death us do part" three or more times. Remember that Jesus told the woman at the well that she had just one husband.

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    4. Annulment is Catholic divorce. What other sacraments are annulled? It's very convenient that people only seek an annulment when the marriage is on the rocks. Have any happily married couples gone to a Marriage Tribunal saying "we are happy together but we were immature and didn't understand the obligations of marriage"?

      It never happened.

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    5. So ye think a priest can leave ministry and marry and that can be judged by a different standard as a person who remarries??
      Catch yourself on.

      If a marriage is not working out and cannot be fixed than why not let both parties part ways and seek fulfillment?? A priest is a priest for life, but if he finds himself unfulfilled in ministry he gets a second chance at finding fulfillment. What is sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander. To think otherwise is to fool yourself.

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    6. 22.27 Fair point.

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  2. If you had your way? Well you won’t be getting your way. And the biggest “nut” of all is you. There are plenty of “spiritual” nuts around like you peddling their bullsh*t.

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  3. Just because there is a growing number of atheists and non-Christian people in the population, there is absolutely no excuse whatsoever for denying Catholic families who value the benefits of a Catholic school education (and those achievements and benefits have been well documented over and over again including on this blog) the right to choose it. Their choice of a Faith school is every bit as legitimate as someone else's choice to a secular mode of instruction.

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    1. If they are so Catholic - why can the children not be formed in the home, the church and the Sunday school.

      There is no "Catholic" way of teaching geography.

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  4. Why this constant insidious insinuation that Catholic children should forfeit their right to a good Catholic education? Surely we have been through this on the blog over and over again!

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    1. Catholic children should not forfeit their right to a good catholic education. But why should other children be forced to undergo religious formation in a country with too few options for non-catholic education?

      The balance of options is tipped in favour of the Catholic ethos, and is no unnecessarily.

      Further, there is no need for sacramental preparation at all in any school - Just like in England - that can be organised outside of school hours.

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    2. A real Catholic education would tell a child why or why not she should be Catholic instead of imposing a Catholic label and system on the child. Buddhism unlike Christianity turns prospective converts away at first to be sure they know what they are doing.

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  5. Pat, you're one of the biggest religious nuts around! Your spiritual fruits are a tapestry of hatred for all things Roman Catholic; very anti clerical in the worse sense, always judging in a self righteous way, nasty and arrogant. Hardly the stuff of "spiritual fruits.." Throaway phrases like brainwashing is simplistic and does nothing for genuine debate. Yes, society is changing and I believe that sooner rather than further down the road, a genuine conversation needs to be had about the management of our schools. I also believe that now would be a realistic time for the Church to give all schools back to the state. Then we'll realise the incredible contribution the Church has made and is still making. However, I know in my heart from my ministry that the local Church communities should adoot a more visionary role re: passing on of faith and religious teachings.I don't take any gleeful satisfaction in saying this as if to condemn the Church for any role in educatiin, as Pat does, but as a new reality which we, the Church, must embrace.

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    1. You speak a lot of common sense at the end of your comment.

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    2. They speak a lot of sense at the beginning too

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  6. He's the F.A. Cup lol!

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  7. So what point are you trying to make here, Pat?? That those of us who value and practise our Catholic faith and appreciate the job our present Catholic teachers do are "religious nuts" - - Is that what you are implying? If that is the case, then you are not the person I took you to be.. I felt very angry and disappointed tonight when I read your comments. All of those weeks of comments on the evils of disrespecting and "abusing 'others and then tonight you think it's acceptable to come with insults like that!

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    1. Talk to some Catholic teachers.

      Many of them hate the Catholic School system and feel abused within it.

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    2. 11.37: Pat, give statistics to validate your opinion. There are atheist teachers, gay teachers, etc..for certain, but how do teachers feel abused? I have worked for 40 years in schools both as chaplain and chairperson and I have ensured that all teachers are valued and appreciated, even when undeserved. Teachers who had concerns or issues were always listened to with respect, civility and care. Most of the issues had nothing to do with the Catholic patronage or ethos of the schools, more personal difficulties with other teachers, school board, parents, illnesses, unsuitability, bad teaching...But once approached carefully and respectfully and when necessary, using professional mechanisms, issues were resolved amicably. There are many issues in our schools that are the concern only of the Dept of Education and Science - pay equality, gender balance, policy documents, working opportunities, career breaks, promotional posts. The Patronage body usually do their utmost to ensure good management is a daily reality in our schools. There are teachers whom I've encountered who should not be in the teaching profession and who can manipulate and be most unprofessional. (Another day's story).

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    3. No - - Catholic teachers were NOT always listened to and respected ..!! Maybe where you were, but certainly not where I taught..

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    4. 14.06: Tell us your issues: then we might be able to have an honest sharing of debate..What issues were NOT ALWAYS LISTENED TO?

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  8. Pat, are you bloody buck stupid?? ! How many times have learned historians and others posted comments in the past, in minute detail trying to explain to you in words of almost one syllable , the reasons why a completely division of Church and State is neither advisable nor even possible . Have you heard of Communist Russia and ultimately why it completely failed in its previous form ? I am not going to try to explain why it is actually an impossibility because that would be a waste of time once again. When even atheists can't get through to you, what's the point of wasting more midnight oil here?

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    1. A communist Russia is not what I speak of.

      It is NOT a democracy.

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    2. What logical proof have you that communism inherently commands and demands violence? Read your Bible and you will learn how its God spends a lot of pages in the first five books of the Bible demanding that a people he calls corrupt go and stone innocent people to death? Remember the Bible being morally correct on all matters is essential if you want to think God really founded Christianity. Go and look at your own system before you condemn anybody else's.

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    3. Who mentioned "violence"??

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    4. 13.41 Communism is militant atheism so that automatically includes violence. Our Faith today is distilled through Jesus who never condemned those who tortured him.

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    5. The leading country in the communist world was Russia. Communism may not have been athetistic is Stalin was given an easier exit from seminary.

      Dont be fooled into thinking capitolism is any different - it just uses religion to further its own gains.

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  9. The Catholic Patron of our primary school relinquished control,only for the parents association to protest. five years earlier parents said they were happy for the school to forgo its ethos, and when push came to shove, the very ones were literally protesting outside. there's nowt as queer as folk.

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  10. Bishop Pat,
    What a strange argument you make. Your supposed Office as Bishop is the product of RELIGION since Spirituality has no need of such. Are you having your cake while trying to eat it?

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    1. The bishop was merely the overseer in the early Christian community.

      He / she was not a dictator.

      Christianity started with spirituality and ended up a religion.

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    2. Not a dictator... Boyce, Martin, Martin, Clifford, Buckley(john), Smith, Cullinan, Daly, MaAreavy... need I say more.

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  11. To quote Tom Deenihan, "give the children formation not information".

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  12. There are lots of posts about sex lifestyles and scandals. The first question to ask about religion is what is it for and how does it work. The starting point needs to be Jesus and us what happens next. Perhaps there is more basic religion in humanist services than we think. I have come to believe religious education should be home and church based with schooks giving a general overview

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  13. I believe the Church will soon have to completely re-evaluate its involvement andvrole in the running and management of primary schools. Apart frim the cultural and social changes and the demographics of the population, there is also the challenge of availability of clergy to fully act as chaplains and chairpersons, though in many places lay people act in the role of chairperson. It can be very dufgicukt to find suitable, willing people for such role. Already, we only see children & families in our Churches at moments of ritual celebrations after which they rarely come to join with the Christian community. Change is inevitable over time and there are many factors which bring this abiut. We sometimes seem swamped by the challenge to re-evangelise in a creative, dynamic way which tiuches people in their present lives, even though we revignise a spiritual hunger. I believe if those who are true followers of Christ and those who belong and are genuine about the survival of Christianity and religious expressions and celebrations reflect and pray together, perhaps we might have a cimmin visiin by literally taking tge gospel seriously and luving it. We who are truly concerned. the remnant, must as a.priority reenvision Christianity - much like the eatly Church in the Acts of the Apostles - gathering for prayer, celebrating Eucharist, sharing gifts with and for the good of the community and ensuring the poor and needy are embraced. We have a long journey to take towards this vision. I don't think offering negative comments by way of condemning the Church in a nasty, vengeful, gleeful way helps in serious debate about necessary and urgent renewal in imitation of Christ. Let's offer insights that are hope-filled!

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    1. You are right about a new vision.

      But to rebuild a wall there has to be some amount of demolition of the old one.

      Delete
  14. MournemanMichael10 April 2018 at 10:29

    Everything in today's blog and Pat's comments is valid and blindingly obvious.
    Those who regard such obvious truth and good sense as an "attack" on their "one true holy RC faith" are woefully misguided and in all probability products of the totalitarian RC indoctrination system. And of course there will be all those with vested interests in maintaining the status quo..
    MMM

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    1. Such protesters have Stockholm syndrome.

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  15. COMMENT FROM YESTERDAY'S BLOG BROUGHT FORWARD
    Anonymous10 April 2018 at 04:10

    Pat this blog really is depressing. You and commenters seem keen to see the fault in priests.It's 3.55am and I'm just back from praying prayers after death with a family where the husband/father had suddenly died. I'm not telling this to say how great a priest I am, far from it, I know my faults and know I can and should be a better priest. But having had things said about me on this blog that have both been untrue and nasty I realise that the nastiness of this blog should not upset me as a person, because the important stuff is not what a bunch of malcontents type from their keyboards, it is being a priest with people at all points in their life (and after). Tomorrow I will go about other pastoral work and will continue to pray for that family. Perhaps you could let go of your anger and hurt and get on with your own life rather than sticking your oar into other people's lives and allowing others to defame people. Let go of your hatred and be liberated.

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    1. Father, I am glad that your wrote your comment critical of this blog and as you will see I published it both on yesterday's blog which you meant it for and on today's in case people would miss it.

      I commend you for your pastoral and personal care for the man who died and his family in the middle of the night.

      I know what that is like and had many similar occasions when I ministered in two Cardiff and three Down and Connor parishes.

      In fact I would probably be still doing so if Cahal Daly had found a more agreeable way to deal with me that sending me away.

      As I do not know who you are I do not know what things were said about you on this blog.

      If you want to - you may not - I will correct any untruths about you that appeared on the blog and apologise to you for them.

      If you want you can also write a blog yourself, critical of me and the blog and I will publish it - even if you do that anonymously.

      If you really knew you would know that anger and hurt does not dominate my life at all.

      I am however deeply critical of your Church - which I believe has many evil things happening within it.

      Of course there are very good priests - and you may be one of them.

      Pat.

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    2. When church figures ask people to let go of hatred and hurt they are merely burying their heads in the sand and allowing the hurt to continue.

      If church figures want challenging comments to stop they should be pastoral towards the victims. A bishop shouls listen to how Pat has been hurt, address the cause and offer healing.

      What is really wrong here is not Pat pointing out the church's failings; what is wrong is the omission of the church to tend to its own failings again and again.

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    3. And how would Pat's hurt be healed? What would he want from the Church that has hurt him?

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    4. I cant speak for Pat, but as a general note an apology and acknowledgement that hurt was caused can be a very healing thing. (The fact that this needs saying is a worryimg thing though)

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    5. Oh so we are a bunch of malcontents typing from our keyboards.
      Kudos to you getting up in the middle of the night.
      Did you know that many people do not sleep at night after a lifetime of night shifts and for many many other reasons.
      Yes people have been indoctrinated into believing that heaven is only possible if the sacrament of the sick is given.
      But most believe and know that if we live by god’s law and do no evil, the sacrament of the sick isn’t really relevant.
      A sudden death is not the way any of us want to leave here,it is very traumatic for relatives...those working at the coal face in hospitals know all about that.
      Glad that you were able to get going with all your pastoral work the next day.
      Strange that it may seem..I only had a priest visit when my husband died.i never saw him at the door before or since.

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    6. What you are saying is not the teaching of the Church. A person will be judged on the state of grace of his or her soul at the time of death. That's why Jesus warned that we do not know the day or the hour.

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    7. 17.10: you are very cynical and unfair in your nasty comment. Did you ever think of inviting your priest for a cup of tea? Probably not and even more, you couldn't be bothered. So, stop moaning.

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    8. 17.10: You seem a rather unpleasant person. Your comment is very unkind to poster at 11.57. You miss the point completely, so arguing with someone like you is a waste of time and counterproductive. Grief is an uneasant experience but don't take it out on your local priest, who undoubtedly was of immense support and kindness to you. I'd also imagine he's the only priest in your parish and often too much is expected of one man. Priests are not superhuman. In your spare time invite him for coffee!!

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    9. Nobody needs sacrament of the sick. God is not tied to man's ministry. God can save as he sees fit - no priest can save a soul, not even his own.

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    10. 17:10. Yes I do know that people don't sleep at night for many different reasons. I don't come from a privileged background, my dad has worked nights. I also have another relative who can't sleep because she's so unwell.
      I'm just back home at midnight after sitting with a couple for hours as they talked over the problems they are having.I was just there, it was not what I was expecting when I began the visit. I believe that I should be available as a priest and I'd sooner be out visiting than sitting at my desk. My point about doing pastoral work was because I'm fed up of just hearing how lazy priests are and they are only interested in driving their Audi and eating out in posh restaurants. So no kudos about getting up in the middle of the night I'm only doing what I should be doing.
      So Pat thanks for the offer of writing a piece but then I'd be a malcontent typing at my keyboard. I've expressed my unhappiness about the untrue things that were said about me and so I have to be true to my words and let go of the hurt.

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    11. Priest who are fed up of a reputation for driving Audi's should protest to Bishop Farrell.

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  16. MMM 10.29: It's all too easy to be flippant and dismissive of the genuine concerns of Catholic parents re: the inculcation - not indoctrination - (a favourite word for atheists/humanists) - of moral, christian and religious values in their children. A survey done in my area of 6 primary schools a few years ago only got less that 80 parents who desired an alternative choice to the Catholic managed schools. The majority of parents, school boards and teachers were most certainly not "misguided" or "products of the totalitarian RC indoctrination system" (as cynically expressed by you). There were lots of open opportunities for discussion and reflection. Leaving aside your communist & judgmental style language - "totalitarian indoctrination", "vested interests" - a genuine discussion is imperative and necessary about the management of primary schools, the role of faith based education, religious patronage etc, not by using derogatory and judgmental language about the Church and its contribution. You are aware, I'm sure, of the excellence of education consistently given by faith based schools - of all Christian persuasions - and the broad curriculum given, encouraging and facilitating the moral, emotional, spiritual, psychological, educational, psychical and mental development of each unique individual, an approach valued and cherished by many generation of Irish families. Change - socially, culturally and intellectually - always bring challenges as to how we should adapt and respond to different needs. I know from my ministry that change will eventually come about and I welcome a positive, imaginative vision for our schools which value the religious ethos and can also embrace new perspectives. The schools I am involved in, while Catholic, are the most inclusive, welcoming and integrated I've ever worked in where all faiths and none, from many countries, are valued uniquely, educated well and learn from each other's faith, culture, traditions and history. This is a truth that gets lost in the secularist rush to get rid of all things of a faith/spiritual nature, particularly if Catholic in origin. Let's have honest debate and not hurl abuse so dismissively around at our Catholic education as cherished still by many, many people. All my sisters were educated in the 60's and 70's by nuns who, whike strict and very exacting, gave them a wonderful education - which included art, music, languages, chemistry and physics etc. A valued memory for all of them with deep gratitude.

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    1. MMM informed readers that he was able to recognise that the schooling he received in Ireland was 'mediocre' when he pursued University studies in the UK. It must have come as a moment of enlightenment to him, which, given the terminology employed by him on this post, didn't last long.

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  17. Pat, you open your comment above with "If I had my way". Personally I feel secure in the certainty that you will never have your way, since the vast majority of people see you for the marginalised nutcase that you clearly are.
    Your lá will never tiochfaidh!

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    1. Don't worry.

      I do realise how powerless I am.

      So be it!

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    2. Pat, personally I think only comments dealing with the blog of the day should be allowed plus anything of interest relating to GOD..Faiths.. or abuse or abusing of any privileged faith upholders
      Why do you allow posts that criticise you personally?
      I would not.

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    3. If I refuse to allow criticisms of me I will be accused of being arrogant and thinking of myself as perfect?

      Plus, of course, we should all be open to criticism?

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    4. Well obvs he allows them as another perfect example of how good Catholics talk to other people.

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    5. Calling a blogger a nut case is much more than criticism.
      It’s vulgar and reprehensible...should not be allowed on your blog.

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    6. Good that you feel secure13 .02 and belong to the vast majority.
      Don’t flatter yourself...you are not a nice person imo.

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    7. 16.40: Nothing wrong with 13.02's comment which would be shared by many. Thank God Pat is not in charge...imagine the chaos!

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    8. Being open to criticism must be a lot easier when you’re the one who decides what criticisms get published

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    9. fair point 18:20, cant disagree with you there

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    10. 17:19, can the chaos be any greater than it already is?

      Fact is 'chaos' us too puny a word here; 'bedlam' is more precise.😆

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  18. It is interesting that when parents want schools with say a Catholic ethos they do not care that they can have children formed as Catholics even if schools were secular. Why don't they secularise schools and use sunday schools? And why is there no concern for whether a religion is true or not? A Muslim School and a Catholic School cannot both be preaching a religion from God. Both might be preaching religions of man and man has no right to order anybody to do anything on religious grounds - only God can have that right and even that is debatable. Not all concerns linked ot religion are really about truth or God or religion. I think Catholics just want a Catholic culture not Catholicism as a religion.

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    1. @13.36
      Please do not fall into lazy generalisations such as "... Catholics just want a Catholic culture not Catholicism as a religion."
      This is certainly not true of me, my family and friends who practise our Faith by free choice.

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    2. 13.36.....you think...good for you...it’s good to think.

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  19. 13.36
    R u saying that Muslims do not talk with god..... ??


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  20. I only practice a catholic faith because I was born into it.
    I believe all faiths lead to god.
    What’s the problem?

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    1. It's called indifferentism and it's a heresy.

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    2. A heresy, 22:23? It may have been labelled as such in sectarian Roman Catholic theology (Pope Gregory XVI in 1832), but so-called 'Indifferentism' is actually a truism of salvation history, since personal redemption is dependent upon, not assent to ecclesial doctrine,(see 1 Cor: 13), but love; in other words, to transformation by the Holy Spirit.

      The lie in this argument against so-called 'Indiferentism' is the faux theological premise: 'Extra ecclesiam nulla salus.'

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  21. Do you pay tax Pat. Do you pay tax on your Sunday donations?

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    1. Yes. I pay tax on everything I receive including my Sunday Mass collections, weddings and donations.

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    2. Does the catholic church pay tax? Eh no. "Registered charity"...

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    3. I don’t think any church should pay tax. I include Pat and he Oratory in this. People aren’t receiving a service. If I’ve paid my tax I should be able to give a donation to whatever cause I like. If that’s the plate in mass on Sunday or on Pats plate that’s outside the tax scope as far as I’m concerned and I pay the higher rate of tax.

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    4. 19.14 I disagree with you there. I think we need a time where every church pays tax. No one should be exempt. It would bring a sense of realism to society. There is still too much of an aspect about money where the church is concerned and for me it is also an aspect to the over lording I have often seen.

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  22. I worked in a school for over 15 years and in that time the amount of religion taught was little or none. The only time religion was taken anytime serious was for about three weeks before Conformation which was every two years as I live in a rural area and the fifth and sixth class children made it together so that the Bishop did not have to visit the smaller rural areas every year, and in the two or three weeks before first holy communion and penance. There would be a mad dash done for a week before the Diocesian Religion Inspector called to the school. I know know if every diocese has such a visit.

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    1. we have them too. A nun comes around and checks the religion exercise books of the kids. We sing her a few old practicable religion songs, usually 'colors of day' and 'hes my forever friend'. She asks the kids a few random questions, we give her a cup of tea in the staff room and soften her up, and all's well that ends well. oddly none of these reports are published on school websites or diocesan websites, come to think of it, and I've never had any feedback. I think its just a clerical exercise that Dioceses are required to undertake and from other colleagues I've spoken with, their inspector was a retired nun or priest.

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    2. It's fair to assume that 17:48 was a dinner lady or a janitor rather than a teacher, given his or her execrable standard of English.

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    3. 17.48: You a teacher! Your standard of English and spelling are appalling. Glad you're not teaching my children.

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    4. 22:27, I giggled at your comment. so true

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  23. Hello Pat. Love the work.

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  24. Pat, I agree with your opening blog piece today. It is a realistic commentary. But, whenever I see the word 'demolition' I think of 'he will not break the crushed reed or quench the wavering flame.' Often I see people take a lot of liberty with Jesus' words regarding the Pharisees and the cleansing of the temple. I once heard it said that even if Jesus said something or Our Lady in apparition, it doesn't necessarily mean that we can say it. Because they say tough things from a completely different angle than we do. I maybe wrong but it seems to tally with 'Don't uproot the weeds' comment.

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  25. Pat did you ever see the gigantic blown up picture of yourself and a married couple at Dublin airport terminal 1?

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  26. Based on previous comments, +Pat, I believe a special Diocese of Raphoe blog should be considered, including a full rogues' gallery. Is that not where Fr Shirley comes from?

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  27. Non religious schooling is fine in the context of the south of Ireland. In the north, it is more complicated. Most parents, including myself, don't send their children to Catholic schools for the religious instruction. Simply, Catholic schools are the only opportunity for an education which includes and values Irish culture. State schools are British, Unionist and don't offer Irish language or gaelic games. The Catholic-based moral grounding is not, in itself, a bad thing, and in my experience there is great freedom to disagree with church teachings and develop a personal morality.

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    1. MourneManMichael12 April 2018 at 10:39

      You make a good point Anon@ 23:42 about the cultural aspects of a N Ire. "state school" education. I suppose I had awareness of it but seeing you spell it out gave me food for thought.
      What do you, and other contributors, think about the N. Ire. integrated schools, or the move, somewhere in the west I think, to have our two main cultural traditions "share" a campus school with some parts used by both, but each having its own "spaces" within the campus?
      MMM

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