Thursday, January 03, 2008

British Parliament Summons "Doctrinaire" Catholic Bishops

(Hat tip: Dave Hartline at Catholic Report)

From The Guardian (UK):
Roman Catholic bishops are to appear in front of a powerful committee of MPs amid fears that they are pushing a fundamentalist brand of their religion in schools. Bishops have called on parents, teachers and priests to strengthen the role of religion in education. In one case the Bishop of Lancaster, Patrick O'Donoghue, instructed Catholic schools across much of north-west England to stop 'safe-sex' education and place crucifixes in all classrooms.

Barry Sheerman, chairman of the parliamentary cross-party committee on children, schools and families, said he had heard of other cases and felt that behind the scenes there was 'intense turmoil' about the future of Catholic education. 'A group of bishops appear to be taking a much firmer line and I think it would be useful to call representatives of the Catholic church in front of the committee to find out what is going on,' he said. 'It seems to me that faith education works all right as long as people are not that serious about their faith. But as soon as there is a more doctrinaire attitude questions have to be asked. It does become worrying when you get a new push from more fundamentalist bishops. This is taxpayers' money after all.'

(emphasis added)

My Comments:
A case in point as to why I oppose vouchers for private education here in the U.S. When government money gets involved in Catholic education, the education stops being Catholic. And to the extent said education remains Catholic, "doctrinaire" bishops, priests, and educators will be called on the carpet by the government.

Rather than vouchers, parents should receive a tax credit for the cost of private or parochial education.

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At 1/03/2008 12:41 PM, Blogger Dale P. said...

The British bishops are considered "doctrinaire"?

Good Lord in Heaven. Your average UK bishop makes Rembert Weakland look like Fabian Bruskewitz.

Oh, and I'd like to see the Laborites cop the same 'tude with the madrassas. The fact they won't shows what they're made of.

At 1/03/2008 1:38 PM, Blogger Brian said...


I am not so sure it is that cut and dry. First the question should be asked, is it the role of government to provide education? As Catholic Christian the answer is no. It is the responsibility of the parent primarily, and the church and the community to assist the poor. I for one would like to see all public schools closed.

With that said, we have the system we do, so how can we best keep government out and not open the door for governmental intrusion as in Great Britain. Well in our case; close down the Department of Education at the national level, and then the Ohio Department of Education at the State. Then, we rid ourselves of this income tax, so that no one is discriminated because of income, and go to a single sales tax; this would include getting rid of the property tax as well. At that point we could offer all Ohio children a voucher to be used for education. Then parents would have the ability to shop around.

So why not the tax credit? Unfortunately we do have a segment of our society that would not apply cash to their children’s education. Having a voucher ensures the money is spent solely for education and, with some safety, protects the poor and those children that have parents of low virtue (definitely not one and the same, we have many poor in this country with more virtue than some middle and upper class).

At 1/03/2008 1:50 PM, Blogger Jay Anderson said...

You don't have to worry about how unscrupulous parents spend the tax credit because it would work the same way any other tax credit works: for example, you don't get a child tax credit unless you can prove you actually have children; you don't receive a dependent care tax credit unless you can prove that you have qualified child care expenses.

Similarly, you don't receive a private education tax credit unless you can prove that you have qualified education expenses.

At 1/03/2008 7:51 PM, Blogger Brian said...

You are correct but my point stands. I can prove that I do in fact have a child, and he is in fact enrolled in The Smith School for Gifted Sarcasm, but I can then take the money I received back from the tax office and spend it at the track on horse racing rather than paying the tuition for that year; can I not?


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