Ruairi Quinn plans forum on removing Catholic Patronage

Issues relating to promoting a secular state education and raising children in a non-religious home
Marks
Atheist Ireland Member
Atheist Ireland Member
Posts: 362
Joined: Mon Sep 07, 2009 12:09 pm

Re: Ruairi Quinn plans forum on removing Catholic Patronage

Post by Marks » Tue Mar 29, 2011 8:32 pm

lostexpectation wrote:where did quinn say 50pc of all primary schools the speech he gave at the conference inferred maybe a dozen in dublin?
On the RTE 6.01 News.
lostexpectation
Posts: 1993
Joined: Wed Feb 07, 2007 11:28 pm

Re: Ruairi Quinn plans forum on removing Catholic Patronage

Post by lostexpectation » Tue Mar 29, 2011 9:24 pm

Marks wrote:
lostexpectation wrote:where did quinn say 50pc of all primary schools the speech he gave at the conference inferred maybe a dozen in dublin?
On the RTE 6.01 News.
but that's some final destination figure or something
but not by october he was only talking about schools identified already
test
Bik
Atheist Ireland Member
Atheist Ireland Member
Posts: 637
Joined: Fri Sep 04, 2009 1:02 pm
Location: Baile Átha Cliath

Re: Ruairi Quinn plans forum on removing Catholic Patronage

Post by Bik » Wed Mar 30, 2011 8:46 am

Some shrill over-reaction in todays Indo
Presidential hopeful David Norris is definitely no longer "in the margins". After all, hasn't Ireland now matured like its EU counterparts by passing the Civil Partnership Bill?

With Ruairi Quinn's determination to abolish religion from our schools and with our newfound liberties it appears we are returning to penal times where Christians, particularly Roman Catholics, need not apply.

Marion Murphy
Sallins, Co Kildare
:roll:

http://www.independent.ie/opinion/lette ... 99974.html
"Prayer has no place in the public schools, just like facts have no place in organized religion." Superintendent Chalmers
User avatar
mkaobrih
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 1602
Joined: Wed Sep 05, 2007 10:48 pm

Re: Ruairi Quinn plans forum on removing Catholic Patronage

Post by mkaobrih » Wed Mar 30, 2011 11:33 am

http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/opi ... html[quote]
DEAR PARENT

Thank you for your interest in St Ruairí’s Primary, formerly Our Lady of the Blessed Ethos.

As you may know our school recently transferred from church patronage to the lapsed Catholic sector, which caters specifically to the entire population.

As a lapsed Catholic primary school we welcome pupils of all faiths and none, treating each child equally without fear or favour.

We may have mixed feelings about Catholics and conflicted feelings about non-Catholics but overall that still balances out as treating each child equally.

St Ruairí’s occupies a pleasant site with all the latest in lapsed Catholic facilities. Our library is uncensored, our canteen serves meat on Fridays and our Gaelic pitches are mainly there for social and business purposes. We do not use the old chapel but we have not converted it into anything we might use. The statue of Mary in the lobby is affectionately and ironically maintained.

Currently all our teachers are lapsed Catholics but they have lapsed for a wide variety of reasons, from simple laziness through to unorthodox personal lives. Our current board of governors includes a university lecturer, a charity director and a former member of Democratic Left.

Whatever your feelings about such people, rest assured that you could not hate them more than they already hate themselves. Together with our trustee partners on the Lapsed Catholic Board we provide an inclusive learning environment that values the diversity of non-Catholics over the monotony of Catholics, apart from non-Irish Catholics who are valuably diverse as well.

A typical day at St Ruairí’s begins with a brief religious assembly, but only to serve as a comforting ritual. Singing and praying are optional while spontaneous applauding is increasingly tolerated. Pupils with the requisite stereo equipment may replace any hymn with a popular ballad.

Prayers may also be suggested before some lessons but only in a random and self-conscious manner.

Mass may be scheduled for special occasions before then being cancelled at the last minute because the priest has not turned up. Pupils may opt out of this at any time by declaring they are bored.

RE [religious education] is compulsory but treats all faiths equally (see “treating each children equally”, above). We aim to imbue lapsed Catholic values in every subject, quietly discouraging multiplication beyond three for example, or teaching children not to like certain things in art without really knowing why. Our syllabus has been developed in line with the national lapsed Catholic curriculum, which emphasises the importance of getting around to everything eventually.

Discipline is essential to the good running of any school and here at St Ruairí’s we take this very seriously. Pupils are required to feel vaguely guilty at all times, often years after they last did something wrong. This is supported by a strict policy of only being strict when they least expect it. Where behaviour does not improve, teachers may dress up as nuns and jump out of cupboards.

If you would like your child to enrol and are from a non-Catholic background, just come along on the first day of term. We will be almost embarrassingly glad to see you. Otherwise, complete the attached form and take your child to Mass once before the age of five. Any more than that would embarrass us all.[/quote] I guess that's suppose to be satire.
The church complains of persecution when it's not allowed to persecute.
Marks
Atheist Ireland Member
Atheist Ireland Member
Posts: 362
Joined: Mon Sep 07, 2009 12:09 pm

Re: Ruairi Quinn plans forum on removing Catholic Patronage

Post by Marks » Wed Mar 30, 2011 6:17 pm

I asked a couple of people did they ever hear of Newton Emerson who wrote the article in the Times. The general consensus seems to be that he is someone who thinks he is funny but is not funny at all.

He seems to be saying that any schools handed over to the state will come under the New Vec Community School model as this is what his (funny) article seems to be saying. In these schools the patronage will change from the Catholic Church but nothing will essentially change on the ground. He cannot be referring to Educate Together schools as they do not have religious instruction during the school day.

I was hoping that Ruairi Quinn will not fall for that and hopefully any recommendations that the Human Rights Commission come up with will show clearly that a religious integrated curriculum breaches the human rights of the non-religious.
canasta42
Posts: 29
Joined: Mon Mar 28, 2011 2:43 pm

Re: Ruairi Quinn plans forum on removing Catholic Patronage

Post by canasta42 » Thu Mar 31, 2011 11:10 am

I just heard Ruairi Quinn being interviewed by Chris Donoghue on Newstalk this morning. He was quite impressive in a few things - not least that he is openly an atheist. However he did say that his aim for the education system is not a secular one but rather "a pluralist one which reflects the reality of modern Ireland".

So, not much change for the next five years, I reckon.

I am disappointed - I hope for a secular education system: religion removed entirely from schools.

Should Atheist Ireland openly state that that is their aim too?
Beebub
Atheist Ireland Member
Atheist Ireland Member
Posts: 1014
Joined: Mon Jul 13, 2009 1:22 pm

Re: Ruairi Quinn plans forum on removing Catholic Patronage

Post by Beebub » Thu Mar 31, 2011 11:22 am

I'm pretty sure AI has stated this. Maybe marks can clarify.
canasta42 wrote:I am disappointed - I hope for a secular education system: religion removed entirely from schools.
This is not something which will happen overnight and if this is the only aim and the only option we fight for, it will be a long hard battle.

Starting with a real alternative for non-religiuos parents would be my preferred option, however I have a vested interest in this as I have one child of school going age and two more who will shortly follow. I don't want to have to wait for a completely secular schooling system as I'll be very lucky to see my grand kids with this option.

A viable, workable opt out option is what I'd like to see, where kids are not seen a 'different' or 'not fitting in' in the short term.

Of course this compromises from a completely secular schooling system, but if a real option for opting out was available, more and more parents would go down this route, forcing schools and government to change. This will not be enforced overnight. Change will have to come from parents and if there is a real way for them to opt their kids out of religion, more would do it.
Marks
Atheist Ireland Member
Atheist Ireland Member
Posts: 362
Joined: Mon Sep 07, 2009 12:09 pm

Re: Ruairi Quinn plans forum on removing Catholic Patronage

Post by Marks » Thu Mar 31, 2011 7:49 pm

Beebub wrote:A viable, workable opt out option is what I'd like to see, where kids are not seen a 'different' or 'not fitting in' in the short term.
The problem with seeking a workable opt out from religion in denominational schools is that it is simply not achievable because the Irish Constitution does not protect your children from being influenced to some degree into a religious way of life in those schools.

This is what the Supreme Court stated in Campaign to Separate Church and State v Minister for Education.

The Constitution therefore distinguishes between religious ‘education’ and religious ‘instruction’ – the former being the much wider term. A child who attends a school run by a religious denomination different from his own may have a constitutional right
not to attend religious instruction at that school but the Constitution cannot protect him from being influenced, to some degree, by the religious ‘ethos’ of the school. A religious denomination is not obliged to change the general atmosphere of its school merely to
accommodate a child of a different religious persuasion who wishes to attend that school.”

This obviously means that schools are not legally obliged to change their atmosphere in order that your children will not be influenced into a religious way of life. In order for you to opt your children out of religion that is integrated into all subjects you would first have to know exactly what each teacher is doing in all the subjects so that you can opt out your child. That is simply far too much of a burden for any parent.

The difficulty for Ruairi Quinn and the Irish State is that they are obliged under human rights law to respect the philosophical convictions of non religious parents. Respect does not mean that the children of non-religious parents can be influenced into a religious way of life while accessing their human right to education. The right to respect is an absolute right rather than one that had to be balanced against the rights of others or which could be gradually achieved. The non-religious are not respected in denominational schools because these schools operate a religious integrated curriculum where it is impossible to opt out.

The European Court of Human Rights put it in the recent Lautsi V Italy case :-
“(e) Respect for parents' religious convictions and for children's beliefs implies the right to believe in a religion or not to believe in any religion. The freedom to believe and the freedom not to believe (negative freedom) are both protected by Article 9 of the Convention (see, in relation to Article 11, Young, James and Webster v. the United Kingdom, 13 August 1981, §§ 52-57, Series A no. 44).
The State's duty of neutrality and impartiality is incompatible with any kind of power on its part to assess the legitimacy of religious convictions or the ways of expressing those convictions. In the context of teaching, neutrality should guarantee pluralism (see Folgerø, cited above, § 84).”

Religious schools cannot guarantee pluralism simply because the curriculum is not delivered in an objective, critical and pluralistic manner, it is delivered through the eyes of the Catholic Church in over 92% of schools. The very purpose of a religious ethos is to influence children into a religious way of life.

Another issue for Ruairi Quinn is that the Supreme Court said that a school was not obliged to change its atmosphere if a parent of a different religious persuasion wishes to attend that school. Of course non-religious parents do not WISH to attend religious schools where their children will be influenced into a religious way of life and they are not a religious persuasion.
According to Article 42.3.1 of the Constitution “The State shall not oblige parents in violation of their conscience and lawful preference to send their children to schools established by the State, or to any particular type of school designated by the State.”

The above would seem to mean that the State cannot oblige parents to send their children to schools where their children will be influenced into a religious way of life if that is against their conscience but of course that is exactly what the state does. You are legally obliged to send your children to school up to the age of sixteen and if the state has not ‘provided for’ a non-denominational school in your local area it means that you have no option but to attend a religious school in violation of your conscience and lawful preference. The State are saying that they have discharged their obligation to ‘provide for’ education under Article 42 of the Constitution if they provide that education in the local Catholic School even though the Supreme Court has said that those schools can influence your children into a religious way of life. Now that simply does not make sense especially as the Constitution also says that parents are the primary educators of their children.

This is the absolute mess that Ruairi Quinn wants to sort out and good luck to him because he will need it. I’m sure that he is aware that the Constitution Review Group Report stated in 1995 :-

“If Article 44.2.4 did not provide these safeguards the state might well be in breach of its international obligations and if that were to occur the State will be in breach of its obligations under Article 42.3.1.”
User avatar
mkaobrih
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 1602
Joined: Wed Sep 05, 2007 10:48 pm

Re: Ruairi Quinn plans forum on removing Catholic Patronage

Post by mkaobrih » Fri Apr 01, 2011 9:58 pm

http://www.rte.ie/news/2011/0401/education.html
I hope this happens. For me first and sixth class was mostly learning of by heart rote mumbo jumbo - There are so many things that this time can be used for. Learning a foreign language, learning about science (omit biology if it too tricky for creationist parents). Science in primary schools seems to be either a nature table or some mad evangelical commitment to recycling.
The church complains of persecution when it's not allowed to persecute.
tony
Posts: 186
Joined: Thu Jan 04, 2007 11:58 pm

Re: Ruairi Quinn plans forum on removing Catholic Patronage

Post by tony » Mon Apr 04, 2011 4:44 pm

Moving in the right direction.Good stuff Ruairi.Keep it up.
http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/ire ... 36025.html
The Irish Times - Monday, April 4, 2011
State to ask religious orders to hand over property worth up to €200m
TIM O'BRIEN

THE GOVERNMENT is to ask religious orders to hand over title to property worth up to €200 million, the Department of Education has confirmed.

The €200 million is the shortfall the State considers it is owed by the 18 religious orders which agreed to share the cost of the €1.36 billion bill for survivors of institutional abuse.

Last year the 18 congregations named in the Ryan report on clerical sexual abuse agreed to pay €476 million towards the cost of compensation. As this is €200 million short of an even split of the bill with the State, proposals for the remaining payment are being sought.

It is understood the religious orders paid €128 million in 2002. Some €110 million was promised in cash and €235 million was promised in property. Minister for Education Ruairí Quinn has pointed out this amount leaves the €200 million shortfall, and he is now seeking the transfer to the State of the legal ownership of religious-owned schools to meet this deficit. A spokeswoman for the Department of Education last night confirmed Mr Quinn was seeking ownership of the schools for the State.

Mr Quinn has indicated he did not want to bankrupt the religious orders and was not intending to change the structure by which the religious orders were in charge of the schools.

The Minister’s concern is said to be in relation to the amount of the total compensation bill which will have to be paid by the taxpayer.
Post Reply