RENUA Ireland notes with grave concern the apparent determination of Richard Bruton to erase any Catholic ethos from our primary schools under the guise of some mythical baptism barrier.
This is all the more curious given that Mr Bruton himself claims, “it is right and welcome that people should have the desire to bring up children in their faith if they want to”.
If this is his view perhaps the minister might explain why he is moving with such speed to reach a position, courtesy of the current Education Bill where “effectively religion would not be used in 95% of the schools that are in place” as a criteria for admission.
RENUA Ireland agrees it would be wrong if children could not get access to a local school on religious grounds.
We also agree that it is wrong people should feel obliged to have their children baptised to gain admission to a school.
We support a diverse education system that provides for children of all faith and none.
This, however, is not secured by expelling all traces of Catholicism from our primary schools.
It is instead an act of sectarian secularism which is utterly disrespectful to the wishes of the vast majority of parents.
Our Catholic Primary Schools are beacons of inclusivity. This is one of the many values they teach our children.
Before expelling Catholicism from our schools Mr Bruton has a responsibility to consult parents if that is not beneath his dignity. He has a duty also to explain how the new alternative will work.
RENUA Ireland stands by our faith schools against the attack of the sectarian secularists.
We also suggest Minister Bruton should engage with real issues such as the difficulties parents of children face in dealing with an Education system which is free in theory rather than practice rather than using religion as a device to cover up his administrations failures.
The government is engaged in a zero sum game when inclusivity for one group means exclusion for another
Mr Bruton should therefore remember Catholic schoolchildren have a right to a Catholic education too.