Parents asked who they want to educate their children

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PARENTS IN FIVE townlands of Ireland are to be asked what group or groups they would like to see running their local schools.

 


The move comes as demand for certain schools becomes too great, while numbers at other institutions fall. The polls will gauge whether parents want management of schools taken out of Catholic control. Their views on single-sex and all-Irish speaking schools will also be examined.

Minister Ruairí Quinn said that although “a debt” is owed to religious bodies for their contribution to education, “there is now the potential for change within the primary patronage system to better reflect our society.”

“Modern Ireland is hugely diverse and we have to be sure that our schools cater for this diversity.”

Earlier this year, an advisory group made a number of recommendations to the Government on the divesting of patronage where a lack of choice for parents exists.

Minister Quinn is now looking at the possibility of transferring some schools to different patrons. Altogether his department will examine 44 areas which were identified as in need of more diversity.

 

Written By: thejournal .ie
continue to source article at thejournal.ie

53 COMMENTS

  1. Minister Ruairí Quinn said that although “a debt” is owed to religious bodies for their contribution to education,…

    Hummmmpf! The feckers were not doing it out of the goodness of their hearts, that’s for sure.

  2. The CC simply doesn’t have the resources-financial or human- to continue to run the schools; it hasn’t had for quite some time.

    Many parents still like CC schools; many want a non-religious option. You must remember that most of the staff at CC schools aren’t clerics, so there weren’t widespread ‘withdrawals’ in response to the abuse scandals.

  3. Well done Ireland,you have gone from a primitive closed theocracy to a forward looking country that puts the U.K. to shame in the ejection of  iron age superstition from your educational estate! 

  4. This is a direct quote from one of the comments on the original article – “I know this is a revolutionary concept but why not let the Department of Education run the schools and not have any private patronage, religious or otherwise?”

    Why not indeed?

  5.  

    Ignorant Amos
    Hummmmpf! The feckers were not doing it out of the goodness of their hearts, that’s for sure.

    I think this dates back to the time when the theocrats and aristocracy conspired to maintain a monopoly of literacy as part of a system to dominate the minds and bodies of the population.

  6. I do hope that ‘Catholic education ‘ loses out big time here.
    Even the non-clerically led ones.
    Because the tag is enough to for benefits to accrue to the Catholic church.
    And those benefits they deserve no longer.

    There has always been a tendency in the apologetics to laud Catholic education as the finest in the business.
    I think in mitigation  that they did spend a few bob on books, equipment and the logistical functions of a school when they were in the set up phase, and mostly maintained, but, as Amos has succinctly put it, not out of the goodness of their own black shrivelled hearts that is for damned sure.
    What the RCC required was a legion of skilled, numerate and literary au fait clones that did their future bidding without question.

    They actually achieved that in Ireland for so many generations it is a master class in social manipulation that the Soviets would have been jealous over.

    And the factory was Ireland that turned out to be the jewel in the Jesuit crown and seeded many other enclaves on the mainland like Liverpool, Glasgow,  and many new world addresses like  New York, Boston and beyond.
    There is still a powerful and strong tie to RCC dogma in those places even these days.
    The Vatican and seminaries rung to the brogues and accents of  ‘ol Ireland for many many years.
    The Vatican hierarchy became to regard Ireland as the centre of recruitment for their scam and it seemed it was every Irish mothers dream to raise a son to donate to the church!
    The stereo-type of the Irish, whisky drinking, boxing priest was a favourite in films and literature.
    These days it seems another trait has been added to the list…Irish, whisky drinking, boxing, kiddy fiddling, priest.

    Times have certainly changed surprisingly rapidly in the last decade and the Catholic brand is tainted beyond repair or paint, in fact they managed to do that all by them lonesomes.
    The most ironic twist is that atheism or even the religious opposition, at whom they rail incessantly against as the devils advocates, jeebus haters incarnate, and the greatest threat to Christendom, had absolutely no part in their accident prone, depraved, incompetent, lying and prat fall laden  downward spiral into derisory oblivion.
    They sabotaged themselves…delicious really, and so well deserved.

    But it is an important step to remove their claw-like grip around the throats of young children, and presumably their trousers.
    I hope and trust the Irish people will  enforce their horror at the betrayal perpetrated in their midst for so many years.
    Somehow I think they will, maybe the unaccustomed social freedom they seem to be enjoying these days, and incidentally for the first time in centuries, will prove a commodity to precious and wonderful to turn their backs on, rationality is a legal high.

    It must be a nightmare for the Vatican…but seeing as they manufactured it then may they get a cheap thrill from it, it will make a change from their other traditional  pursuits.

  7. Is there a possibility that the Church, as a defence mechanism, might invest in areas where the instruction they provide is below par?

    It seems to me that this is most likely to happen after any decision is made because, in the short term, it makes them appear non-partisan.

    The Church can later create a two-tier system (with fewer schools to invest in, they will probably be able to raise funding without increasing their overall schools budget).

    If they play the long game, the Church can next incrementally improve schools in areas where they invest – each year attracting a higher percentage of high-quality entrants (because of their record of achievement) at one end and thus producing a higher percentage of higher-graded alumni at the other.

    This is how the Catholic Church runs its schools in neighbouring Britain. Once again, the politicians fail to see the whole picture (or do they, perhaps they have a cunning plan?).

    If the schools are, furthermore, allowed to exercise selection (of pupils entering the school) the above process is speeded up.

    It seems to me this is an opportunity.

    The Church will begin by emphasising investment, moral education, results and extra-curricular activities to market their schools to parents. Until recently we could have expected them to also emphasise priestly supervision of the teaching staff, Board of Governers and religious education. But, given recent events, perhaps not.

    What will the non-religious in Ireland be doing to support the schools in areas that opt out?

    What can the international community of secularists and humanists do to help?

    Peace.

  8. The CC simply doesn’t have the resources-financial or human- to continue to run the schools; it hasn’t had for quite some time.

    You are kidding right?….no money or people interested in running their schools?

    Who pays for the Catholic run schools in Eire?

    The RCC has just changed its focus…the RCC’s days in Ireland are numbered and it knows it. Power is waning day-by-day, so it has moved onto pastures new…

    “While the Catholic Church did not feature among the applications for patronage, the Nigerian Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG) unsuccessfully sought to run three schools.”

    Successful or not, it was trying.

    In Ireland, the state funds the schools and they are run by trustees.

    http://www.citizensinformation

    From the OP…

    “Currently, about 93 per cent of Ireland’s 3,200 primary schools are run under Roman Catholic patronage.”

    It is ownership and control of these state funded schools that is the subject at hand here. Not the cost of running and manpower issues. Private schools are privately funded, so don’t come into it. Of course the RCC is at liberty to run private schools, but that might be a financial and people issue for them.

  9. Yes, but that was back in the day. It suited the RCC’s purpose to have in their control all those young impressionable minds to mould and manipulate. How else to better control the future? 

    The RCC doesn’t do anything for free, it’s not a charity ya know? }80)~

  10. The premise that the RCC pays for the running and upkeep of schools in Ireland is a misnomer.

    As set out in an earlier comment, the Irish people finance the education system.

    “The education system in Ireland is a State-supported rather than a State-owned system. In the main, it depends on private patrons to establish schools. To date, the patrons have mainly been Church based. In recent months, the debate on the future role of “faith based” schools has been very much to the fore. At times, the arguments seem to ignore the complex issues that underpin educational provision in Ireland.”

    From the excellent article in full here…http://http://www.studiesirishreview.ie/inde...

    Well worth the time and effort to read if you are interested in what’s going on.

  11.  I doubt that a people that lived worked and died under such a moral guilt laden cosh would run enthusiastically into a situation where the mentality of ask no question tell lots of lies would particularly appeal to them.
    They only just got rid of the last clowns that tried that.

    They have just moved beyond one social engineered situation which was draconian and unchallengeable, where logic has been suspended and questions actively discouraged.
    Where even intelligence was frowned on and stymied, unless it was to the greater glory of the RCC of course.
    The populations elder sons & daughters, now in their late 20′s and early 30′s, remember very well how their parents and neighbours suffered and served the RCC, such a shortish while ago, that lesson is learned and will not be forgotten.
    And many of the population can only feel a sense of freedom and relief that the shackles are definitely struck.

    Told when to fornicate, when to pray and when to work, probably told when to beat their children and when not to, what to eat and when, demanding money with thinly veiled threats of eternal agonies, who to ostracise, where to do business, and who to support politically and this is the precise same story going back generations beyond recall.

    It is no evidence and am aware that this is hearsay. but I have had many Irish friends and associates over the years.
    Their stories matched the above and were pretty much standard in the rural areas according to their telling.
    I am surprised that none of the Irish I met ever reported knowledge of child abuse, but one did reveal that the local ‘fader’ was under suspicion of inappropriate attitude to kiddies but mainly embezzlement of Church funds…as far as she knew up to her departure from the diocese nothing was ever proven, but he was supported by his bishop so read into that what you will.

    She was my girlfriend for several years and spoke softly in Irish brogue in bed..it was strangely erotic…but I digress! ahem!

    Apparently I have a ‘boleg moor’ and ‘Ishtar baha’ was my tipple!…(spelling as near as I can guess)
    But translated…’Big Belly’ and the ‘Water of Life’(whisky)
    She was not wrong…but it was many years ago!

    I remember several of her stories of the RCC in action, not for the feint hearted I would add, enough to give the flavour a bitter taste!

    But I consider that the innate character of the Irish will not stand another ‘master’ whatever the moral imperative.
    And certainly not complete brain dead trash at any rate, the majority seem to have more taste and sense for cretinism ever to gain a number expansion in its idiocy.

    The point was made recently when the National Trust was forced to re-word an exhibit signage text that seemed to promote Creationism as a valid view.
    Along with local complaints there was an outcry that forced the NT to reconsider a change…Creationism is not that popular it seems!
     

  12. “Minister Ruairí Quinn said that although ‘a debt’ is owed to religious bodies for their contribution to education, ‘there is now the potential for change within the primary patronage system to better reflect our society.’”
    Yes and a great debt is owed to the prison guard for keeping us safe, well fed and allowing us to walk outside in the daylight for a complete hour. 

  13. That’s true IA but the paederasty effected by members of the clergy has created a situation were a large number of people in Ireland have about as much faith in God as fairies and leprechauns.

  14. Yep…and although there is nothing remotely worth the cost of that paederasty on the victims, nevertheless, it’s a bye product of the ‘fallout’ the RCC has created for themselves that I for one welcome wholeheartedly. Let’s hope others follow Ireland’s lead.

  15. Do you know, for example, what the average age of a priest is in Ireland? Do you know what the rate of attendance by Catholics at Mass is in parts of Dublin now?

    It doesn’t have the money or manpower to run the amount of schools it once did, and many parents in newly built neighbourhoods don’t want to avail of the service that the CC offers; it’s that simple.

    The parish I started  school in about 30 years ago had 5 primary schools run by the CC… yes, 5 schools! There were 4 priests who were basically unpaid civil servants, running the schools, with volunteers on the Boards of Management. Now that parish has a PP who is in his mid-60s and a priest from Nigeria, who is helping out. The schools have Africans, Asians, E. Europeans etc., many of whom aren’t even Catholics. Things are very, very different.

     The state was more than happy for this to go on for years, so I wouldn’t overstate criticism of the CC…. with regard to the provision of education, at least.  :)

  16. The CC always had to contribute to the costs of schools (which was quite a bit more back in the 70s and 80s), and PPs usually were ‘CEOs’ of the Boards of Management; that wasn’t an insignificant commitment in terms of money or people.

    My Mam was on the BOM of my school, so I remember quite clearly the involvement of the local priests in the schools in our parish…she was on the phone or at meetings with them quite a bit.

  17. Of course; but it suited the state too!

    I don’t deny that is suited the fledgling Irish Free State…but that is a non sequitur in this discussion.

    I suggest you’re being a bit mean-spirited in regard to the vocation of many clerics.

    Not at all. I’m not referring to the vocation or commitment of a lot of clerics or lay people of the church. I’m referring to the institution as a whole, there is always something in it for the religious institution that is the RCC. 

  18. The CC always had to contribute to the costs of schools (which was quite a bit more back in the 70s and 80s), and PPs usually were ‘CEOs’ of the Boards of Management; that wasn’t an insignificant commitment in terms of money or people.

    That’s as maybe, but again, it’s a non sequitur. The discussion is no more about what was happening  in the 70′s and 80′s, than it is about what was happening in the 20′s.  You said…

    The CC simply doesn’t have the resources-financial or human- to continue to run the schools; it hasn’t had for quite some time.

    I’m saying, not only is it irrelevant to the subject of the OP, it’s also irrelevant because for the past 10 years or more, resources-financial or human…have not been the RCC’s problem. Mind you, that said, if it was about money and manpower, as others have stated, the RCC has more than enough to cover it.

    My Mam was on the BOM of my school, so I remember quite clearly the involvement of the local priests in the schools in our parish…she was on the phone or at meetings with them quite a bit.

    And as admirable as that was, I don’t see any relevance in this debate.

  19. I’m saying, not only is it irrelevant to the subject of the OP…

    I never said it was; I was replying to a question that was asked at the very start of the thread:
    “Did, the churches pull out for economic reasons, the government shut them down, people withdrew their kids, scandals created individual closures?…”
     

    …..as others have stated, the RCC has more than enough to cover it.

    Anyone who says that doesn’t know what he is talking about; its nonsense. This article should give you some idea of the problems facing the CC (you’ll find several others like it):

    http://www.irishtimes.com/news

    <blockqoute>And as admirable as that was, I don’t see any relevance in this debate</blockqoute>

    Debate? What debate?!

    Nothing to do with what she did being admirable or not. It’s just a fact: with regard to education, the state used priests as unpaid civil servants. I’m sure the CC was generally happy to fulfill that role when most people were attending Mass etc., but I’d say many, including Diarmuid Martin, are not going to be running themselves ragged when their ‘parishioners’ have no more interest in Catholicism than they do in Voodoo. Nothing mysterious about that; the writing has been on the wall for ages.

  20. I never said it was; I was replying to a question that was asked at the very start of the thread:”Did, the churches pull out for economic reasons, the government shut them down, people withdrew their kids, scandals created individual closures?…”

    You’ve obviously overlooked your reply to AtheistButt’s question. Not that it matters anyway. I was just pointing out the obvious.
     

    Anyone who says that doesn’t know what he is talking about; its nonsense. This article should give you some idea of the problems facing the CC (you’ll find several others like it):
    http://www.irishtimes.com/news

    The information on your link is yet another non sequitur. The RCC having recruiting problems to the cloth is irrelevant to the teaching staff of schools. Didn’t you bother reading MY link…”The State pays the teachers’ salaries.”

    You already stated in your original comment…

    You must remember that most of the staff at CC schools aren’t clerics, so there weren’t widespread ‘withdrawals’ in response to the abuse scandals.

    So human resources as in clerical manning has nothing to do with any of it. The RCC’s decline in influence within the Irish education system over the past couple of decades has had noting to do with them having a lack of finance or manpower.

    Debate? What debate?!

    This one….debate, discourse, discussion, argument…whatever your proffered descriptor.

    Nothing to do with what she did being admirable or not.

    Who is being mean-spirited now? I was trying to be complimentary to your mothers efforts.
     

    It’s just a fact: with regard to education, the state used priests as unpaid civil servants.

    Oh ffs RJ…come off it…who paid the living costs for the priests? The diocese perhaps? And where did they get their funds? Oh, that’s right the PEOPLE, and who are the people? That’s correct, the state. The whole RCC edifice has been built on the blood, sweat and tears of the people…that is why it was so important for that church to control education and the point of my original comment.

    I’m sure the CC was generally happy to fulfill that role when most people were attending Mass etc., but I’d say many, including Diarmuid Martin, are not going to be running themselves ragged when their ‘parishioners’ have no more interest in Catholicism than they do in Voodoo. Nothing mysterious about that; the writing has been on the wall for ages.

    The RCC has not been “running themselves ragged” for some time now RJ. But even given your assertion, did you really think the Irish education system was going to collapse without church involvement? I can’t imagine how other states have managed without the church to prop it up.

    You seem to be having a problem grasping some basics here. The RCC’s involvement in Irish schools for the past ten years or so has been patronage only. Teachers DO NOT come from the clergy anymore. Teachers now have to past muster. They have to be qualified and vetted. Maybe that could be a reason why influence has waned.
    http://www.teachingcouncil.ie/

  21. You’ve obviously overlooked your reply to AtheistButt’s question.

     I must have been replying to his comment also. :) 
    Anyway…

    The RCC having recruiting problems to the cloth is irrelevant to the teaching staff of schools

    I never said it was relevant; I was referring to the patronage of schools, specifically, the administrative, financial, and formative aspects of such patronage.

    So human resources as in clerical manning has nothing to do with any of it.

    Human resources to do with teaching? Very little. Human resources to do with patronage and all that entails? Yes, it does.

    The RCC’s decline in influence within the Irish education system over the past couple of decades has had noting to do with them having a lack of finance or manpower.

    Its decline has been caused by the increasing numbers who have rejected Catholicism; but that doesn’t change the fact that, in the future, the CC will not be able to run the number of schools it once did, owing to the shortage of clerics, fewer parishioners, and shrinking finances.

    Who is being mean-spirited now? I was trying to be complimentary to your mothers efforts.

    I know you were. I wasn’t being defensive; I was merely pointing out a fact.

    The RCC has not been “running themselves ragged” for some time now RJ

    I never said they did; I’m saying they aren’t going to be in the future, when the number of people interested in the service they provide becomes smaller and smaller. I mean, the Orange Order is unlikely to try reestablishing too many lodges in Co. Kerry, is it?!

     

    But even given your assertion, did you really think the Irish education system was going to collapse without church involvement?

    No, and I never implied that such a collapse would have happened. What I can say is that the CC, in relation to the provision of education, saved the state very significant amounts of money, as it did by involving itself with the health service and other charitable institutions; that doesn’t mean its involvement was necessarily a good thing. The state was more than happy for the CC to do much of the work it should have been doing.

     

    The RCC’s involvement in Irish schools for the past ten years or so has been patronage only.

    But it’s that patronage that is not, and will be even less so in the future, sustainable; that’s what I’m talking about!! 

    Who will set up and run Catholic schools? Priests who are in their 70s and who will be of an insufficient number to provide even ‘pastoral’ care within their own parishes? The 2% of the population  that attends Mass(as it is in parts of W. Dublin)? There is no ‘army’ of volunteers of 30-50 year old Catholics that is going to step up and do its bit to keep the patronage going at its current levels.

     
    Furthermore, whom will the schools serve? A  group of kids who are basically irreligious? It’s simply supply and demand, baby :)

  22. I never said it was relevant; I was referring to the patronage of schools, specifically, the administrative, financial, and formative aspects of such patronage.

    Well if that is what you were referring to, it is still erroneous…

    “Fr Michael Drumm, chairman of the Catholic Schools Partnership, said they would abide by the survey results, even though they would have preferred a paper rather than an online survey because many parents do not have access to the internet.”

    http://www.irishtimes.com/news

    Clearly unhappy with the situation…would this be the case if money and manpower was an issue?

    This isn’t a pissing match between you and I, RJ. The patronage of the schools is going to be shifted away from the churches, not because it is what the RCC wants, but because it just might be what the people want. 

    To suggest that the patronage and any administrative influence the RCC  still have  is slipping from the RCC because it can’t cope through lack of clerics and cash is just not right. Please take the time to read the following report…

    “The Forum on Patronage and Pluralism in the Primary Sector”… http://www.education.ie/en/Pre

    Human resources to do with teaching? Very little. Human resources to do with patronage and all that entails? Yes, it does.

    No it doesn’t, but if you have any evidence to the contrary, I’ll concede the point.

    Its decline has been caused by the increasing numbers who have rejected Catholicism; but that doesn’t change the fact that, in the future, the CC will not be able to run the number of schools it once did, owing to the shortage of clerics, fewer parishioners, and shrinking finances.

    Yet with all, the CC can find the manpower and finances for new schools elsewhere…that’s a bit ironic…no money or manpower in Ireland where they are being given the’ heave ho’, but money and manpower where they are being greeted with open arms..hmmm?

    Incidentally, administration staff need not be ordained, as you exampled with your mothers involvement. I believe Alan4discussion has held just such positions on board of governers and trustees.

    I never said they did; I’m saying they aren’t going to be in the future, when the number of people interested in the service they provide becomes smaller and smaller.

    Well if they haven’t been for a while now, and they are not now, then they are unlikely to start again…that’s fairly obvious.
    As for the service they provided, it appears very few people are interest already, the services they have been providing have been replaced, those that have not yet been replaced, will be replaced, and by a better service, as has been witnessed elsewhere in the world where religions control on children’s education has been replaced. The sooner the better in my opinion.

    I mean, the Orange Order is unlikely to try reestablishing too many lodges in Co. Kerry, is it?!

    Ironically, that is exactly what IS happening… 

    “We’re also looking into the ownership of the Lodge in Bandon,” he continues. “So there’s a possibility of re-issuing a warrant in west Cork.” 

    http://www.irishexaminer.com/f

    http://www.southernstar.ie/New

    … in the meantime, numbers have been in steep decline in the North, go figure.

    “THE ORANGE Order has blamed a steep drop in members on an increase in secularism in Northern Ireland.”

    http://www.newsletter.co.uk/ne

    Secularism has been good for the South in removing one set of bigots while creating the freedom that allows the resurgence of another set of bigots.

     

    But it’s that patronage that is not, and will be even less so in the future, sustainable; that’s what I’m talking about!!

    Unfortunately, that is just your assertion. But it is more than that, it is the reason you have been giving to members for the RCC’s place in the education system of Ireland at this moment and in the future RJ, I’m just saying that it is an erroneous assertion and your argument has no basis in the facts.

    Who will set up and run Catholic schools?

    What Catholic schools? If there are parents who want Catholic schools, then there are parents to govern those schools.

    Priests who are in their 70s and who will be of an insufficient number to provide even ‘pastoral’ care within their own parishes?

    I hope you are right, but it doesn’t matter anyway.

    The 2% of the population  that attends Mass(as it is in parts of W. Dublin)? There is no ‘army’ of volunteers of 30-50 year old Catholics that is going to step up and do its bit to keep the patronage going at its current levels.

    What is this ‘army’ you refer to? If there is no Catholic schools, there is no need for patronage by Catholics…it is that easy…a different model will be adopted.

    No matter whatever way you want to cut it, the RCC is not letting this happen because it has no manpower or money and the reason why is because it is a self defeating action if it was the case. The CC needs the babies or it has no future. If it never had the money or manpower for anything else, it would find the money and manpower for keeping it’s finger in the education pie.

    The RCC is not letting this happen, it is happening in spite of the RCC.
     Furthermore, whom will the schools serve? A  group of kids who are basically irreligious? It’s simply supply and demand, baby :)

  23. Hi Amos,

    Thanks for your reply.  I confess (!) I did not read your link first time around.  Now that I have I’m not minded to change my questions.

    The Devil, you might say, is in the detail.

    My basic premise remains that while the Church’s role in education is being discussed in Eire – and given that the Church has given, and continues to give, support in good times and bad – there is a high likelihood that the government of Eire will seek a middle path, rather than a full-blown revolution.  My position would appear to be supported by Minister Quinn’s statement (above): “a debt is owed to religious bodies for their contribution to education”.

    In addition : “Parents … are to be asked what group or groups they would like to see running their local schools.”  Note that, in this statement, the Government reveals it is taking a middle road even on the actual development plan.  The Catholic Church in Eire may be down – but it is decidedly not out.

    You appear to say that the Church is not funding schools? This does not seem to be borne out by the information that you link to:

     - “In recent months, the debate on the future role of ‘faith based’ schools has been very much to the fore. [Patrons] in the Education Act … focus on three areas – property, finances and ‘characteristic spirit’.  The [Eire] government recognises schools [i.e. funds the staff and additional facilities], established by patrons, when they provide an education in accordance with the national curriculum.”

    &

     - “The basic question went back to the private-public nature of ownership”

    ?

    I originally took the view that, from the Church’s perspective, the most attractive outcome would be that it retains some influence and that it would prefer to do this in a way that allows it to differentiate by promoting areas where it has most influence.  Nothing in the report you provided changes that.

    Simply put; the Church would prefer to retain influence (in the absence of control – though they would prefer the latter, obviously) in specific schools.

    The details of the debate, which your linked story covers well, gives me no reason to suppose that the outcome will be different to that in Britain.  Here are some quotes, which I have condensed to save time:

     - “The vision for Catholic education is often presented in personal and psychological terms – a holistic approach that benefits the individual student”

     - “In the current climate, there is a growing division between the perception of desirable schools and other schools … which are full of disruptive children”

     - ” … the debate often focuses on the strategies some schools use to ‘skew’ their intake and avoid “difficult” students”

     - “Any solution to the issue of choice is a long-term project”

     - ” … there was a heated debate over Catholic ethos and the admission of non-Catholic children. In reality, this was not a debate about the internal ethos of the schools. It centred on issues of governance and criteria for selection in the event of over-subscription”

     - “When the Catholic school is seen to be very successful, the motivation for seeking places may be more related to the quality of general education than to the desire for a particularly Catholic ethos. In[Britain], this has shown itself in … families moving house to be within catchment areas of good schools”

     - “The (Vatican) … is quite clear … the Catholic school is ‘open’ in its membership … and, although clearly and decidedly configured in the perspective of the Catholic faith … is open to all those who appreciate and share its qualified educational project”

    These are all standard stances and tactics employed by religions who want to run (or continue to run) schools.  In Britain we have seen Muslims also take up these positions almost verbatim.  The Church in Eire is running just its standard, totally lacking in originality, game plan.

    On that basis I have to ask: Are the people of Eire demonstrating a naïve level of trust in their politicians?

    These reports are already recorded history.  It is probably, therefore, too late for the non-religious in Eire to seek a harder line on religious influence in schools.  In any case, as I already noted above, the politicians will be very hard to budge.

    Having conceded that much, my questions remain:

    What will the non-religious in Ireland be doing to support the schools in areas that opt out [of Catholic control]?

     - Because, if they do nothing, the Church will gain an improved propaganda arm – part government funded – with which to demonstrate their ‘moral superiority’

    – Because, if they do nothing, many children of the non-religious will suffer with poorer education in the future as their children are assigned to the only schools with disruptive children and lower levels of finance.

    What can the international community of secularists and humanists do to help?

     - Don’t be shy.

    I was wrong about one thing.  Irish politicians don’t have a cunning plan.

    Peace.

  24. the church is in agreement with the Irish government that greater
    choice is required to reflect growing cultural and ethnic changes and
    plans to hand over control to other patrons in line with parental
    demand.

    Things are really up shite alley if the RCC actually admits they are losing the battle for hearts and minds in Ireland.
    They are well and truly toppled from top predator…about time!

    Now if we can get that same tacit admittance of social failure out of the C of E on the mainland we are in business methinks!

    The details of the 2011 census relating to religious affiliation will make interesting reading I think.
    There is a experimental statistic page but the full census details are not yet processed.

    a test calculation on 2011 census data

    Somehow I hope it will be just as we all expect and look forward to!

  25. Hello Stephen…let’s look at your original comment….

    Is there a possibility that the Church, as a defence mechanism, might invest in areas where the instruction they provide is below par?

    No, because the church neither provides investment or instruction in today’s primary schools in Ireland. 

    It seems to me that this is most likely to happen after any decision is made because, in the short term, it makes them appear non-partisan.

    No not really, because the church have been reduced to an almost non-partisan position already with regards to education, other than RE.

    The Church can later create a two-tier system (with fewer schools to invest in, they will probably be able to raise funding without increasing their overall schools budget).

    No it can’t. The schools they own don’t cost them anything to maintain or run as it is. They have no budget to increase.

    If they play the long game, the Church can next incrementally improve schools in areas where they invest – each year attracting a higher percentage of high-quality entrants (because of their record of achievement) at one end a

    You are conflating the English model with the Irish model. The RCC schools in England and Wales C are either independent or voluntary aided, with the funding divided between the state and the Catholic Education Service.

    This is how the Catholic Church runs its schools in neighbouring Britain. Once again, the politicians fail to see the whole picture (or do they, perhaps they have a cunning plan?).

    False equivalence…and not even what Ireland is aiming to achieve.

    If the schools are, furthermore, allowed to exercise selection (of pupils entering the school) the above process is speeded up.

    This selection issues that are prevalent in England are not the same as in Ireland.”State-funded primary schools tend to give priority to children living in the immediate area, but problems can arise if their classes are already full and they have a waiting list.”

    It seems to me this is an opportunity.The Church will begin by emphasising investment, moral education, results and extra-curricular activities to market their schools to parents. Until recently we could have expected them to also emphasise priestly supervision of the teaching staff, Board of Governers and religious education. But, given recent events, perhaps not.

    What will the non-religious in Ireland be doing to support the schools in areas that opt out?

    Lets hope that it’s a lot less ignorance than we have all been used to up till now.

    What can the international community of secularists and humanists do to help?

    learn.

  26. Hi Amos,

    “No because the church neither provides investment or instruction in today’s primary schools in Ireland.”
    – I thought I detected that the Church does fund schools in Eire in your original link. So I was very surprised by this response: here is more evidence:
    http://www.independent.ie/life

    ” … the church have been reduced to an almost non-partisan position already with regards to education, other than RE.”
    – Forgive me if this sounds a bit hard-nosed, but that’s simply not what I read. Prompted by you, Brother Amos, I have done some more reading round the subject. This is from 2008, so possibly a little out of date, but it does reveal how the Curch themselves view their influence in the classroom:
    http://www.catholicbishops.ie/

    “You are conflating the English model with the Irish model”
    - I’m trying very hard to compare them without conflating – but it’s quite hard to do because, while the details of the funding model may be different, the outcome is very similar – and, as the above link shows, the funding model has next to no effect on how the Church apples it’s ‘influence’.

    “False equivalence…and not even what Ireland is aiming to achieve.”
    – I bow to your superior knowledge.

    “This selection issues that are prevalent in England are not the same as in Ireland.’State-funded primary schools tend to give priority to children living in the immediate area, but problems can arise if their classes are already full and they have a waiting list.’
    - That is not what the study, at the link you provided, says – as I previously quoted.

    Overall, my piece was meant only to highlight to the citizens of Eire who might come to RDFRS that the future is in their hands – and that future appears to be being compromised by the natural tendencies of democracies to seek compromise (particularly in areas where there is a lack of activism).

    Perhaps your right, Amos, perhaps everything is fine and I’m just panicking? I have still seen no evidence that I should change my mind.

    Peace.

  27. Hi Stephen,

    - I thought I detected that the Church does fund schools in Eire in your original link. So I was very surprised by this response: here is more evidence: http://www.independent.ie/life

    Nowhere in that article from 4 years ago does the RCC get a mention. In fact, the inference to be drawn is that the RCC funds zip…the state provides insufficient funding requiring parents to fund raise does not equate to the church does. Even in the UK schools fund raise to improve the quality of the services provided. There are companies that’s business is just that…   http://www.easyfundraising.org

    - Forgive me if this sounds a bit hard-nosed, but that’s simply not what I read. Prompted by you, Brother Amos, I have done some more reading round the subject. This is from 2008, so possibly a little out of date, but it does reveal how the Curch themselves view their influence in the classroom:http://www.catholicbishops.ie/

    Hardly hard-nosed, it’s through debate that conclusions can be arrived at via arguing out the details. 
    On the point in question, your link goes some way to proving my point. The church are not happy about being marginalised, but marginalised they are being. I wasn’t suggesting the church was voluntarily taking a non-partisan position.

    “In January 2010, the Irish Times reported on a poll conducted for it in January 2010 by IPSOS/MRBI.  When asked whether the Catholic Church  should give up its “control of the primary school system” 61% of respondents considered that the Church should give up such control,…”In the extensive report I linked to on an earlier comment there is a section VIII, “Resourcing – Can Patronage Transfer be Implemented in a Cost Neutral Manner?” …so no funding will have to be provided where it is being provided for by the chuch, because the church ain’t providing any funding. http://www.education.ie/en/Pre… 3, “Summary of the Consultation with Young People” at page 117 makes interesting reading too… that’s if ya can’t be bothered with the whole report. 

    - I’m trying very hard to compare them without conflating – but it’s quite hard to do because, while the details of the funding model may be different, the outcome is very similar – and, as the above link shows, the funding model has next to no effect on how the Church apples it’s ‘influence’.

    Very true, but my argument here is that the church not being able to sustain its involvement in its influence on Irish primary school education, is a red herring. The church is HAVING to agree the proposals whether they like it or not. It has been taken out of their hands by the government, which is excellent…let democracy decide, by letting the parents vote on it. Incidentally, the CC involvement in the education of children in their schools here in Northern Ireland, is very different to that of the South and to that of England and Wales.

    “This selection issues that are prevalent in England are not the same as in Ireland.’State-funded primary schools tend to give priority to children living in the immediate area, but problems can arise if their classes are already full and they have a waiting list.’- That is not what the study, at the link you provided, says – as I previously quoted.

    Overall, my piece was meant only to highlight to the citizens of Eire who might come to RDFRS that the future is in their hands – and that future appears to be being compromised by the natural tendencies of democracies to seek compromise (particularly in areas where there is a lack of activism).

    The issue is getting a bit confused I think. I’ve been trying to refute RJ’s assertion that the underlying issue is all about cash-flow and manpower…It isn’t. It is about what the people appear to want. To say the CC is happy about handing over control at any level is naive at best and ridiculous at worst. 

    Perhaps your right, Amos, perhaps everything is fine and I’m just panicking? I have still seen no evidence that I should change my mind.

    It’s not about everything being fine or anyone panicking, it’s about the will of the people and the diversity of the population that has grown over recent decades moulding that will….the RCC is losing its grip everywhere, that to me is a good thing, the fact that the revolt is happening first in what was once a RCC “safe-seat” is gratifying for me.

    All that said, it is down to the voters now.

  28. “This selection issues that are prevalent in England are not the same as in Ireland.’State-funded primary schools tend to give priority to children living in the immediate area, but problems can arise if their classes are already full and they have a waiting list.’

    - That is not what the study, at the link you provided, says – as I previously quoted.

    The difference is between ‘state funded schools’ and ‘fee paying schools’. Selection for state funded schools is made as I’ve stated “… priority to children living in the immediate area…”

    “In the current climate, there is a growing division between the perception of desirable schools and other schools “which are full of disruptive children”[4]. In the Dublin area, this tension is focused on fee-paying and “free” schools. In other parts of the country, the debate often focuses on the strategies some schools use to “skew” their intake and avoid “difficult” students. The marketing of many Catholic schools, especially fee-paying schools in the Irish context, sits uncomfortably with the Church’s stated pursuit of the common good. To some extent, the success of these schools has exposed flaws in their identity and purpose – what are they and who are they for? Within the Catholic sector, there is much more common ground between the schools on the “what” question. The “who they are for” question causes more tension. In some instances, it seems that public policy in education is more in tune with Catholic social teaching than is the practice of many of the schools.”

    Note the word ‘perception’ in the report too. You should also consider that the majority of schools in Eire are of Catholic patronage where in England it is about 12% Catholic control, so admissions on religious grounds is irrelevent. There is no need for parents to sell their souls to the devil to gain access to a particular school in Eire…just have enough cash for the fees. In England, RC schools are voluntary aided and therefore… ” The charitable foundation contributes towards the capital costs of the school, and appoints a majority of the school governors. The governing body employs the staff and has primary responsibility for admissions.”. This is not how it happens in the Republic of Ireland. 

    Anyway, this hasn’t much to do with the debate at hand perse, admissions is a different debate.

  29. This is slightly off topic, for that I offer apologies, but does concern the RCC for which  I offer no apology for.
    It probably does not deserve a separate thread as such, but it is a corker!
    In short they have done it again…

    It concerns that late and great super secret pervert Jimmy Savile.
    He got a Papal Knighthood   ‘Knight Commander of St Gregory the Great’ given by JP2 in 1990 or thereabouts!

    The order is bestowed on Catholic men and women (and in rare cases, non-Catholic men) in recognition of their personal service to the Holy See and the Church, unusual labours, support of the Holy See and the good example set in their communities and country

    (according to wikki)

    Now the shit has hit the fan, it seems the Archbishop of Westminster the Most Reverend Vincent Nichols head woomeister of the Roman Catholic Church of England and Wales wants Savile’s name removed from the papal lists…
    The Vatican have responded…

    Vatican spokesman, the Rev. Federico Lombardi, told The
    Associated Press on Saturday that the names of people who receive the
    knighthood don’t appear in its yearbook and that the honor dies with the
    individual.

    So they intend to do nothing, no show of remorse for Knighting a kiddy fiddler, and no remorse for the victims.
    As Paul Gambaccini said.. “Who vetted the knighthood? Coco the clown?”

    Such a knighthood requires a senior cleric…Bishop or Cardinal to vet and recommend…presumably with the tacit agreement of the “The Association of Papal Orders in Great Britain of Pius IX, Saint Gregory and Saint Sylvester.”  There we meet our old friend and champion  of atheists…

    His Eminence Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O’Connor, ex-Archbishop of Westminster, who is, or was,  the Association’s Honorary President.

    So a Vatican shrugging shoulders and a silence from the vetter..offering no apologies for getting it so very wrong, and revealing that papal infallibility is a crock of codswollop and then offering the lamest quote of the fiasco…

    Lombardi said Savile never would have received the honor had the truth about his behavior been known.

    No not quite,,,, he would never have received the honor if the Vatican thought that the truth about his behaviour would be made public.

    This is going to get  rather messy for the RCC.
    I expect clown Murphy-O’Connor will wiggle out from under, he usually does, it is all the snake oil that helps!

    Seemingly they don’t even have to fiddle themselves these days for grief to stalk the RCC, fiddlers are seemingly flocking to them, and dumping them into the sewer, they do not even have to jump any-more!

    Just one more stab, I wonder how all those righteous pilgrims on the list with Savile feel about being in such exhalted company?

    roll of shame…maybe?

  30. Hi Amos,

    Again many thanks for taking the time to explain.

    As you say, “It is about what the people appear to want. To say the CC is happy about handing over control at any level is naive at best and ridiculous at worst.”

    When I saw that I knew we were singing the same song.

    Peace.

  31. I don’t have the time at the moment to reply to all the points you made, but one jumped out at me:

    The issue is getting a bit confused I think. I’ve been trying to refute RJ’s assertion that the underlying issue is all about cash-flow and manpower…It isn’t. It is about what the people appear to want. To say the CC is happy about handing over control at any level is naive at best and ridiculous at worst.

    The issue for the CC is about cash flow and manpower…and, most of all, demand; the issue for the state (and a govt. minister who has strong views on the subject) is providing choice for parents, particularly for the increasing number of parents who aren’t religious. There are two sides to consider.

    The CC isn’t ‘happy’ to hand over control, in the sense that it would much ratherthat the level of support for the CC were still as it was in the 50s or 60s, when the churches were full of devoted Catholic parents who were only too happy for their kids to attend CC schools.; however, the reality is that that level of support isn’t there and the CC doesn’t have the resources to administer the amount of schools it once did. To repeat: it can’t even administer parishes.

    Put it another way: if 80% of the population were still going to Mass every Sunday, do you think the Minister, even with his secularist credentials, would be able to bring about the changes he is introducing? The CC wouldn’t acquiesce;  it would have to muscle to resist. It just doesn’t have that clout anymore, hence the acceptance of what’s inevitably coming down the road. Its battle is to survive, not to fight over issues it can’t possibly win.

  32. So you keep banging on RJ….but I don’t see any evidence to support this assertion. I also don’t see any evidence to refute my assertion that the RCC has money and manpower to promote their educational crap in places where they are not being contested.

    Ante up or shut up…we are not stupid here….to quote St Ignatius Loyola, founder of the Jesuits,…”Give me a child until he is seven and I will show you the man,” …of course this is likely a misquote, but it hasn’t prevented the ethos being acted out, has it?

    I will yield when you present evidence for your proposition….and you evience to refute my propostition that the RCC can find money and manpower elsewhere for that that you say they cannot find for in Ireland.

  33. Bankers’ best guesses about the Vatican’s wealth put it at $10 billion to $15 billion. Of this wealth, Italian stockholdings alone run to $1.6 billion, 15% of the value of listed shares on the Italian market. The Vatican has big investments in banking, insurance, chemicals, steel, construction, real estate.

    But they have no money to help pay to man up and save one of the jewels in the crown?….my arse….or maybe they are shit scared of having no money after the multi payouts for child abuse which might bankrupt them.

  34. So you keep banging on RJ….but I don’t see any evidence to support this assertion

    Probably a misquote too:  “none so blind….

    Did you read the article by Patsy McGarry?? Have you seen the statistics? Where are all these priests to run the schools? If there is a sufficient number of priests to run schools, why isn’t there a sufficient number to fulfill normal pastoral duties? If the priests aren’t going to run the schools, who is (considering that only 2% of Catholics attend Mass in parts of W. Dublin, the fastest growing part of the county and, probably, country)?

    Most importantly,  whom would they serve by getting into a battle over this? All those African, Asian, and E. European kids who aren’t even Catholic?! All those non-religious “natives” kids? 

    Ante up or shut up…we are not stupid here….to quote St Ignatius Loyola, founder of the Jesuits,…”Give me a child until he is seven and I will show you the man,” …of course this is likely a misquote, but it hasn’t prevented the ethos being acted out, has it?

    Eh, did you read my last comment? If not, I’d suggest you do.
     

  35.  Where are all these priests to run the schools? 

    Priests aren’t running Catholic schools…there is no need for priests to run Catholic schools..you are assuming that only priests CAN run Catholic schools.

    And I keep telling you…if the church can afford to staff no other area..it is the recruitment of new Catholics that shoul be of utmost concern…without new Catholics, there will be no Catholicism.

    But all this is a non-sequitur to the OP….the question isn’t being asked of the RCC, so the answer you are providing is nonsense.

    If the priests aren’t going to run the schools, who is (considering that only 2% of Catholics attend Mass in parts of W. Dublin, the fastest growing part of the county and, probably, country)?

    Oh FFS….what part do priests play in the running of Catholic schools at this very moment? How do schools in the rest of the world manage to get run without the influence of priests…ya know, like the prody ones for example?

    Most importantly,  whom would they serve by getting into a battle over this? All those African, Asian, and E. European kids who aren’t even Catholic?! All those non-religious “natives” kids?

    You yerself said…”…only 2% of Catholics attend Mass in parts of W. Dublin”… so the rest don’t give a shit. Ya can’t have it both ways RJ, this is the reason that the vote is taking place…not because the RCC is struggling with cash and personnel.

    Put it another way: if 80% of the population were still going to Mass every Sunday, do you think the Minister, even with his secularist credentials, would be able to bring about the changes he is introducing?

    NO…NO…NO…. that’s the point. It is the minister that is bringing about the changes…THE MINISTER…not the RCC, for whatever reasons…certainly not cash or manpower reasons anyway.

    The CC wouldn’t acquiesce;  it would have to muscle to resist. It just doesn’t have that clout anymore, hence the acceptance of what’s inevitably coming down the road. Its battle is to survive, not to fight over issues it can’t possibly win.

    The muscle and the clout you refer to has feck all to do with cash or personnel. It is about waning support from the public. Diversity in Ireland is driving this issue.

  36. Is that all? For over a billion members? No wonder they can’t afford to do much.

    Lets not get into a pissing match about how much money the Catholic Church has, whether in assets, shares or in the bank as hard currency. My point is, they are not broke…anyone suggestin g they are is either naive or asinine.

    While the simple suffer..the church and the hierarchy gets richer…

    http://www.pinoymoneytalk.com/

    Don’t insult my intelligence with your pursuit of an oh so poor Catholic church. It has enough money to look after its interests in Ireland if it had any inclination.

    Meanwhile in the real world:
    http://www.irishcentral.com/ne

    I don’t think you are in the real world. Everyone knows the game the RCC is playing to limit their liability against compensation payouts for fucking babies, physically as well as mentally…

    http://www.aoadvocates.co.uk/w

    …the Irish church is broke..aye, right..
    http://www.secularism.org.uk/t
    http://www.irishexaminer.com/i

    No money my arse.

  37. It is plain as day follows night that the RCC are deliberately dragging their corpulent asses on the question of cash for fiddling kiddies.
    They have affectively reneged on the rulings requiring compensation since the beginning when this atrocity was aired.
    First they pled brassic cossacks, after denying all responsibility  then, when that fell on death ears they tried the ‘Priests are not employed by the Catholic church they were self employed’ when that received due derision.
    The Vatican tried to compartmentalized their exposure by declaring Irish Catholicism is a separate division not under license to them.
    It was ugly and wriggling and doomed to abject failure.
    Plan C was they did a deal with the government for the tax payer to pick up the tab, whether those tax payers were catholic or not.
    Under which they would pay 50/50 of the costs.
    As far as I can tell no money has been forthcoming from the RCC…in fact…

    they are even refusing that deal now

    They had no intentions on paying a cent…but it seems the school proposals are in response to their perfidy.

    They have money, no doubt at least 58 million bucks, but it seems they only consider spending it where it might do them a favour!
    Like the crystal cathedral…

    58 million shames for the RCC

    But not compensation payments, cos they don’t give a stuff about victims anyway.

  38. The “Crystal Cathedral”? Oh, the irony…it stings…with such a building perhaps they are hoping for more transparency.

    “That’s the bishop’s desire – that we are a real credible witness to Christ in the world through our work here.”

    Yep….really credible….you have proved that without a doubt…NOT!

  39. Do you notice the language used…seems rather like re-branding of the old style RCC drool and rave into an evangelistic genre!
    Methinks they have just realized they are losing the battle for bums on pews!
    They have gone all protestant!

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