SPEAKING in Dublin this week, Catholic primate Archbishop Eamon Martin told a conference that principals and boards in Catholic schools would “ensure that religious education is given a high priority in curriculum planning and resourcing”.
Should that be realised, 95% of primary schools and almost half of secondary schools under the control of religious denominations would be so influenced.
It is entirely natural that Archbishop Martin should express these ambitions, but he cannot be surprised that the ever-growing number of citizens who do not share his views demand an alternative.
To that end, the Department of Education plans to make the teaching of religion in community, comprehensive and Education and Training Board schools more reflective of today’s Ireland.
Achieving this has been even more difficult than anticipated. Divestment of schools is painfully slow, only 12 or so have been divested in five years.
As is always the case when great change is afoot obstructionism leads, sooner or later, to confrontation.
© Irish Examiner Ltd. All rights reserved