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Irish public says Church should cede control of schools-- yet favors parental choice

Catholic World News - January 26, 2010

Most Irish citizens believe that the Catholic Church should relinquish control of the primary schools, according to a poll published by the Irish Times. Only 28% of those surveyed thought the Church should retain control of the schools, while 61% thought the Church should step back.

However the Iona Institute, a non-profit think-tank, pointed out tha the Irish Times poll ignored the crucial question of whether parents should have the right to choose religious schools for their children. An earlier poll conducted last year for the Iona Institute found a powerful majority of 72% in favor of parental choice. David Quinn, the director of the Iona Institute, commented:“The real question isn’t whether the Church or the State should control our primary schools, but what do parents want? This question must always be front and centre in this debate.”

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  • Posted by: niall - Jan. 26, 2010 6:40 PM ET USA

    An interesting letter in the Times today said that the Catholic bishops in early 1830's supported a non-denominational education system for Ireland-the Anglicans & Presbyterians decided to educate their children separately as they were against the idea.Only in 1834 did the Church demand a similar dispensation for Catholic children.Interesting how history is rewritten making it look like the Church seized control of the education system- historian Jonathan Bardon paints a different picture...

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