Click here to advertise on CatholicCulture.org

Atheist's challenge threatens Irish Catholic schools

Catholic World News - February 02, 2011

Irish Catholic columnist David Quinn examines the odd case of an atheist who objected when his son was taught to pray—at a Catholic school.

The situation in Ireland is complicated by the fact that Catholic schools receive government funding. The Irish constitution, as Quinn points out, requires the state to respect parents’ religious beliefs (or, presumably, lack of belief), and to fund appropriate schools. Thus the state is apparently obligated to provide schooling for the family involved in this case.

But must that schooling occur in a Catholic institution? If Catholic schools are required to accommodate families that object to religious influence in order to receive government funding, then they cease to be authentic Catholic schools. The case, Quinn notes, forces Irish Catholics to “wake up to the fact that their schools are under threat.”

Additional sources for this story
Some links will take you to other sites, in a new window.

An appeal from our founder, Dr. Jeffrey Mirus:

Dear reader: If you found the information on this page helpful in your pursuit of a better Catholic life, please support our work with a donation. Your donation will help us reach seven million Truth-seeking readers worldwide this year. Thank you!

Progress toward our August expenses ($15,000 to go):
$35,000.00 $19,999.98
43% 57%
Sound Off! CatholicCulture.org supporters weigh in.

All comments are moderated. To lighten our editing burden, only current donors are allowed to Sound Off. If you are a donor, log in to see the comment form; otherwise please support our work, and Sound Off!

Show 1 Comments? (Hidden)Hide Comments
  • Posted by: stpetric - Feb. 02, 2011 7:46 PM ET USA

    Not to be contrary, but the article notes that the child goes to "the only school in easy reach". If that's the case, and the parents don't really have a choice about where to send the boy, it would seem the school should make reasonable accommodations for the parents' preference. What's "reasonable," I guess, is the heart of the question.

Subscribe for free
Click here to advertise on CatholicCulture.org

Recent Catholic Commentary

Weekend reading 7 hours ago
Frustrating the Moral Law 7 hours ago
Weep for slaughtered Christians, not for dialogue with Islam 12 hours ago
An Appointment that Francis Should Withdraw August 28
A new approach to Vatican appointments? August 28

Top Catholic News

Most Important Stories of the Last 30 Days
‘A real via crucis’: Pope Francis, patriarch plead on behalf of Iraq’s Christians CWN - August 8
Hundreds of thousands of Iraqi Christians in flight as Islamic State advances CWN - August 8