Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Faith Catholic Schools

Two good pieces in the Telegraph of late about the attack on Catholic schools by Alan Johnson, the Thomas Cromwell de nos jour. First up Christopher Howse:
I can't help thinking that ideas about church schools have been turned on their heads. It is as if all money magically originates with the state, which then kindly hands out largesse for the benefit of religious believers.

Quite apart from the fact that the parents of Christian children are taxpayers who amply provide the Government with funds, the history of church schools is the opposite of a tale of state generosity. Before elementary education was made compulsory in 1870, all education to speak of was initiated by the Church, principally the Church of England, through parishes and pious endowments. Other schools were begun by Nonconformists and Methodists, and, as soon as they were again allowed to, Catholics.

Secondly, the Most Rev Vincent Nichols, Archbishop of Birmingham:

The alternative to secular multi-culturalism is not an enforced integration, such as we see in France. What is required is a proper and mutually respectful co-operation between religious faith and public authorities.

That has been our way in the past and it has given rise to good schools and a rich tradition of voluntary work, much inspired by religious belief. That is the road on which we must continue. But this amendment seems to signal an alternative and deeply divisive step. It has to be resisted.

I never quite trusted Archbishop Nichols when he was in Liverpool, feeling he was too Worlockian but his recent defence of the Holy Father after Regensburg on Newsnight and defence of the Church against Panorama has been impressive.


Anonymous Augustinus said...

I live in the Birmingham diocese and, I have to say, that the archbisop has not turned out to be the arch liberal he was painted before he came. That said, there are those who believe he wants to be seen by Rome to be a faithul bishop - and Westminster may become vacant next year. Don't think we'd want to lose him, but he may want to go.

12:13 AM  

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