Scots Bishops Favour Atheist Schools

Scots Bishops Favour Atheist Schools

Peter-KearneyA SENIOR Scottish Catholic Church figure has called for schools with an atheist ideology to be set up if demand from parents exists.

 The church’s official spokesman Peter Kearney said “secular humanist” schools may be needed to satisfy society’s desire to cater for all beliefs.

 Writing in today’s Herald Mr Kearney also called for an expansion of faith-based schools, claiming there was a “scream for conformity” within Scottish education.

 Criticising those who have described denominational schools as “educational apartheid”, he accused detractors of faith within education of “trashing the principle of plurality” and undermining freedom of belief.

 Mr Kearney added: “Why should tax-paying parents who follow a secular humanist belief system be denied the opportunity to have their children educated in accordance with their beliefs?

 “If demand exists and secular humanist schools were to be managed and regulated in accordance with national guidance and practice, as Catholic schools are, then good luck to them.”  

The intervention by Mr Kearney comes on the back of a push by parents in Glasgow for the country’s first Muslim school, a plan supported by the Catholic Church.  

The vast majority of Scotland’s schools are non-denominational but the Education (Scotland) Act 1918 gave the go-ahead to separate denominational state schools, all but four of which are Catholic.  

Although there are huge localised differences around the role of faith within the non-denominational sector, most schools are culturally Christian. Religious education in all Scots schools is also compulsory and again leans towards the Christian tradition, with emphasis on major festivals such as Christmas and the New Testament. Non-denominational schools with a multi-ethnic mix often invite representatives of other faith groups in for religious observance.  

Mr Kearney added: “From Australia and Canada to England and Wales diverse and varied societies seem perfectly comfortable with a diverse and varied education system.

“Schools can reflect the plurality of beliefs in society or ignore that reality and impose a single belief system on all, removing choice in this way, would be the height of intolerance.

“There is no reason why the Scottish education system shouldn’t flourish by increasing the diversity which Gaelic, Catholic, music and Jewish schools already bring to the sector.”

Professor Bob Davis, one of Scotland’s leading educationalists and an expert in the role of faith in schools, backed the calls for a more diverse system.

 The former head of Glasgow University’s school of education said: “We can in Scotland have a successful combination of locally-rooted and governed schools that are nonetheless still open to more diversity of world view and philosophy that is currently experienced.  

“It can be seen as an invitation to all kinds of groups, faith and non-faith, other churches and organisations which have distinctive philosophical approaches to education. This could be in full collaboration with local authorities and non-governmental bodies to diversify our system.  

“We are a small enough country to do this within the state system.”  

But vice-chair of the Scottish Secular Society Robert Canning said “champions of faith schooling” were merely seeking “the choice to use other people’s taxes…to promote a religion to their children”. 

He added: “Those who do not wish their taxes to be used for the promotion of religion get no choice in the matter, while members of belief groups without sufficient numbers to gain their own schools are denied the choices they would prefer. The Scottish Secular Society support choice in the raising of children but hold that the state education system cannot be expected to supply whatever some parents might choose, while denying others.  

“If all schools were neutral on religion and atheism, promoting and opposing neither, they could all reflect cultural diversity by accepting all pupils on equal terms. Whereas some want a diversity of schools, the Scottish Secular Society want schools of diversity.” Source


Now, don’t gimme “this isn’t the Bishops calling for atheist schools, this is Peter Kearney, the official spokesman…”  Official smokescreen, in other words.  If you think, for a nano-second, that Peter Kearney would be advocating schools for atheists if the Bishops didn’t want him to do so, then our blogger Leo knows of a bridge for sale in Dublin that might interest you. In fact, I could probably get you a good deal on the Forth Road Bridge myself, come to think of it.  In the unlikely event that I’m wrong about this, all the Bishops have to do is contact us here at Catholic Truth and we will put in a correction. Gladly. However, don’t hold your breath, folks.

The front page headline in The Herald reads very differently from the online headline which is linked here.  If you bought the paper on 29th December, 2015, the front page headline screaming at you reads: Catholic Church in call to set up schools for atheists: (sub-heading): Senior figure says all beliefs and none should be catered for in education. Billed as an “Exclusive” the report is attributed to Catholic journalist, Gerry Braiden.  This is no stitch-up folks.  This is what the Bishops think, and too bad about the First Commandment and those silly old catechism answers, including: “God made me to know, love and serve Him in this world, so that I may be happy with Him forever in the next.”  Nope.  If a body wants to deny God, that body must be given our help to teach their children the atheistic world view. We’ve come a long way, in Scotland,  from “outside the Catholic Church no salvation”. We’ve reached Destination Nihilism – because that’s where relativism leads; we’ve played the ecumenism game now for years, where everything is true, relative to what the individual wants to believe. Now we don’t know right from wrong, and hey presto, we’re keen to pay for atheists to raise their children to hate, not love, God.  

As if the above news report weren’t shocker enough for one day, the same reader who handed me (in person, shaking his head) the above Herald Scotland report, also gave me the bulletin from St Aloysius Jesuit church in Glasgow, dated Sunday 27 December, 2015, in which the following notice is published:

Christmas Mass in Arabic…

The Syrian Orthodox community will be celebrating a Christmas Mass in Arabic in our church on Thursday, 31st December, at 4.00 pm.  Catholics are welcome to come to this Mass, but unfortunately we are not in full communion with this church. END.

I emailed the PP, Fr Tim Curtis SJ, to ask if it would be possible to advertise the Masses (in Latin) of the SSPX, Sundays, 9.45 am, at St Andrew’s church in Renfrew Street, a short walk from St Aloysius, adding that I thought it would be fair enough to note that the SSPX is in an “irregular canonical situation” while yet being in full communion with Rome, which, as he told his congregation, the Syrian Orthodox most certainly ain’t.  If I receive a reply, I will pick myself up from the floor, dust myself down, and report back here…   The-Passion-Mel-Gibson

Anyway, two remarks of Our Lord came to mind as I read both of the above items – the stark warning:  “If  you deny Me in the presence of men, I will deny YOU in the presence of My Father in Heaven…”  And Our Lord’s sorrowful plea:  “When the Son of Man comes, will He find any Faith on earth?”

Sweet Heart of Jesus, have mercy on us…  

Comments (55)

  • me

    This is a really thought provoking piece thank you for sharing. In my opinion being catholic is about choosing to recognise Jesus and live our faith. To do this there always has to be other options. I think there is always room for diversity but especially when it encourages the discussion about why being catholic is different and why we choose it. Unfortunately we have to recognise that today people class themselves as athesist often not because they deny Jesus but becuase they do not know Him, how much He loves them or the power of the Eucharist. I think as long as catholic schools remain an option and teach true catholic values people will see the importance we place on putting God first in all aspects of our lives and that will have more impact than limiting options.

    January 3, 2016 at 11:35 pm
    • editor

      Hello, Me,

      Being a Catholic is “different”, because it’s what GOD wants us to be. Our Lord told us that this is no “broad church” which He has given us, that there just isn’t room for “diversity”, as understood today, that, quite the contrary, “the way to [eternal] life is narrow, and few there are who find it.” Sobering thought.

      What you say about people who class themselves as “atheist” but really are not denying Christ, just don’t know Him is, of course, true. And that’s all the more reason why the Bishops are in grave error – and hugely offending God – to suggest that it is acceptable to Christ’s Church that atheists are confirmed in their error, and their children led astray by the false teaching of those who deny the very existence of God. It’s unthinkable that any Catholic, let alone a Bishop, would give credibility – and seek to promote – a school of thought that is, by definition, an insult to the God Who made us – and Who made us to know, love and serve Him in this life: not to spend our days agonising about whether or not He exists. He exists, all right, and we sure as blankety blank ain’t about to spend good money helping atheists waste precious time trying to prove otherwise. Imagine the reaction of the Department of Education if they were asked to fund a group of mathematicians dedicated to proving that two plus two don’t add up to four. “Yeah right” and “Get lost” would be the sort of language that probably wouldn’t see print in the name of the posh politicians, but would be, without doubt, the “tone” of the response to said arithmetic loonies 😀

      As for Catholic schools teaching true Catholic values – not for a second. Ask any orthodox Catholic teacher and they will tell you that more time is spent impressing the importance of the Five Pillars of Islam on their pupils, than in teaching the Ten Commandments, more energy spent in talking about “responsibility” in “love and human relationships” classes with no time spent on purity, chastity and the holiness of Catholic married life.

      Finally, with respect, you fall into the error of placing the onus on God to prove Himself to atheists/agnostics. That’s not the situation at all. The Bishops, instead of trying to appear as such reasonable men, so open minded blah blah, should be preaching the truth about the nature of God and the nature of Faith, pointing out that the very reason so-called atheists seldom get through a sentence without mentioning God, is because God has revealed Himself to us all and it is our duty (not something we can do if we feel like it) to embrace that seed of Faith and THEN we may seek further and deeper understanding. We don’t sit back and say “when God proves to me that He exists, I’ll think again…” That’s not how it works.

      So, “limited option” is what we must accept. Either we accept or we reject Christ. He’s told us that. There’s nothing anywhere in Scripture, Old OR New Testaments, that hints at “liberalism” being permitted let alone accepted. “The way to [eternal] life is narrow…” said Our Lord. Encouraging the establishment of schools to teach children that there IS no God, will set many, if not most, on the wide path that leads to the very opposite of eternal life. And where will said Bishops end up, after their own Judgment, then? Let’s not go there (so to speak!)

      January 4, 2016 at 1:24 am
      • Dano

        you talk of asking any orthodox Catholic teacher, but what of your own Catholic schooling? were you taught more of Islam, did you even here the word Islam? I don’t think so. Is it these Orthodox Teachers who are impressing the five pillar of Islam on pupils?or are they REALLY standing in the same class as the less orthodox teacher, as he or she gives RE? Totally confused with that one.

        January 5, 2016 at 4:52 am
      • Athanasius


        I think Editor is referring to non-RE orthodox Catholic teachers within today’s schooling system who can only look on in silent horror as the so-called Catholic RE teachers ditch the Ten Commandments in favour of religious syncretism. So different from the pre-Vatican II days of Catholic schooling.

        January 5, 2016 at 9:45 am
      • kieran connelly

        I doubt you’re old enough to be an expert on pre Vatican II catholic schools.

        January 5, 2016 at 9:00 pm
      • Lily

        Kieran Connelly,

        How old do you need to be to be an expert on pre Vatican II schools, then? With respect, isn’t it illogical to say someone has to be a certain age to know about that subject, but not others? You don’t think it’s wrong for scientists to be experts on the origins of the world, do you? LOL!

        January 5, 2016 at 10:25 pm
      • editor


        If only that comment (about being too young to remember pre-Vatican II schools) were addressed to me. Sigh…

        January 6, 2016 at 10:28 am
      • Athanasius

        Kieran Connelly

        The Church’s Patristics experts today are not old enough to have been around at the time of the early Fathers of the Church. That doesn’t mean they are not experts in their field.

        Taking your one line analysis as the norm, we would be as well throwing all our history books on the fire and stripping the historians of their degrees.

        January 6, 2016 at 11:10 pm
      • editor


        I’m unwell today so can’t engage in too much debate, but dropped by to look for sympathy and have just read your comment and question.

        I have been a Head of Religious Education in a number of secondary schools and that includes Catholic schools, mostly in England. Teachers are expected to work according to the official syllabus and schemes of work. There is no doubt that, no matter what the percentage of teaching is supposed to be, the fact of the matter is that an awful lot of time is spent on the detailed study of non-Christian religions, their “holy books”, their fasting rules, their pilgrimage shrines, their dress codes, their rules about just about everything you can think of; visits to places of non-Christian worship and speakers from various non-Christian religions are par for the course. That’s the fact of the matter. In one Catholic school where I took up my appointment as Head of RE Department just three weeks before an Ofsted Inspection was due, I noted that in the report which followed, the Inspectors commented on the pupils’ excellent knowledge of Judaism. There was no commentary on their knowledge (or lack of it) of Catholicism.

        As Head of RE in a sixth form college, I had such a hard time with “liberal” staff objecting to the materials I was making available, especially to teach about marriage and family life, that I actually asked the diocesan RE adviser (a religious Sister, so I knew I was taking a chance that it would go against me) to conduct an inspection of my Department at that stage. Her report concluded that, in the lessons she had inspected, not only did the students lack basic knowledge of Catholic teaching in the subject area under discussion, but the teacher was unable to pass on the teaching, showing uncertainty at best, through to downright ignorance at worst.

        As for my own schooling; I cannot recall having lessons in non-Christian religions, but I do recall the teacher (a Sister of Mercy) using certain teachings from non-Christian religions to show the differences in our beliefs. For example, she illustrated via the Hindu stories of their many gods and goddesses, how we differed from them in our belief in the Holy Trinity.

        That’s a much better, more fruitful, and educationally sound way of teaching religion. Otherwise, pupils get confused. I lost count of the times I was asked, when teaching about Islam if I were a Muslim myself, or when teaching about Judaism, if I were a Jew. I know that has been the experience of other teachers, too, who largely see the funny side of it and take it as a professional compliment that they are teaching so well about those religions that the pupils presume they must be a Muslim/Jew, whatever. I disagree; such an attitude underlines the lack of context for teaching properly about non-Christian religions. The context or philosophy currently in vogue is simply that we ought to help pupils to understand others better and “respect their beliefs” – my insistence, during in-service courses – that there are many beliefs which are downright nonsensical, theologically, and I, personally, don’t respect them so I’m not about to insist that my pupils do. Instead, I explained clearly to pupils that – whatever we think of anyone’s beliefs – we must respect THEM as individuals, because they are made in the image and likeness of God – or, if you prefer, the UN says so! Certainly NOT because of what they believe.

        Hope this answers your question because my symptoms are telling me I need to sign off, and lie down in a darkened room, without a box of chocolates (that’s for the cynics among us!)

        ‘Bye for now.

        January 5, 2016 at 2:30 pm
      • gabriel syme

        Ask any orthodox Catholic teacher and they will tell you that more time is spent impressing the importance of the Five Pillars of Islam on their pupils, than in teaching the Ten Commandments

        That is spot on Editor.

        The two most prominent memories I have of RE from High School (1989 – 1995), were:

        1) Learning about Judaism and its ceremonies, terminology, liturgical items etc. I could not have named the seven sacraments, but I could describe what a Bar Mitzvah was. To this day, I know words and phrases in Hebrew, but I didnt learn a single word of latin. I knew what a Menorah was, but I would use the word “altar” to mean sanctuary and thought the real altar in traditional Catholic Churches was no more than elaborate wall panelling.

        2) A film “The Cross and the Switchblade” being presented to us, which is about a Protestant Pastor working with gangs in New York. This actually proved popular with the kids, due to the funky soundtrack and the sinister glamour of gangs – not, ironically, the quasi-Christian content.

        What is presented as Religious Education is in fact erroneous trash. I have the impression (perhaps wrongly) that things have improved very slightly since my day, but very far from the extent that we should be letting the matter drop of opening the champagne.

        Much as how many of Pope Francis’s carefully engineered displays of public humility smack of someone who enjoys the limelight, modern RE in Catholic schools smack of a vanity project – in that the faith is neglected so that the Bishops and SCES can publicly revel in how “tolerant, open and accepting” they are.

        January 7, 2016 at 12:13 pm
      • editor

        Gabriel Syme,

        If you thought I was “spot on” let me tell you that YOU are spot on, with, you guessed it – bells on!

        It’s very interesting to read such thoughts from a pupil’s perspective.

        January 7, 2016 at 9:44 pm
      • Andrew Paterson

        “more time is spent impressing the importance of the Five Pillars of Islam on their pupils”
        Is that because Catholic schools admit muslim children?
        This is an ongoing betrayal of those Catholic parents whose struggle to ensure Cathlic schooling for their offspring resulted in the establishment of privately funded Catholic schools and their subsequent adoption by the State.
        It is obviously a betrayal, by the Catholic hierarchy of Scotland, of the Catholic faith in general that they have permitted this to happen.
        For some time now the Bishops of Scotland have complacently been sitting in Satan’s car as he drives it to Hell. I do wonder if they give any thought to their destination?

        January 12, 2016 at 8:49 am
      • Nicky

        It’s not because they have Muslim pupils, it’s because they want to push the pluralist society and we need to understand all about the other religions, Islam especially, I imagine.

        January 12, 2016 at 12:19 pm
    • Therese


      I think there is always room for diversity..

      Really? Christ doesn’t. “You are either with Me, or against Me”. Thou art Peter, and upon this Rock I will build MY Church”..

      As for Mr Kearney, who is the “official spokesman of the Church”: who the heck is paying his salary? He should be sacked as he’s failing, big time, to speak for Christ’s Church. “Trashing the principles of plurality”? I sincerely hope that, before his personal interview with the Head of the Church, he regrets and recants those words.

      January 4, 2016 at 6:24 pm
      • Andrew Paterson

        Mr Kearney neither replies to, nor acknowledges my letters. He is a spokesman and gatekeeper of a failed establishment that cannot tolerate criticism or dialogue.

        January 12, 2016 at 8:51 am
  • Christina

    There’s such a dreadful inevitability about both of these reports, I just don’t any longer feel as shocked as I know I should. There’s a link that well expresses what I’ve been thinking about the Jesuits for some years now:-

    January 4, 2016 at 12:04 am
    • editor


      I know what you mean – and I remember reading that article before, about the suppression of the Jesuits.

      I think you, like me, ARE shocked – just not surprised. And that because there is, as you so rightly say, a “dreadful inevitability” about these situations, born, it seems obvious, of the years and years now of dumbing down of Catholicism in the name of ecumenism.

      January 4, 2016 at 1:30 am
  • RCA Victor

    Yes, I don’t think any of us are quite prepared psychologically or spiritually for the full ramifications of the word “apostasy.” In the dimly lit world of Pope Francis, i.e. the same shadowy world of VII, atheism is just another religion that expresses the “dignity” of man….man, who is the real object of worship in this era.

    January 4, 2016 at 12:15 am
  • RCA Victor

    That is to say, “apostasy” apparently not only means a complete loss of and abandonment of the Faith, but an actual turning against it to destroy it.

    January 4, 2016 at 12:35 am
    • editor

      RCA Victor,

      Two good posts – well said. The terrifying thing is that, although I agree with you that these apostates have actually turned against the Faith (seems painfully obvious) they don’t actually realise that fact themselves. Incredible.

      January 4, 2016 at 1:31 am
  • Frankier

    The atheists already have these schools.

    Most of them are named after saints though, which may be the problem.

    January 4, 2016 at 1:09 am
    • editor


      Well said. Nail on head again 😯

      January 4, 2016 at 1:32 am
    • Athanasius


      No, the people who run these schools are more devious than atheists, they are syncretists. At least the atheists admit to their rejection of divine truth.

      January 4, 2016 at 1:33 am
      • editor


        I’m so glad the atheists are not devious. Can you imagine having to keep typing “devious atheists” until the thread closes? Phew! 😀

        January 4, 2016 at 1:39 am
      • Athanasius


        Even worse. Can you imagine some poor soul with false teeth trying to say it?

        January 4, 2016 at 1:53 am
      • RCA Victor

        That’s the trouble with atheists – they have nothing to sink their false teeth into! (Though they might object to ending a sentence with a preposition…)

        January 4, 2016 at 2:36 am
      • editor

        Athanasius & RCA Victor,

        Very funny. I know they say LOL these days, but you two made me LOVL (laugh out VERY loud!)

        January 4, 2016 at 10:48 am
      • Christina

        Don’t they always – the best double-act going.😁😂😁😂

        January 4, 2016 at 12:05 pm
      • RCA Victor


        Maybe the two of us can get you to the next stage: ROFL (rolling on the floor laughing)….

        January 4, 2016 at 2:40 pm
      • Athanasius

        RCA Victor

        Yes, indeed! An even greater task of we take the forked tongue into consideration.

        Just another wee demonstration of the “double act” for the benefit of Editor and Christina, who seem to spend a lot of time LOLling around!

        January 4, 2016 at 2:02 pm
      • Frankier


        To be honest, I don’t think it could be said properly without false teeth.

        January 5, 2016 at 1:27 am
  • John Kearney

    I always try to keep what someone says in the context of what he is saying and the background in which he is saying it. I know that there are teachers unions who are against Catholic schools. I know that there are secularists who are mounting a campaign to end Catholic schools. I know that they exist in every level of Government. We therefore have a situation growing where more and more pressure in being put on Catholic schools to justify their existence. It is against that background Peter Kearney is speaking and the argument that we must have Catholics Schools because that is what God wants does not have great support in secular circles. So my namesake is advancing the argument that if it is right for Catholics to have their schools then if they s parents want to raise their children to be atheists then in a secular country they must have that right. But make no mistake this is a battle that is growing every day.

    January 4, 2016 at 2:21 pm
    • Athanasius

      John Kearney

      Given the perverse doctrines they teach Catholic children today in Catholic schools, it is perhaps the will of God that they be closed down. They really are Catholic in name only now, there is no real Catholic Faith taught in these syncretist establishments. As I said at the beginning of this thread, at least the atheists are honest in their rejection of God. Not like those fork-tongued Catholics who pretend to be upholding Catholicism while they pervert young souls with false doctrine. The latter are much more dangerous to the Church.

      January 4, 2016 at 2:52 pm
    • RCA Victor


      I can’t tell from your post whether you are agreeing with Kearney (which is to agree with the anti-logic of Catholic schools educating children to be atheists) or bemoaning the sickness which possesses modern civilization. A sickness, by the way, which was caused by the Church herself, having compromised with the world at Vatican II, and then incrementally surrendered outright to the world ever since. Kearney’s (your namesake) statement is just another pathetic surrender.

      Here is some equivalent logic: medical schools should train doctors to make people sick. Law schools should train lawyers to break the law (hmmm, come to think of it….). Vocational schools (e.g. plumbers, electricians, carpenters) should train their students to become utterly incompetent at their vocations. Architecture programs should train their students to design buildings that will collapse. Agricultural programs should train farmers to grow crops that will never bear fruit. The military should train soldiers to run and hide at the first sign of combat.


      January 4, 2016 at 3:10 pm
      • Margaret Mary

        i think he’s agreeing with him because most people will think it’s a good idea to go for the “human rights” angle rather than Catholic Social Teaching which means we have to put God’s rights first. Due to the spiritual blindness of the crisis in the Church, he and the bishops don’t see the contradiction in their position.

        January 4, 2016 at 9:04 pm
      • Frankier


        And the construction industry could supply horses, six-guns and covered wagons to their apprentices.

        January 5, 2016 at 10:24 am
  • Lionel (Paris)

    To all those who believe and want to gain heaven, I wish them a
    Holy and happy Epiphany.
    As for the others apostate, unbelieving or impious who refuse to believe, despise the Most High God and claim to be able to measure up to Him, let them return to the nothingness from which they should never have come out!

    January 4, 2016 at 10:40 pm
  • Frankier

    At least atheist schools would cost a lot less to run.

    A wee blank notepad for a catechism.

    No need for geography or history lessons, Why believe in Julius Caesar or Rabbie Burns if you have only seen a drawing of them, and why believe in a place called America if the person who discovered it couldn`t even believe it?

    And no need for discipline since there can be no such thing as right or wrong.

    Come to think of it, I`m sorry they didn`t have them when I was young.

    January 5, 2016 at 10:40 am
    • spudeater


      All former pupils at my old Secondary Modern had to promise not to blab about its ‘holistic educational ethos’ once they’d left. How EXACTLY did you get to hear about it???

      January 5, 2016 at 1:44 pm
      • Frankier


        They should have been told not to practice it either. That way, nobody would have found out.

        January 5, 2016 at 4:35 pm
  • Frankier

    And if they ran out of catechisms they could always borrow similar ones from the catholics.

    January 5, 2016 at 10:43 am
  • Clotide

    I wish I could be so eloquent as you when not feeling well! get well soon!

    Enjoyed all the debate so far if that’s the right way to look at such a terrible situation. Maybe its the only way to stay sane.
    Quite agree that so called Catholic schools are that in name only and more time is spent on teaching other faiths and now lets just add atheism while we are at it.
    I suppose headlines like those in The Catholic Herald attract some readership along the lines of The Sun?

    January 5, 2016 at 4:39 pm
    • editor


      Thank you for your kind get well wishes – and as for “eloquent”; I’ve had to make these arguments so often, they roll off the keyboard unassisted, for the most part!

      For the record, the report about Peter Kearney/Catholic Church favouring atheist schools, wasn’t in the Catholic Herald (I believe the report was also carried in the Scottish Catholic Observer, although I’ve not seen it) but in The Herald or Herald Scotland (as it is known online.) Scotland’s largest national “quality” (yeah right!) daily newspaper, no less.

      And, to date, as far as I know, while there are various letters published mostly disagreeing with Peter Kearney (most seem to see this call for atheist schools as a ruse to justify Catholic schools) not one letter has been published from the Scots Hierarchy to say that Kearney was speaking for himself, not as official Church spokesman, so I think we can take it that the Scots Bishops are all for atheist schools. Hardly surprising, if you think about it.

      January 6, 2016 at 10:54 am
  • RCA Victor

    Here’s how a Catholic Atheist catechism might start out:

    1. Who made us?
    We are an accidental agglomeration of Molecules that just happened to bump into each other for a night of casual sex.

    2. What is a Molecule?
    A group of atoms that bonded together for a night of casual sex, resulting in the smallest fundamental (you should pardon the expression) unit of a chemical compound.

    3. Why did Molecules make us?
    Molecules have no idea, so just eat, drink and be merry until your molecular bonding dissipates.

    4. What must we do to gain happiness, besides eat, drink and be merry?
    We must know, love and serve Molecules by analyzing and reducing the size of our carbon footprint.

    And here is a depiction of Catholic Atheists evangelizing:

    January 5, 2016 at 4:53 pm
  • John Kearney

    RCA Victor is partially correct. No, I do not want atheists to have their own schools and teach secularism. And yes, the malaise in the Church has been caused by Modernism which does not have the answers to give to Atheists and prefers to flirt with them. But as a result of all of this we claim our Catholic schools because we present the argument that parents have a right to raise their children in the religion they want. Now the state does not recognise the truths of the Catholic Faith and provide the schools to meet the wishes of parents. So if we are to argue with the State that we have a right to Catholic schools they will demand of us that we recognise the rights of other parents to raise their children in the faith or non-faith that they hold. We cannot argue in a civil court that we should be allowed our schools because we have the truth.

    January 5, 2016 at 8:59 pm
    • Lily

      John Kearney,

      You are labouring under a misapprehension. Catholic schools in Scotland were not built as a result of parents claiming the right to their own schools, the Catholic schools were already there, but the teachers were paid out of the parish collections and the whole school system was funded by the church. It was this that the 1918 Education Act put right by agreeing to fund the schools, as the parents were already tax payers and paying twice for their children’s education, but only did so on condition that the schools were put under the authority of the local education department. That’s very different from suggesting that every religion have their own schools. It’s only because those who don’t want the separate schools keep banging on about “if Catholics have the choice, why not others” but that is not the right way round.

      Catholic parents were paying for their separate schools even though they were also funding the state schools, and it was only when they were coaxed, if you like, to join the state system that the church was able to leave the funding to the local authority. We’ve got nothing to apologise for, and no need to justify separate Catholic schools by arguing for separate atheist schools. That’s so contradictory! We wanted to keep our Catholic schools to make sure the faith was passed on whole and entire, and now we’re being told by the Scots Hierarchy that atheists should have their schools as well, to teach the opposite. LOL!

      January 5, 2016 at 10:21 pm
      • editor


        Well said – and one important fact that gets forgotten in the debate about Catholic schools, is that they would never have gotten off the ground let alone been able to keep going over the years, but for the co-operation of non-Catholic teachers employed in the Catholic sector. And that without the help of a string of ecumenical activities! Those non-Catholic teachers understood perfectly well that they had to do nothing to undermine Catholicism in the school, and, whether or not they liked it, for the most part they adhered to this code, showing professionalism and personal integrity. I remember remarks made by my Protestant History teacher which showed her in a very good light indeed, in this regard.

        The other point that John is missing is that, while Catholics DO have a right to separate schools given the claims of the Church, others, teaching false doctrine, do not – in fact, Pope John Paul II instructed the bishops (in Veritatis Splendor) to remove the name “Catholic” from any Church establishments etc, known to dissent from the teaching of the Church. Schools, obviously, are top of the list. So, even Catholics do not have a right to separate schools if they are, in fact, dissenting from, or undermining the Faith.

        And while it is true that this argument may not wash with the politicians, that’s not a reason not to make it or at least to refrain from making the wrong argument – the “we have a right to, just because we want to”… In fact, explaining the reason for separate Catholic schools should be seen as an opportunity to explain the Faith and the claims of Christ and His Church, not as an embarrassment.

        If people like Peter Kearney and the Scots Hierarchy don’t want to explain the rationale for Catholic education publicly, or even privately to the relevant politicians, then they ought, at the very least, not undermine the Kingship of Christ by suggesting that all religions and none are entitled to separate schools in order to teach error, and to teach error that is, in the very nature of things, attacking Christ. That makes an utter nonsense of our claim to a separate school system.

        John writes: ” We cannot argue in a civil court that we should be allowed our schools because we have the truth.”

        Christ said: “If you deny Me in the presence of men, I will deny YOU in the presence of My Father.”

        January 6, 2016 at 10:44 am
      • Boniface

        Any individual, or group, whether secular or religious, can start their own independent school now, as was the case before 1948 (not 1918 as you say). The difference is that that they will be independent of The State and not receive tax funding. Your analysis is wrong, Lily.

        Likewise the NHS began in a similar way and replaced private or charitable provision.

        January 7, 2016 at 6:30 am
      • editor


        Lily is not wrong. In Scotland, the schools were funded by parishes(including teachers’ pay) until 1918 when the Education Act placed them under the control of the local authority, where they would be henceforth open to government inspections, and would take in pupils from non-Catholic backgrounds. The Catholic “ethos” was to be maintained and the Church had power of veto over teaching appointments.

        So, yes, anyone can start their own school, as you say, but – until now – nobody who wanted to open a school to teach that God does not exist, had the full support of the Catholic Church. That’s pretty revolutionary, with the emphasis on “revolutionary”.

        January 7, 2016 at 10:57 am
  • RCA Victor


    “If people like Peter Kearney and the Scots Hierarchy don’t want to explain the rationale for Catholic education…”

    From what I can gather from this blog, the Scots Hierarchy won’t explain it because they don’t know what that rationale is. Or, if they do know, they don’t understand it. Yet another aspect of the Great Apostasy: the great dumbing down.

    January 6, 2016 at 5:31 pm
    • editor

      RCA Victor,

      Never a truer word spoken. At least not since last time I posted!

      January 7, 2016 at 12:05 am
  • gabriel syme

    Sadly not much would shock me when it came to Scottish Catholicism and education (specifically, its failings in education), so I am not surprised to see a spokesperson calling for Atheist schools.

    But it did raise my eyebrows to learn that St Joseph’s College, which I understand is the only Catholic school in Dumfries and Galloway, is (according to this link) “working to achieve their bronze LGBT Youth Charter award”

    I discovered this by chance when reading up on the sinister TIE campaign*, which aims to indoctrinate Scottish schoolchildren into believing that there is nothing amiss with homosexuality and that it is a healthy and normal expression of human sexuality (in fact, it is a disordered and dysfunctional sexuality, one at loggerheads with the form and function of the human body).

    (*Its another of those pro-dysfunction campaigns, with no public support, which appears to be rail-roaded through the Scottish Parliament with the pretence that it represents democracy.)

    What this “bronze LGBT Youth Charter award” actually involves in detailed here, on pg2:

    Some of the content is fair enough, such as not tolerating bullying or prejudice, but then other items are more concerning such as the schools “undertaking activities engaging with LGBT communities”, holding commemorative days pertinent to “LGBT persons” and refering/directing pupils to “LGBT organisations”. Homosexuality is also to be promoted via posters etc in the school.

    Some of the latter examples would seem to conflict with Catholic teaching, to say the very least.

    I wonder if this is the head teachers own scheme, or if it is being done with the approval of the SCES and local Bishop?

    I wonder: is there any real, substantial difference between a supposedly Catholic school and a non-denonational school, except that one pretends to be Catholic?

    January 7, 2016 at 3:03 pm
    • editor

      Gabriel Syme,

      That is horrendous. As to your closing question, take it from one who has taught in both Catholic (in inverted commas) and non-denominational schools, the answer if “no – there is no real or substantial difference between these two types of school.” What is on offer in “Catholic” schools today, is nothing more than humanism with hymns.

      I have friends who are RE teachers in “Catholic” schools and they agree wholeheartedly. What parents can rely on is simply the fact that their child may be blessed with contact with an orthodox, believing teacher, although seldom one of the “traditionalist” ilk, and so receive a morsel or two of Catholicism but that’s about it. Catholic education, as properly defined and understood, went out of that window opened by Pope John XXIII a long time ago…

      January 7, 2016 at 9:51 pm
  • Frankier

    If the atheists are to have their own schools, why not have schools for those who believe in UFOs, global warming and Santa Claus?

    I don`t know from where the Catholic Church manages to dig up their so-called spokespersons but they are a total and utter embarrassment every time they appear on a TV screen.

    I always think of Denis Healey when I see the “learned” professor Haldane or Kearney on screen.
    His statement regarding being ravaged by a dead sheep always comes to mind.

    January 7, 2016 at 8:08 pm
    • editor


      Don’t knock Santa Claus. One of my favourite saints, is St Nicholas. Brings my nephews and nieces terrific games which they share with me. So, watch it there!

      January 7, 2016 at 9:54 pm

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