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Catholic teaching in Scotland - Comments

Zalvation's Avatar Comment 1 by Zalvation

Let’s pose the question another way:

When seeking approval, a priest must demonstrate how his (certainly not her) religious delusions enables him (not her again) to undertake the duties of a particular teaching which within the context of the Catholic church, with its particular mission, values and ethos, will enlighten us in the history of the emphatic repression of women and the church’s misogyny in continuing to seek women’s subjection in the 21st century. Explain the church’s approval of the total ban in El Salvador on abortion with absolutely no exceptions. Where women are being prosecuted and jailed for performing abortions on themselves after emergency medical care following their desperate acts. The need for this hard-line policy is perversely logical in Catholic theology – the mother has been baptized and will arrive in heaven, because her foetus has not been so graced, it must have priority. Catholic doctrine is so execrable that it demands that once a woman is pregnant she is along for the ride even if it means her death. If she got that way by being raped, that’s just too bad. Is it an exaggeration to ask why anyone should be required to seek approval from this barbaric, pitiless dark cult that wants to encourage Catholic doctrine in schools not just in Scotland but in the UK and abroad?

Sat, 26 Feb 2011 16:02:28 UTC | #596557

J-P123's Avatar Comment 2 by J-P123

I see students submit such references regularly in my place of work and it makes me ill. It's so depressing, it really is.

Sat, 26 Feb 2011 16:49:12 UTC | #596579

Stevehill's Avatar Comment 3 by Stevehill

It's UK-wide I think - was this not what all the fuss was about when the bishops in the House of Lords, debating the Equality Bill in 2010, defeated the government by 5 votes on a key clause which would have removed the right of faith schools to discriminate on employment grounds?

Faith schools are what they are: if you were not Catholic why would you want to teach at one anyway?

The problem arises with the fact that most faith schools are also state schools, so the taxpayer at large is underwriting this discrimination. Complain to your MP (or MSP). Regularly and loudly. I do.

Just today there's a letter in the Independent from the Catholic Education Service saying they don't discriminate in voluntary controlled or foundation schools (tax-funded). This is disingenuous tosh. That's because they choose only to have their state schools as voluntary aided schools, i.e. schools where they, and not the state, control the admissions policy. Quite reprehensible dissimulation - but wholly predictable.

Sat, 26 Feb 2011 18:12:32 UTC | #596626

Simon Templar's Avatar Comment 4 by Simon Templar

Other than the fact a priest can verify that an individual regularly attends mass, confession etc, what qualifies a priest to make a judgement as to whether an individual is suitable to teach?, I find this disturbing.

Why disturbing ? A Catholic teacher wants a job in a Catholic school, shouldn't they provide some references confirming their suitability for the job. We've already had threads about the suitability of creationists to work in science, so which way do you want it ?

The problem arises with the fact that most faith schools are also state schools, so the taxpayer at large is underwriting this discrimination. Complain to your MP (or MSP). Regularly and loudly. I do.

The tax payer argument is a dead duck and I always laugh out loud when I see it. People who send their children to Faith schools pay their taxes so they are the ones contributing in proportion. Yes their are some on in both Faith and non Faith schools who are not there by prefered choice but generally speaking if 15% of schools are Faith Schools then as an accountant I'll stick my neck out and guess that roughly speaking 15% of tax payers money in the Education budget goes to Faith schools.

Sat, 26 Feb 2011 19:12:35 UTC | #596663

Tord M's Avatar Comment 5 by Tord M

Likewise, it should be a requirement for any real teacher who applies for a teaching position in any real school, to be able to document the lack of approval from the Catholic Church.

Sat, 26 Feb 2011 21:08:09 UTC | #596696

educationsaves's Avatar Comment 6 by educationsaves

If a Catholic school wants to discriminate against non Catholics should we let them? Before you answer what if they discriminate against blacks? Jews? women?What if no Catholics were allowed to run for government? My position is that you must hire based on the persons ability to do the job not their religion color race or any other meaningless distinction.

Sat, 26 Feb 2011 21:48:38 UTC | #596717

asdi's Avatar Comment 7 by asdi

I am an ex Muslim and believed Uk and developed nations are free form this "bullshit" to the very least. I find no difference, when I compare "madreasas" in south-east Asia and these schools. I am still confused if it is true

Sun, 27 Feb 2011 00:13:23 UTC | #596768

Stevehill's Avatar Comment 8 by Stevehill

@SimonTemplar

I can do the accountancy argument too. The point is that taxpayers ought to be able to say that the state should not fund any religion which discriminates. (Namely, all of them).

There is plenty of evidence e.g. most faith schools are in poorer areas, but despite that they take fewer kids entitled to free school meals than non-faith schools. They select. If you are "one of us" you have a better chance of getting in. If your parents are prepared to feign religion and keep pews warm (and donate funds to the church), you will get in.

Better off, more middle class parents are more likely to play the game. It is the poor that end up suffering. Not that I expect anyone in any religion (or, probably, in the current UK government) to give a damn about that.

If you want to see some religious-led arguments against faith schools, including the points I've just made, check out the Accord Coalition. There are, thankfully, some more intelligent religionists who know that the status quo in Britain is indefensible.

Sun, 27 Feb 2011 06:41:10 UTC | #596848

biorays's Avatar Comment 9 by biorays

Myths and legends ought only to be taught as such unless the school insists on it being delivered as truth under the ultimate punishment of an after-death eternal torment - or in the mean time being discriminated against on the grounds that you do not believe in any such hell-hole and must therefore be of the very nasty type of human likely to enjoy life much more than we are able or may contemplate.

Sun, 27 Feb 2011 13:39:42 UTC | #596920

Alan4discussion's Avatar Comment 10 by Alan4discussion

This is clearly a divisive form of sectarian segregation, in that it separates Catholic children from non-Catholic adult role models.

It is also discriminatory in that Catholic teachers have assured places in Catholic schools, and then have equal opportunities to compete against other teachers for jobs in the mainstream state sector!

Sun, 27 Feb 2011 17:17:34 UTC | #596962

raytoman's Avatar Comment 11 by raytoman

I thought the only requirement Roman Catholics checked was that you fucked young children. If you don't, get lost.

Sun, 27 Feb 2011 20:40:16 UTC | #597035

Nick Healey's Avatar Comment 12 by Nick Healey

Is this not a strawman argument? Why shouldn't a catholic school ask for a relevant reference as long as it doesn't contravene the country's religious discrimination laws?

The only issue is whether the state, and by proxy the taxpayer, should be funding this kind of discrimination, or indeed any aspect of faith schools? Answer - No!

As Stevehill rightly points out, what kind of non-catholic would want to teach in a catholic school anyway? Who would want to subject themselves to the bleak iconography, intractable guilt and hypocritical indoctrination on a daily basis?

Wed, 02 Mar 2011 10:29:33 UTC | #597986

Ignorant Amos's Avatar Comment 13 by Ignorant Amos

Comment 12 by Nick Healey

As Stevehill rightly points out, what kind of non-catholic would want to teach in a catholic school anyway? Who would want to subject themselves to the bleak iconography, intractable guilt and hypocritical indoctrination on a daily basis?

One in desperate need of a job maybe?

Wed, 02 Mar 2011 12:03:46 UTC | #598014

Ignorant Amos's Avatar Comment 14 by Ignorant Amos

Comment 4 by Simon Templar

Why disturbing ? A Catholic teacher wants a job in a Catholic school, shouldn't they provide some references confirming their suitability for the job. We've already had threads about the suitability of creationists to work in science, so which way do you want it ?

It ain't the same debate at all. Does being Catholic or non-Catholic have any impact on ones ability to teach good Maths, English, Geography, History, Music, Art, Science, Tech Drawing, Woodwork, etc......it doesn't even impact on ones ability to teach R.E. if the syllabus is being followed to the curriculum set out by the education board. Being a creationist on the other hand has to have an adverse effect.

Wed, 02 Mar 2011 12:16:50 UTC | #598024

Nick Healey's Avatar Comment 15 by Nick Healey

Comment 13 by Ignorant Amos

One in desperate need of a job maybe?

Agreed, but despite the bleak picture of the economy we are fed by the media, not all careers are under threat. Unemployment amongst teachers is relatively low. JenniferP123 is not giving evidence here that non-catholic teachers have applied and suffered discrimination, she's merely trying to stir up an argument where it doesn't exist. Any prospective employer would ask for a relevant reference and in this case it's a priest. Big deal!

Wed, 02 Mar 2011 17:53:55 UTC | #598126

J-P123's Avatar Comment 16 by J-P123

Sorry Nick Healey, but I'm not in the habit of stirring up arguements. I merely gave reference to the facts of Catholic teacher education in Scotland and asked if the same thing applied throughout the UK. I never mentioned discrimination so had no need to provide evidence for it.

Thu, 03 Mar 2011 20:37:15 UTC | #598477

GWright's Avatar Comment 17 by GWright

@ JenniferP123

The reference for a Catholic teacher should be provided by the teacher’s parish priest who should be able to testify to the teacher’s personal “religious belief and character”.

Other than the fact a priest can verify that an individual regularly attends mass, confession etc, what qualifies a priest to make a judgement as to whether an individual is suitable to teach?, I find this disturbing.

The priest isn't stating the person is suitable to teach, they are only confirming that the person is indeed a practicing catholic - to verify they are who and what they say they are - as part of a general character reference (see the bit I put in bold).

Naturally, this bit only applies to catholic teachers and will apply in catholic schools across the world.

Regarding employment, I do not know the rules in other countries, (I expect broadly similar), but as far as I am aware, in Scotland the rule is that non-Catholics are free to teach in Catholic schools, but the head of the school must always be a catholic. This is to ensure that the school is run along appropriate lines for its catholic identity. However, non-Catholics can be principal teachers, or hold other senior roles.

I think non-Catholics teaching in Catholic schools have (probably as part of their contract) an agreement not to criticise or undermine any Catholic doctrine.

Mon, 07 Mar 2011 20:37:59 UTC | #599790

pgh17's Avatar Comment 18 by pgh17

The faith school system only works in one direction. If you've got faith credentials you have nothing to lose, but potentially much to gain.

Can you imagine a catholic teacher being legitimately refused a job in a proper school because of their beliefs?

Then consider the catholic parent with a choice between an underperforming catholic school and a good normal school. Are they forced to send their children to the church school? Of course not.

By the way, can anyone explain what an ethos is?

Wed, 09 Mar 2011 02:44:10 UTC | #600330

scotsman2010's Avatar Comment 19 by scotsman2010

Comment 14 by Ignorant Amos :

Comment 4 by Simon Templar

Why disturbing ? A Catholic teacher wants a job in a Catholic school, shouldn't they provide some references confirming their suitability for the job. We've already had threads about the suitability of creationists to work in science, so which way do you want it ?

It ain't the same debate at all. Does being Catholic or non-Catholic have any impact on ones ability to teach good Maths, English, Geography, History, Music, Art, Science, Tech Drawing, Woodwork, etc......it doesn't even impact on ones ability to teach R.E. if the syllabus is being followed to the curriculum set out by the education board. Being a creationist on the other hand has to have an adverse effect.

I totally agree Amos. However, I have to say I did once read a quote from a Catholic Head Teacher saying "when we teach maths - we don't just teach maths!". Some of them clearly think Catholicism is relevant to everything!

In certain parts of Scotland, the existence of Catholic schools (If they adhere to their "rules") basically halves job opportunities for non-Catholic teachers.

Mon, 14 Mar 2011 10:40:25 UTC | #602496

David Staunton's Avatar Comment 20 by David Staunton

Can you imagine a catholic teacher being legitimately refused a job in a proper school because of their beliefs?

Of course not, many Roman Catholics have successful careers in non denominational schools, I have a relative who is a RC Headmistress in one.

I wonder how many non RC head teachers there are in RC schools...

Tue, 15 Mar 2011 12:12:21 UTC | #603022

EHCol's Avatar Comment 21 by EHCol

I am currently involved in a legal case regarding the issue of Catholic Church approval of teachers. I am very interested in speaking to any teacher for whom this has been a problem.

(I am acting pro bono and I cannot take on anyone's case).

Thu, 22 Sep 2011 18:17:27 UTC | #874014

Athiest in catholic school's Avatar Comment 22 by Athiest in catholic school

Comment 17 Certainly the Headteacher must be a catholic. I think that you will be hard pushed to find a Deputy Headteacher that also isn't a catholic, or any member of the RE department (whether in a promoted post or not) or indeed any year head or guidance teacher.

Depending on the Headteacher (or more likely the applicants for promoted posts) I think that a non- catholic in a curricular leaders position would be very rare also.

I can't help but feel that some non-Catholics teachers in catholic schools are only there because there was no other option. I myself did not apply for my current posts even having seem it advertised. It was only after I had failed to secure a position at another school in the same authority that the Headteacher phone me up and requested that I apply for the job at their school. As the only applicant I got the job (as well as obviously being an outstanding teacher) I got the job.

I will not lie to my pupils and students and when they ask I am very happy to tell that that I don't believe in god. When sharing this with a fellow Science teacher in the school he was shocked that I had managed to actually get a job in the first place - presumably he felt that people like me were not welcome.

One main problem that I have had since being at the school was a CPD on 'Shining the Light of

Sun, 15 Sep 2013 19:40:15 UTC | #951415

Athiest in catholic school's Avatar Comment 23 by Athiest in catholic school

Sorry I am not too computer literate

'Shining the Light of Christ' which advocated the belief that god created everything on Earth and implied that the Earth wasn't billions of years old. In my evaluation I expressed my concern about such views especially when teaching evolution in biology and fossil fuels and the rock cycle in Chemistry.

I most certainly don't hid my views from the children if the occasion arises. Overall the children are fine and I have no problems whatsoever with them. It's not their fault after all!

Sun, 15 Sep 2013 19:47:03 UTC | #951416