School patronage and secularism

Sir, – Gearoid Kilgallen writes (July 1st) that it is high time we had a totally secular school system because we are living in the year 2017.

Is he prepared to defend the absolute value of a secular school system or does he just decide what we ought to be do by looking at the clock ?

He also says that religion is a personal private matter and its teaching should be confined to the home. However, secularism consists of a worldview and a set of values (including a view on religion). Should that be confined to the personal and private spheres as well ?

Finally, there is an assumption abroad that there is a popular push for a secular school system everywhere and that this is to the benefit of all.


In the United States, the secularisation of the public schools has been going on throughout the 20th century. What has followed is an ailing and underperforming public school system, representing for most the only option available, and highly sought-after, expensive, private Catholic schools. It would appear that there are many who see a timeless, or at least time-tested, value in religious education. – Yours, etc,


Irishtown, Dublin 4.