State schools and faith formation


Sir, – I believe the suggestion by Senator Aodhán Ó Riordáin regarding the Citizens’ Assembly examining the existing situation of church-run State-funded schools should be acted upon (News, May 28th). I believe that he is correct when he says that an Oireachtas debate would be divisive.

It also seems that at least some Catholic bishops are questioning the current situation. Archbishop of Dublin Dr Diarmuid Martin is quoted in this newspaper as asking if “church-run schools are delivering for the investment we make in faith development”. Bishop Kevin Doran of Elphin said that the church relies “on the model of faith formation addressed to young people in schools”. He says that he is developing “a core of volunteer trainee catechists specifically for parish work”.

I think that faith formation, or religious education, should take place outside State schools, and therefore that all churches should hand over the patronage and running of State schools to local education committees. – Yours, etc,