According to today’s Observer (p5), the Catholic Bishop of Lancaster, Patrick O’Donoghue (illustrated), has said in a document written for schools in his diocese that:
“Under no circumstances should any outside authority or agency that is not fully qualified to speak on behalf of the Catholic Church ever be allowed to speak to pupils or individuals on sexual or any other matter involving faith and morals”
O’Donoghue also called for any books containing polemics against the Catholic Church to be removed from school libraries.
He also maintains schools should reject the promotion of safe or safer sex, as it is based on the (in his view, deluded) theory that condom use can provide adequate protection against AIDS (I discuss this here).
O’Donoghue is one of several “fundamentalist” Catholic Bishops pushing for a much more authoritarian, conservative approach to Catholic schooling.
I draw attention to these Bishops as they illustrate the point that it is not just Muslims like Ibrahim Lawson who insist on a very conservative, uncritical style of religious education.
The report does not say whether these Catholic Bishops would permit the questioning of Catholic teaching in the classroom, but it obviously isn’t something they’d encourage.
As I previously pointed out, you may be shocked to discover that independent religious schools in the U.K. can teach children whatever they like about religion, in whatever way they like. Even if they run Medieval-style factories of religious indoctrination, Ofsted (The UK school inspection agency) cannot fault them!
As I have already argued, isn't it time we did something about this?