Monday, April 16, 2007

Scottish politics

Yesterday, I, along with the rest of Catholic Scotland, got a pastoral letter from the Scottish Bishops about the forthcoming elections. It was a powerful call to go beyond superficial issues, and vote in a way that supports the fundamental rights and dignities of the human person. With calls for the abolition of Catholic schools and the question of gay adoption looming large, I was very struck by the Bishops' timely intervention.

For those of you who don't follow Scottish politics, the Green party has pledged to withdraw State funding for Catholic schools, forcing them either to close or go into the private sector. This matters not just in itself but also because they could well end up as partners in a coalition. The SNP is, as far as I can see, the only party to say unambiguously that not only will they continue to fully support faith schools, but also that they would remain strongly committed to this in entering into coalitions with other parties. The SNP are also making encouraging noises over an opt-out for Catholic agencies on gay adoption. Admittedly, they voted down the amendment in the first place, and cynics could see this as simply an attempt to get the Catholic vote, but I'm increasingly drawn to them. I'd be interested to hear what others think.


Mac McLernon said...

Given my experience of Faith schools (as a teacher) it might be better for them to go private (if they continue) as they could then opt out of the National Curriculum and actually teach some of the Faith !!

I've also noticed that children who go to non-faith schools appear to get less stick from their peers - and the teaching provided by the families on faith matters isn't so undermined!

Ttony said...

It would be a good idea to consider the value of promises made just before an election with those made just before the previous election.

But, to paraphrase Mac, given my experience of Faith schools (as a parent and a Governor) it might be better for them not to go private but to continue to proclaim Christ through the National Curriculum and carry on teaching the Faith!!