Church blocks plan for new religious teaching
The Catholic Church has stymied plans for the first ever State curriculum in world religions and ethics for primary schools.
Bishops and key figures within Catholic education said proposed changes to the curriculum were "unworkable" and would confuse pupils in schools under their control.
The latest Church-State education clash has come to light in a report from the National Council for Curriculum and Assessment (NCCA), which is on the desk of Education Minister Richard Bruton. The report is based on a public consultation process on the NCCA's proposals for an Education about Religions and Beliefs and Ethics (ERBE).
The NCCA consultation triggered a massive reaction from Catholic interests.
Bishop Alphonsus Cullinan of Waterford and Lismore told the NCCA "in its current form, it would be impossible to implement in Catholic schools under my patronage".
It is not intended that ERBE would replace existing religion teaching in denominational schools, but the Catholic Church is worried about the delivery of mixed messages to its pupils. Among those who made submissions backing ERBE were the Ombudsman for Children, Dr Niall Muldoon.