Saturday, January 30, 2010

Catholic education – Douglas Alexander's bare-faced hypocrisy

It appears that the Secretary of State for International Development met with Pope Benedict XVI on Tuesday ‘to thank him for the Church's role in international aid, especially for the earthquake victims in Haiti’.

Quite why Douglas Alexander should presume the need to express gratitude to the Pope is unknown, but Cranmer finds it quite incredible that he also thanked His Holiness for the ‘Catholic Church's unique role on the world stage – particularly at the grassroots level delivering health and education services...’

One wonders if he thanked him for the Roman Catholic Church's excellent adoption agencies as well.

It beggars belief that a Labour secretary of state should thank the Roman Catholic Church for its education services when the Government of which he is part is doing its damnedest to destroy the ethos of faith schools and force them to conform to their simplistic, illiberal and ultimately totalitarian politically-correct ‘equality’ agenda which has no space for the religious conscience and no time for Christian tradition and orthodoxy. We are now in the absurd position in which secular bodies (especially the Office for Schools Adjudicators) are increasingly interfering in admissions to faith schools, thereby presuming to discern who does and does not subscribe to a particular basis of faith. If these schools no longer have the power to select children on religious grounds, it is difficult to discern how their distinct ethos can be maintained.

Schools and colleges have to cope with increasing government ‘social engineering’ legislation which seeks to impose secular values on their distinct curriculum and ethos. When Douglas Alexander thanked the Pope for his church’s education services, one wonders why he omitted to explain the intolerance that lies at the heart of the Blair/Brown agenda, especially with regard to the sanctity of life.

All the church schools wish to do is to educate children in accordance with their worldview - placing God at the centre of the formative process, teaching morals and spiritual values, with purity outside of marriage (which is male and female) and fidelity within, providing a framework of discipline, imparting respect and tolerance, instilling obedience to Scripture and to Christian orthodoxy.

One wonders if the Secretary of State is familiar with his party’s persecution of those who support Roman Catholic education services? Or of the rabidly-secular fundamentalist views of Barry Sheerman MP, who chairs the parliamentary cross-party committee on children, schools and families? Mr Sheerman detects 'intense turmoil' about the future of Catholic education, and revealingly asserted: “It seems to me that faith education works all right as long as people are not that serious about their faith. But as soon as there is a more doctrinaire attitude questions have to be asked. It does become worrying when you get a new push from more fundamentalist bishops. This is taxpayers' money after all.”

All credit to Douglas Alexander for thanking the Pope for his 'doctrinaire attitude' in resisting Labour’s anti-Christian attitudes and for being 'serious about his faith'.


Blogger Jomo said...

Its all about Paisley (not Ian but the town next to Glasgow)

Have you forgotten?

There's an election coming up!

30 January 2010 at 10:38  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I wonder if he thanks the Pope for those Catholic Priests, who provided "special" one on one lessons to children of their choice?
Did he ask the pope if he too was whipping his own back with a buckled leather belt? Or if he still thinks that non cathlolics - even those injured by earthquakes - should burn in hell for eternity?
Hypocricy from Alexander and the Pope, in equal measures.

30 January 2010 at 10:41  
Anonymous Sandy Jamieson said...

The first rule of the Labour Party in West Cenbtral Scotland is "Thou shalt not offend the Roman Catholic Church"
They meed the Tims' votes you see

30 January 2010 at 11:08  
Blogger Little Black Sambo said...

Loathsome creep - like the rest of this Government.

30 January 2010 at 14:30  
Blogger Johnny Rottenborough said...

“It seems to me that faith education works all right as long as people are not that serious about their faith. But as soon as there is a more doctrinaire attitude questions have to be asked.

A certain faith seems to be exempt from Mr Sheerman’s rule, no matter how doctrinaire its attitude. A Newsnight film about a Muslim school, the King Fahad Academy in London, looked at some of the books being used at the school.

Younger children were asked to fill in the blanks to statements such as ‘Every religion other than ..... is worthless’ (answer: Islam) and ‘Whomsoever dies outside of Islam enters .....’ (answer: Hellfire).

Truths imparted to older pupils included ‘They are the Jewish observers of Saturdays whose youth God transformed into monkeys and their elders into pigs as their punishment’ and ‘The monkeys ... are the Jews. And the pigs: they are the Christian infidels at Jesus’ table’.

30 January 2010 at 15:16  
Anonymous circus monkey said...

It all makes perfect sense when you realise that schizophrenia runs through New Labour's bloodstream and has done since day one of their ghastly reign

30 January 2010 at 15:18  
Anonymous not a machine said...

It is ironic indeed your grace that his holiness that even someone like Mr Blair should have allowed the destruction of christain faith based institutions including marriage.

The totalitarian ending is somthing they never really talk about , nor give credit to what christian schools acheive and contribute to society as a whole .

30 January 2010 at 17:52  
Blogger Lord Lavendon said...

Your Grace, so this chap plays politics whilst at the same time undermining the very faith which he proports to believe in.... terrible .

30 January 2010 at 22:38  
Blogger John.D said...

Truly shocking YG, but at least you have the sexy Nadine Dorries wishing you were 500 years younger. She doesn't know what she is missing I bet (the mind boggles).

31 January 2010 at 00:18  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Shocking behavior from 'A Son of the Manse'.

31 January 2010 at 00:59  
Blogger Ray said...

All faith schools, and all teaching of religion in all should should be banned, it is no more than legalised brain washing and has promoted through the years all the kinds of intolerance that has created a reason for almost 100% of the conflict that has desecrated mankind ever since he has walked this earth.
There is a fundamental mystery, but nothing that the various people and groups have taken to control people for their own gains even comes close to solving it. You don't need to be a christian to have compassion, but if you are some form of christian or a muslim, you can torture and torment your fellow man in it's name.

31 January 2010 at 09:36  
Anonymous len said...

I agree with you Ray, religion has done a lot of harm, and is still doing so!
Religion executed Jesus Christ.

All teaching of religion should be abolished.Agreed.

The knowledge of Jesus Christ, His love for humanity, His sacrificial death as atonement for mans sin,His restoring the relationship to the Father, this what should be proclaimed to this dying,selfish, self obsessed world.

Jesus Christ is Gods solution, Gods only solution, to this sad, pitiful, sin wracked world.

Religion cannot impart life, only Jesus Christ, the last Adam, a life giving spirit can!

31 January 2010 at 10:08  
Blogger Paul Halsall said...

If the "faith" schools did not take state money, they would have no problems with admissions.

But in fact they do take the state's money, money generated by and large from taxpayers who practice no religion.

Render unto Caesar what is Caesars. In this case Caesar demands some say over where the money is spent.

31 January 2010 at 11:52  
Blogger PaulineG said...

Paul Halsall,

Are you saying that Catholic families are net recipients of state monies for education?

If so, are you able to provide any evidence of this?

31 January 2010 at 13:09  
Blogger Paul Halsall said...

All the running costs of Catholic schools are provided by the state. 95% of the building costs also.

Did you not know that?

The same goes for all non-private "faith" schools. Parents are not required to pay anything (apart from the same taxes I, as a non-parent, pay).

I have no objection to such faith schools, but the state does have role in regulating them. It needs to ensure they do not discriminate on the grounds of race or gender (in the case of teachers). It needs to make sure that Muslim girls get access to gym classes, and biology students are taught about evolution etc.

31 January 2010 at 13:25  
Blogger Ray said...

Ien, you are just another victim, as are all "believers" in Jesus, and all the other figure heads,and if Jesus was killed as we have been preached to over the last 2 millenium, then he died for Politics!, not for religion. Killed by another political/religious group whose control, and most important, income was being threatened. There is no love of god, it is love of control, and the ability to display that control, you can't eat meat on Friday, you will wear an upside down saucer on your head, you cannot shave, priests cannot have sex, (but Archbishops can have wives and children) and on and on.

31 January 2010 at 13:48  
Blogger PaulineG said...

Paul Halsall,

I note you have not answered my question.

The state, as I understand it, pays all running costs and 90% (not 95%) of capital costs. The Catholic community, in addition to paying the same taxes as everyone else, finds the other 10% of capital costs.

That is the 'price' that Catholics pay for the freedom to educate their children in accordance with their beliefs, as agreed under the 1944 Education Reform Act and in accordance with the European Convention on Human Rights, Article 2 of protocol 1.

Other state schools are fully financed by the state.

Further, some 30% of pupils in Catholic schools, so financed, are not Catholic.

So it would seem that Catholic community is in this way actually saving other taxpayers money.

Yet you observe that Catholic schools 'take money from the state'. Clearly that is true but I repeat my question:

Are you saying that Catholic families are NET recipients of state monies for education?

If so, are you able to provide any evidence of this?

Having control over admissions policy is key to maintaining the essential ethos of a Catholic school and such control must not be ceded.

31 January 2010 at 14:57  
Blogger Paul Halsall said...

They take money from ME, who has no children, just like all the rest of the breeders :)

31 January 2010 at 15:00  
Blogger PaulineG said...

And when you are old who will provide your food, look after your health, provide your gas,electricity and water? Money will pay for these but it is people who will do the work - the children of 'breeders'.

Count your blessings, Mr Halsall, that others have been caring enough to provide for your future care.

31 January 2010 at 15:15  
Anonymous len said...

I have no upside down hat, in fact I have no hat at all.
I was once a victim, a victim to the god of this world ( satan who deceives the whole world) the bible compares unsaved people as slaves , slaves to sin, slaves to satan untill Christ releases them,
I pray that you and others will come to know this truth that will set you free!
As I have said Christ sets you free not religion there is a vast difference!

31 January 2010 at 15:20  
Blogger Paul Halsall said...

@Pauline. I have no objection to taxes. It's all part of the social contract, no part of which can be absolutist. I am no libertarian.

But the fact is ALL parents receive a tax subsidy from non-parents. That applies to those whose kids go to Faith schools AND those who go to regular state schools.

31 January 2010 at 15:29  
Anonymous John Malcolmson said...

What really alarms me about the prospects for faith schools is Ed Balls saying how much he values them.

Reminds me of the vote of confidence in the manager by a football club's board of directors.
You just know the poor b*gg*r's going to be sacked the following week. (Sorry this vulgarity is not up to Gnostic's standards).

31 January 2010 at 15:47  
Blogger Paul Halsall said...

Btw, Catholic (and other faith-school) parents do get a NET gain over other parents.

There is no requirement that a Catholic parent actually contribute to any school fund. By and large, despite many efforts, Catholic congregations do not have to use envelopes of other identifying methods for weekly giving.

So, while some Catholic parents may contribute a great deal to school funds, there is no requirement to do so.

In practice, most such schools were built some time in the past, and ALL current running comes from the general taxpayer.

31 January 2010 at 15:51  
Blogger PaulineG said...

Paul Halsall,

Why don't you do some research before making your absurd assertions?

The 'non-existent' capital costs contributed by the Catholic Church in England and Wales (that is, Catholics) were running at £20 million per year as at October 2007.

31 January 2010 at 16:32  
Blogger Paul Halsall said...


In other words #4 per Catholic extra per year?


As I asserted, no Catholic parent has to put *anything* in the collection box.

31 January 2010 at 16:39  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Most selective. No comments on the RC laundries for children in Ireland or the thuggish Christian Brothers, I suppose.

31 January 2010 at 20:18  
Anonymous Montecute said...


The Church would be running these schools anyway, but the state got on board with them when they saw they were a good thing. I don't see a huge number of schools being run by atheists/communists/etc, but if they were benefiting wider society then they'd be getting as much state support as the churches.

Also, you obviously know little about RC schools otherwise you wouldn't be suggesting that they teach creationism.

1 February 2010 at 11:39  
Blogger Paul Halsall said...


I don't think Catholic schools would be teaching creationism, but Muslim, (some) Jewish, and Evangelical Christian schools might indeed not teach the facts of evolution.

It's worth noting in passing that there are lots of Catholic documents issued in the early 20th century by the Pontifical Biblical Commission that did indeed insist on the literal truth of Genesis. Change only really came with Pius XII in De Divine Afflantu in 1941 ( I think) which said the Bible employed many modes of discourse and need not be taken at face value. And I think it was only in 1952's Humani Generis that the same pope accepted the evolution the human race.

1 February 2010 at 12:38  
Blogger English Viking said...


2 February 2010 at 13:34  

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