BY Ryan McDougall | October 18 | comments icon 0 COMMENTS     print icon print


Bishop hits back after attack on Catholic education

The bishop of Dunkeld Diocese has expressed his support for teachers and clergy working in Catholic schools in an open letter.

Bishop Stephen Robson, right, issued the letter following recent attacks on Catholic education in the diocese.

He wrote: “Some elements of our society maintain that Catholic education, denominational schools, and even the promotion of a religious life are harmful to our society. We know differently.

“We can see the positive effects that Christian teaching and example in our schools and parishes have on those most in need in our communities.

“Time after time, this is shown in surveys and reviews undertaken by various secular bodies.”



The letter comes amid a period of sustained attacks on Catholic education. Last month, Dundee City independent councillor Gregor Murray claimed removing religion from schools would ‘reduced sectarianism.’

The Church responded to Councillor Murray’s claims, stating the comment was ‘unfounded, deeply unhelpful and offensive’ adding ‘there is not a shred of empirical evidence to back up [such] claims.’

In his letter, Bishop Robson adds: “Our [vicar episcopal] for education, Canon Tom [Shields] and Church representatives act in my name to preserve the Catholicity of our schools and support the recruitment and formation of Catholic teachers.

“They are also there to offer their accompaniment as [we] try to nurture our young people in the Faith.”



He stated that Dunkeld Diocese RE advisor Mary O’Duffin has been ‘working hard to support the delivery of RE in primary schools’ and has been helping parishes without Catholic schools to ‘maintain a good level of catechesis’ as well as forming catechists.

The bishop credited the diocesan education advisory group for advising him on teacher recruitment and formation and strengthening links between home, school and the parish.

“We recognise that it is in the Catholic school and the catechism class that much of the Catholic formation of our young people takes place,” he wrote.



“Working closely with the Scottish Catholic Education Service and other agencies, we hope to offer models of chaplaincy, parent council support and Faith formation suited to local needs.”

Bishop Robson concluded: “I am taking this opportunity to thank you once more for all that you do.

“During whichever week you choose [to mark education week this November] between the great feasts of our patrons St Margaret and St Andrew, may you feel the love of God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, whose community of life you share and promote.”

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