Friday the 26th of February

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“We need a respectful, mutual listening, free of ideology and predetermined agendas.” Pope Francis, Let us Dream, December 2020

Spanish Church leaders criticise government plans on religion in schools

Spain’s Catholic Church has voiced “deep concern” over plans by the new government to curb religious teaching and re-examine past accords with the Vatican.

“It is necessary to remember the rights to religious freedom and education – these inalienable rights … are reflected in our constitution,” the executive committee of the Madrid-based bishops’ conference said in a statement.

“Religion must be given adequate consideration in the educational system, as required for the person’s integral formation – it cannot be replaced by state ethics imposed by public powers.”

The Spanish government said it plans to cut subsidies for Catholic schools and scrap religion as a school subject. The government said school religion would be replaced by a compulsory course on “civil and ethical values,” and state subsidies would be withdrawn from Spain’s mostly Catholic private schools.

But the bishops said the right of parents to “choose the educational model they want for their children” was enshrined in Spain’s 1978 constitution and guaranteed in 1979 agreements with the Vatican.

Picture: A student fills a school exercise at Joaquin Costa public school in Madrid. Spain’s Catholic Church has voiced “deep concern” over plans by the government to curb religious teaching and re-examine past accords with the Vatican. (CNS photo/Javier Lizon, EPA).