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“Ultimately, the reason for the Church’s involvement in education is that we see it as a central part of the mission of the Church given by the Risen Christ to the apostles”

Bishop Leo O’Reilly, Chair of the Commission for Catholic Education and Formation of the Irish Catholic Bishops’ Conference.

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“I would welcome your guidance and advice as to how best Council might proceed both in relation to the substantive curriculum and assessment issues that might be addressed and, also, the procedural issues regarding the composition and membership of the specialist Committee which Council is anxious to put in place.”

Albert O’Ceallaigh CEO, NCCA

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“It will need to be determined whether the content of any syllabus emerging from this process could be considered adequate for the religious education of Catholic pupils. That is a matter for the Church.”

Bishop Michael Smith Episcopal Conference

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“The programme materials are indifferentist in philosophy, promoting a politically correct attitude or worldview, that all the main world religions and beliefs are somehow equal and OK. A moments informed reflection is sufficient to realise that this is not so.”

David Hegarty NCCA Course Committee

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“…Catholic pupils whiling away the time learning about yoga and Mohammed etc. while not learning matters relevant to their own religion… Christ, who suffered crucifixion and death for our sins, did not say, go ye therefore and learn a bit about all religions, sure they are all much the same.”

David Hegarty NCCA Course Committee

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“ it was noted that the substantive issues arose from the provisions of the constitution with particular reference to the endowment by the state of any religion and, also, the issue of discrimination. These issues might arise in relation to the nature of the R.E. syllabus for members of non-Christian Churches or individuals/groups of no religion. It was further noted that these issues had implications for the structure, format and content of the syllabus…”

Department of Education Memo of Meeting with NCCA

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“The aims of the syllabuses make it clear that they are not designed to meet the ‘faith formation’ or ‘catechetical’ requirements of any religious denomination. However, many schools intend using them as a support for such work in school, particularly at Junior Certificate level. The syllabus for Junior Certificate has been designed to offer this flexibility.”

NCCA Briefing Note for the Episcopal Conference

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“Some committee members felt it was not possible to ‘avoid faith language’ in writing learning outcomes. This term was clarified for the committee… Janet Wallace reassured the committee that learning outcomes should be seen as the minimum requirement in the learning process and that theses do not preclude engagement, understanding and reflection.”

Minutes of NCCA Course Committee Meeting

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“Excessive involvement of religious authorities from one community in decisions that affect the rights of those belonging to another community may itself amount to a violation of the right to freedom of religion or belief.”

European Court of Human Rights

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“If Barrington J’s judgement suggests that a child of a minority religion, or from an non faith background, with no choice but to attend a Roman Catholic school other than withdrawing from formal religion classes, must in effect accept a form of religious education which offends their convictions, then this would appear to elevate one form of parental choice over another, with the majority religion always dictating the outcome. This could hardly respect the rights conferred on all parents by virtue of Article 42 of the Constitution.”

Irish Human Rights Commission Report

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