AUSTRALIAN COUNCIL FOR THE DEFENCE OF GOVERNMENT
SCHOOLS - D.O.G.S.
PRESS RELEASE 205 #.
1 MAY 2007
PUBLIC EDUCATION DEFINITION:
WHY CHURCH SCHOOLS CAN NEVER
The difference between the concept of public education and that of private education is like the difference between chalk and cheese; butter and steel. A reading of recent papers produced by the Roman Catholic Church illustrates this fundamental difference.
A recent edition of The Catholic Leader, April 22, 2007, at pages 17 and 21 illustrates the difference. We discover an article at page 17 entitled "Strategic Schools Plan about evangelisation: Bishop" The article indicates that Bishop Luc Matthys pointed out to his audience at the launch of the Strategic Management Plan for the Armidale Diocesan School system 2007-2010 that
" The major purpose of Catholic schools is to evangelise'
He then indicated that the evangelisation was not done in isolation from the children's families or from the parish, but jointly. He further indicated that, in Roman Catholic schools Catholicism is shown and lived.
In the private Roman Catholic school, the purpose and selection of particular pupils, teachers, administrators and even the cleaners and gardeners are connected.
The Catholic Leader at page 21 contains an Advertisement for "Primary Principalships for 2008" . In part, this Advertisement stipulates the following:
"Persons who have the necessary qualifications, skills, and experiences and are committed to the practice and ethos of Catholic education are invited to apply. "
This edition of the Catholic Leader illustrates how, on just two of the sections in DOGS eight fold definition of "public education" at www.adogs.info/definition.htm. It fails on the "purpose" and "access" tests. At its basis, public education has a public, not a private purpose. It is not maintained for the personal advantage or private gain of the teacher, the proprietor, the Board of Managers; the Bishops; or the Church Trustees. Nor does it exist simply for the enjoyment, happiness or advancement of the individual student or his parents. The Public school or system serves the whole society by providing schools for all children throughout the community, ensuring that the knowledge and understanding necessary to exercise the responsibilities of citizenship. It is public in purpose in that it attempts to bring all the public to-gether in an exercise of community with the public learning to work to-gether for their children and with the children of the public learning to work, to live and play to-gether.
The Public school and system is an exercise in community which elevates the res publica ( the public good) above the private interest.
The Founding Fathers of the Australian Constitution attempted to protect the Australian nation state from social and religious fragmentation. They wished to avoid "States" within "states" caused by church school interests. They attempted to do this with the establishment, support and protection of public systems of education enjoying sole public funding.
In relation to the above assertion of Bishop Matthys that " The major purpose of Catholic schools is to evangelise' DOGS congratulate him on his honesty. DOGS note that the overt religious purpose of the Roman Catholic education system was an accepted fact for more than a century before the DOGS High Court case. It has also been the overt position since the High Court decision.
However, DOGS note that in a document presented to the High Court entitled :
"The Facts Proved in Evidence: Statement on Behalf of Defendants National Council of Independent Schools and Rev. F.M. Martin (for the Roman Catholic Church) "
at page 28, paragraph 2.2.18 we discover the following statement:
" The fact is that Catholic schools in Australia are not conducted for religious or confessional purposes. "
Well, Well, Well. How would Bishop Luc Matthys respond to this we wonder?
We are reminded of Biblical references to God and Mammon, not to mention "Unto God and Caesar"when we read the High Court documents.
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|Last modified:Wednesday, 02 May 2007|