Archbishop says Catholic Education must adapt to changing society

31 Jan 2013

Archbishop says Catholic Education must adapt to changing society

The Archbishop of Dublin has said Catholic Education must find its place today within a more pluralistic society.

At Mass with school children, parents and teachers to celebrate Catholic School’s week in Leixlip this morning, Archbishop Diarmuid Martin said Catholic education must adapt to a changing society but not abdicate its specific role. “Denominational education” said the Archbishop “is a valid pillar of our future educational system.  Government has a responsibility to foster the desire of parents who wish for denominational education but all those associated with denominational education must also ensure that the education offered in our Catholic schools is of the highest level.”

Catholic education, according to Archbishop Martin, will only survive in the Ireland of the future in the robust presence of other forms of education.  And he identified reluctance on the part of some within the Catholic education system to adapt to changes in patronage saying; “We have been speaking about a greater pluralism in patronage but I sometimes feel that there exists within parts of our Catholic education system a hesitation to let go, or to feeling that somehow Catholic patronage can provide within its own structures the necessary pluralism required in society.”

Good schools, said the Archbishop, flourish when they belong within and form part of a wider community. Addressing the young people present he said, “Our future as a society needs an injection of youthful enthusiasm and creativity.  The traditional caring professions need that injection.  The Church badly needs that injection.  We need young people prepared to become involved in professional life, in the public service, in finance or in business, inspired by justice and honesty and equity.  We need that sense of idealism also because my generation has often failed.”

Archbishop Martin also referred to the tragic events last weekend which lead to the murder Detective Garda Adrian Donohue – “When I think of serving the community with a vision of life, I am struck by the tragic events these days and just how vital the social role of an Garda Síochána is and of the enormous respect and esteem that the Gardai enjoy in our society because of their uncompromising dedication, integrity, care and courage.  We remember them in our prayers.”