Vatican attacks Quebec’s compulsory Religious Education course

 — Feb. 27, 200927 févr. 2009

The head of the Vatican’s education office has described the religious education curriculum introduced by the government of Quebec as bordering on “anti-Catholic.”

Cardinal Zenon Grocholewski, the Prefect of the Congregation for Catholic Education, stepped into the row over religious education, which has divided the Canadian province, when he criticised the Ethics and Religious Culture programme. It was implemented last September and has replaced all other RE curricula in the province’s state schools and Protestant and Catholic schools.

Eighty-two per cent of Quebec’s 7.5 million population are at least nominally Catholic, and boycotts of the course are occurring throughout the province. Cardinal Grocholewski said: “Talking in the same way about all religions is almost like an anti-Catholic education, because this creates a certain relativism.” He said this approach could ultimately be anti-religious, since young people are left with the impression that each faith is a fictional narrative. Speaking to the Zenit news agency in Rome, he also said that teaching all religions equally “violates the right of parents to educate their own children according to their own religion.”

Some Quebec schools have suspended pupils who take part in the boycotts. Loyola High School, a private Jesuit school in Montreal, is suing the province after its request that it be exempted from teaching the programme because it was “contrary to its faith mission” was denied.

• Read the complete news article in The Tablet, February 28, 2009

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