Apr 082011

When is a promise not a promise?

When a bishop makes it, of course.  Education minister Ruairi Quinn is rapidly finding out that he can’t believe a word from the Catholic hierarchy in Ireland.  They might have told him that they would support transfer of patronage away from clergy, but of course, as usual, they were practising that wonderful legerdemain beloved of old guys in dresses : mental reservation.

You remember mental reservation, don’t you?  It was what allowed them to hide facts about child abusers from police investigations.  It’s a fancy way of saying that they stay quiet about important stuff.

In this case, their mental reservation takes a subtle form.  You see, while the bishops will of course help in every way with the transfer of control, yessirree, no question in the wide earthly world about it, unfortunately there’s another group who aren’t so keen on the idea.  This is a group called the Catholic Schools Partnership, that wants patronage to be transferred only after a pilot study which, as you’ll recall, is the time-honoured way to kill any proposal.  Set up a pilot study, appoint a task force and commission a report.  The end.

The CSP was set up by the Conference of Religious in Ireland and the Irish Bishops’ Conference.  Its 33-member council comprises  bishops, teachers, priests, religious and one parent, also described as a pastoral worker.

Ah, right.  The same people, in other words, who expressed support for a transfer of patronage.

The Catholic Communications Office says the CSP represents the grassroots opinion of those involved in Catholic education.  In other words, the Catholic Communications Office completely, and deliberately, misses the point, since the entire process is not about Catholic education, but simply education, unencumbered by clergy.

These bishops would amaze you, wouldn’t they?  Is there any limit to their dishonesty?


Catholic Schools Partnership, council members.

Fr Michael Drumm (brother of former HSE chief, Brendan Drumm), executive chairman;  Drumm is the man who tells the council members what the bishops require them to think.

The other members are …
Kathleen Bradley, school principal, Derry;
PJ Callanan, CPSMA (Catholic Primary School Management Association);
Sr Marie Carroll, Irish Sisters of Charity;
Msgr Jim Cassin, Episcopal Education Commission;
Br Patrick Collier, De La Salle;
Fr David Corrigan, Marist order;
Maireád D’Arcy, parent and pastoral worker;
Fr Tom Deenihan, diocesan secretary, diocese of Cork;
Sr June Fennelly, Ursuline education office;
Sr Thomasina Finn, Sisters of Mercy;
Eileen Flynn, general secretary CPSMA;
Sr Maighréad Ní Ghallchobhair, Dominican Sisters;
John Hayden, former chief executive of the HEA;
Sr Margaret Mary Healy, CPSMA;
Dr Brendan Kelly, Bishop of Achonry;
Ferdia Kelly, general secretary AMCSS/JMB;
Gerry Lundy, Council of Catholic Maintained Schools, Northern Ireland;
Anne McDonagh, archdiocese of Dublin education secretary;
Br Mark McDonnell, Christian Brothers education office;
Bishop Donal McKeown, chairman of Northern Ireland Catholic Commission for Education;
Fr Denis McNelis, parish priest at Laytown;
Maeve Mahon, Kildare and Leighlin diocesan adviser;
Paul Meany, principal Marist College, Ballsbridge;
Noel Merrick, president of AMCSS/ JMB;
Msgr Lorcan O’Brien, moderator archdiocese of Dublin;
Brendan O’Reilly, national director of Catechetics;
Bishop Leo O’Reilly, chairman of Episcopal Commission for Education;
Sr Ena Quinlan, AMCSS/JMB;
Paul Scanlan, general secretary Presentation Brothers Schools’ Trust;
Fr PJ Sexton, lecturer Mater Dei;
Maria Spring, president CPSMA;
Anne Walsh, deputy principal CBS Kilkenny.


  9 Responses to “Religious-Controlled Schools — Bishops Go Back On Commitment”

Comments (9)

    No, there is no limit to their dishohesty.

    I mean, like, Chaplains in the Army? Is that not an oxymoron?

    A soldier-priest who bless those who are about to kill others, simply because they have been ordered to?

    Have you ever read the Bishops Oath or The Jesuits Oath or enquired as to the ‘training’ of the Opus Dei?

    http://www.ewtn.com/library/curia/cdfoath.htm – Bishops Oath

    http://www.reformation.org/jesuit-oath.html – Jesuits Oath

    http://www.odan.org/corporal_mortification.htm – Opus Die ‘training’

    Have you ever spoken to a Survivor?


    “Fr Michael Drumm, executive chairman; Drumm is the man who tells the council members what the bishops require them to think”. haha. You tell it like it is Bock.

    Mental reservation – mental retardation.
    You say what you mean and mean what you say, bottom line. And you don’t evade the truth when it’s right in front of you. Fancy. I dont think so.
    Do people ever grow up I wonder? Remember as kids, we’d cross our fingers and it’d be ok to not tell the truth or to lie. The term even seems silly me. Mental? Where else are you going to reserve (withhold) information but in your mind. Or is it opposed to physical reservation.? I dunno. Tis mental.

    They won’t relinquish control too easily me thinks. What else would they do shur.
    Does anyone even go to mass anymore to listen to the aul windbags harping on, except some bored grannies, looking to have a aul flirt with the fag hags?


    I’s less about Mass than about Policial connections behind the scenes.

    Though that said, lots of people still attend Mass, as the recent footwashing stunt at the Pro Cathedral shows. They had a full house…

    They spoent 18 months planning that stunt, they chose a few ‘carefully selected’ Survivors and cautioned them to secrecy during that planning process. Covert as….

    And with those ‘connections’ comes knowledge that for sure can be used to intimidate those who need to be intimidated.

    Confession was always about psycholgical sureveillance.


    Ruairi Quinn has the purse strings, let’s see if he has the cojones, cease funding to Catholic Primary schools with immediate effect, instant pilot project, see how long before the ESB cut off the electricity, see how many dedicated teachers will work for nothing.
    BTW, what has this matter to do with Kathleen Bradley, school principal, Derry; she outside the jurisdiction.


    This was never going to be an easy one. Quinn, in fairness, put his cards on the table but the RC Church here has the enormous advantage of years of insidiousness, insiderism and access to power in this society. The secularist education agenda has been siphoned off in the last 33 years into the Multidenom Schools (greatly admired by this blogger) particularly in the cities, and as a result, the denominational schools don’t have have an inherently oppositional parent body. This will be a battle royal between Quinn and the Churches, if he chooses to make it such. I doubt that he will push it through to the bitter end. Lethargy, tradition (whatever that is), fear, and reluctance towards change may all conspire to keep the neat little apartheidism of Ireland’s education system intact where children are imbued with denominational nonsense for at least two and a half hours per week at least, at a considerable cost to the taxpayer. Search out a 19th C. poem called ” God’s second priest: The teacher”


    Quinn hasn’t the testicular equipment for this fight. I’ve lost the patience altogether to try to be understanding with Catholic sectarians and their social conservatism. The amount of time on our children’s parents committee meetings that is taken up with Catholic rites of passage is ridiculous.

    This sect facilitated and covered up child abuse for years. They should have nothing to do with schooling. As of now.


    Easily said, and I agree with you about the committe business. Dare I mention that the law allows for a half hour per day on RE in all schools and yet huge amounts are dedicated as children undergo these rituals etc. I have never heard a voice of dissent from parents about this , even from parents who can complain about all sorts of things. The complicity of parents is how this whole business works. Nobody complains, and even parents who wouldn’t be seen near a church, endure this denial of their rights in terms of time on the timetable and very often have their children submitted to these rituals. If you say so about Quinn,however I hope he doesn’t just represent the supine nature of most of the electorate when it comes to challenging the Churches’ hold of education.


    Let’s imagine it was not the Catholic Church but some other organisation with a decades-long (or centuries-long?) history of abetting child abuse; and imagine that they were applying for patronage of your local school. What would be your local community’s attitude toward their application: a) generally supportive, b) generally indifferent, or c) generally outraged?


    Reading a recently published book on the history of Shannon parish and am fascinated about the wranglings around the establishment and control of the primary schools in the town. I never realised that the parish priest had a veto over the appointment of all teachers on the grounds of “Faith & Morals” which I presume is going to mass and not getting too pissed at weekends. Well worth a read as it all happened within the last 50 years.

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