Education Minister’s assurances concerning what Church schools can teach ‘almost worthless’

Press release from The Iona Institute 

Education Minister Jan O’Sullivan’s assurances today that Church-run schools will have not to teach a version of marriage that is not in line with their ethos is “almost worthless”, the Iona Institute has said today.

A number of Catholic bishops expressed concern over the weekend about what they will be allowed to teach in Catholic schools should the referendum pass.

Responding, Jan O’Sullivan said today that the school curriculum will not be changed in the event of the Constitutional definition of marriage changing.

She said: “Currently we have legislation that protects the ethos of religious schools, and they are allowed under the law to protect that ethos in their schools.

“Now, there is no intention of changing any curriculum.”

Commenting, David Quinn of the Iona Institute said: “This assurance is almost worthless. Even if it is Jan O’Sullivan’s full intention not to change the curriculum and not to change legislation, a future Government could easily do this.

“The Churches would then have to go to court to fight for their ethos and who can say what a court might decide.

“This is just another example of the sort of uncertainty that will be created if we pass the referendum on Friday.”

He continued: “Furthermore, it is very hard to take this reassurance seriously given the Government’s absolute refusal to allow a conscience clause for anyone who does not believe in same-sex marriage.”