THE Catholic Archbishop of Dublin has said he is unhappy with the pace at which schools are being divested of Catholic patronage to alternate patrons.
Archbishop Diarmuid Martin said the process was complex and often necessitated amalgamating schools and consolidating resources.
he also said the process was meeting resistance from politicians who
were "throwing spanners in the works" and looking for more consultation.
Members of the Labour Party, he said, were among TDs who had written to him about schools in their own local areas.
to RTE Radio's 'This Week' programme yesterday, the archbishop said
that "everybody is in favour of diversity of patronage in education
except when it comes to their own schools, and this was where the
process was meeting resistance."
He warned that as a result, the
process was taking longer than anybody expected. He also acknowledged
the problem of stand-alone schools in small towns was "a difficult one".
The archbishop said "within a decade" he hoped that half of the
500 primary schools under Catholic patronage would be divested. He said
in the future there would be a plurality of what people want for their
schools and the Catholic Church would run fewer schools.
who want their children to go to a school with a non-religious ethos
have a constitutional right to that," he said, adding that he wanted to
see that the Catholic elements were consolidated in those schools that
were clearly Catholic.