Helping hand for Catholic education

Welcome to Cross Wires, the new Scottish Catholic Observer newspaper blog. Cross Wires aims to shine a light on the key issues and breaking news between weekly editions of the SCO so look in regularly for updates. You will find facts, opinion, analysis and plenty of food for thought.

POPE Benedict gave the Bishops of Scotland an uplifting message on the power of Catholic teaching and education at the end of their ad limina visit to Rome.

“Faith schools are a powerful force for social cohesion, and when the occasion arises, you do well to underline this point,” the Holy Father said.

While Catholic education as a whole thrives in Scotland, certain regions are struggling with resources and external factors that pose a threat to the future of some Catholic schools.

In Renfrewshire the council is scrapping free transport for pupils who live within three miles of St Benedict’s in Linwood in a bid to cut costs. Parents are concerns about safety and believe the cost cutting drive could threaten Catholic schools which often have larger catchment areas.

In Springboig St John’s School for boys with special emotional and behavioural needs, looks set to close, following a decision by the independently-run CORA school’s board.

In several dioceses it has been alleged that shared campuses are the default option favoured by councils, becoming the rule and not-as the Church had hoped-the exception.

Pope Benedict said: “You can be proud of the contribution made by Scotland’s Catholic schools in overcoming sectarianism and building good relations between communities.”

Some communities, it seems, now need a helping hand to keep the good work going.


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