STATUTORY RIGHTS DENIED Plan for Action Outlined
From Our Edo,.utiouul Correspondcul Behind the serious words of Mgr.
Amigo, Archbishop Bishop of Southwark, in his special Pastoral Letter, quoted in the CATHOLIC HERALD last week, is the grave charge that administrators are manipulating the application of the 1936 Education Act so as to deprive Catholic schools of the benefits. which were supposed to be conferred.
In this Pastoral Letter Mgr. Amigo stated: " Children are likely to be deprived of it (religious education) through official demands which we did not foresee when we agreed to Acts of Parliament."
By this phrasing the ArchbishopBishop is kind to the bureaucrats who are making these official demands which go far beyond anything agreed as reasonable and neceseary in securing the ends contemplated in the Act.
Mgr. Ambrose Moriarty, Bishop of Shrewsbury, in his Diocesan Directory, refers to the same point of administrative harshness, and concludes:
"What the year 1939 has in store for us we cannot tell. The outlook Is at present hopeless."
The Very Rev. Canon Joseph Newton, parish priest of the Church of St. John the Baptists, Brighton, amplified Mgr. Amigo's charges and complained of administration run riot in schemes which can benefit neither education nor the children. He indicated that he was not dealing with the position in Brighton merely, but in the whole country.
" These schemes," he said in an interview, " are sprung on Catholics Without warning.
"No opportunity is given for conference or discussion.
" Under some of these schemes parishes are being broken up, in effect, by separating the senior schools. " A parish priest may suddenly find that all his school children over eleven years of age are suddenly taken from him and sent to a new senior school in another area.
"It is thus difficult, and sometimes impossible, for him to keep in touch with them, with the result that the possibilities of leakage are magnified.
"Parents also suddenly find that their children have to go to a different school much further from home, with the result that they have to leave home as much as an hour earlier and have a tong walk or a bus ride. At mid-day the children may not be able to return home for dinner, with the result that they have to eat cold food or be fed at the school. If the latter, an additional unnecessary expense is added to the cost of education."
Canon Newton stated that the administration of education had degenerated into a form of "HiVerism " with the authorities acting as dictators, ruthlessly overriding the statutory rights of Catholic schools and parents.
He instanced cases in which protests had been made to inspectors and other officials to be met with the reply : "We don't want your schools anyway." • " The Hadow Scheme," he continued, " is being applied in a manner which makes it ridiculous. Ls face of the bureaucratic intention to suppress small schools and foster large senior schools drawing their pupils from a wide area, what becomes of the ideal of ' every village to have its own college'?'
The time has come to challenge some of these harmful schemes and decisions on the ground that they contravene the statutory right of Catholics to have their children given a Catholic education. Particularly must a stand be made against some of the decisions