Italians question merits of Catholicism elective in public schools

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Italy chalk drawn on a blackboard

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Italy chalk drawn on a blackboard

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ROME (RNS) For the first time in history, the entire class of one Italian high school opted out of an elective on Roman Catholicism earlier this month, reopening a long-standing debate over whether state money should be used to fund a class that focuses on a single faith.

  • Leo

    As we remove Christianity, we make room for the installation of another religion, and they are at the gates now.

  • I think the point isn’t to remove a religion to introduce a new one; we could simply choose another subject to teach, and there are a lot of interesting subject kids don’t study: media studies, arts (yes… italian governent decided to remove history of arts) and so on. Since Italy has a political agreement with the pope, it’s not a non religious country. And i believe we’ll never become such a country, unfortunately.

  • Marco Odifreddi

    It’s a wrong new. In North-West Italy hundred of classes opted entirely out. It’s the first class in Genua, a very conservative town.

  • Gabriele

    @Marco Odifreddi: where are the sources of what you’re saying?

  • Flavia V.

    This is ridiculous. The reason to remove Christianity is that in a democratic State school there is no place for religion, be it Christian or otherwise. To follow a faith is a personal choice, not a subject to be taught in school. State schools teach general subjects to open the children’s minds, faith schools indoctrinate the children with the family faith dogmas. They are totally different things.

  • Flavio

    I think even many catholics just don’t know what ‘Ora di religione’ is about. They don’t teach Catholicism as part of history or culture, it’s more like Sunday school, only in a public, state-run environment among other secular classes: they teach students that God created the world – as a fact, heaven & hell, they learn prayers, etc.
    If catholic parents want their children to be introduced to their faith, fine. Just please don’t do it with taxpayers’ money.

  • Kurt

    It is an elective course that 90% of student choose. It seems a simple accomodation to a strong public demand. I would also note that the Italian state nationalized the school system, formerly run by the Church. I guess the state could return the Italian school system to the Church and then go out and start from scratch a new school system that didn’t have an elective on Catholicism.

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