President Obama made an alarming call for an end to Catholic education in front of a largely Catholic audience during a speaking engagement that was part of the President’s official state visit to the G8. So much for the separation of church and state. So much for the free exercise of religion. Guess the First Amendment is “advisory.” Speaking on the same day, Archbishop Gerhard Müller told Scots that Catholic education was ‘a critical component of the Church.’
According to the Scottish Catholic Observer “President Obama repeated the oft disproved claim that Catholic education increases division in front of an audience of 2000 young people, including many Catholics, at Belfast’s Waterfront hall when he arrived in the country this morning.”
Obama angered the crowd and the Catholic community when he said, “If towns remain divided—if Catholics have their schools and buildings and Protestants have theirs, if we can’t see ourselves in one another and fear or resentment are allowed to harden—that too encourages division and discourages cooperation.” (Scottish Observer) So much for religious tolerance.
I wonder if the “tolerant” President Obama would make a state visit to Iran or Pakistan and criticize the divisiveness of Islamic schools to a group that was largely Muslim? Somehow I don’t think that would happen. President Obama’s comments were a direct attack on Catholicism and is further evidence that the President and party of “tolerance” are anything but tolerant to beliefs and groups that don’t support them.
Archbishop Gerhard Müller (below), prefect of the Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith, told an audience in Scotland that Catholic education provided a rare place where ‘intellectual training, moral discipline and religious commitment would come together’ while giving the prestigious Cardinal Winning Lecture on Saturday to officially launch the St Andrews Foundation for Catholic teacher education at Glasgow University. During Mass at St Andrew’s Cathedral, Glasgow, on Friday night he said that ‘the Catholic school is vitally important … a critical component of the Church,’ adding that Catholic education provides young people with a wonderful opportunity to ‘grow up with Jesus.’
Mr Obama is in Northern Ireland to take part in the two-day G8 Summit at the Lough Erne resort in Enneskillen.