“Our concern is that in schools we are involved in, if religious education is not taken as a subject, we would want the issue of ethics, heritage and so on, to be considered,” says Bishop Leahy.
“Whether young people are practising a faith or not, there is an enormous value for them in having the space in the school to look at spiritual, moral and religious questions,” says Dr Gareth Byrne.
“A faith school has a right to have a faith-based ethos. Parents have a right to send their children to a school with a faith ethos that can permeate the school day”.
Without a conscious effort to maintain a distinctly Catholic ethos, it can dissolve into non-descript and vague spiritualism or disappear entirely.
Report by UCC academics says there needs to be a very significant improvement in the teaching of RE as many pupils and some teachers see it as a doss subject.
Confirmation often appears like a “pre-fabricated cultural package of Irish heritage we are born into" to be discarded later in life as part of our throwaway culture.