Obama offends Catholics in the UK, says religious schools are divisive

The Catholic media is up in arms over comments President Obama made during a speech while in Northern Ireland for the G8 summit. Obama made what is described as “an alarming call for an end to Catholic education,” in spite of the fact that it is considered “a critical component of the Church.”

Fr John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. John Zuhlsdorf
Photo credit: Facebook

In front of an audience of about 2,000 young people, including many Catholics, Obama claimed that Catholic education divides people and blocks peace, according to the Scottish Catholic Observer.

“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,” Obama said.

Catholic World News noted:

Ironically, President Obama made his comments just as Archbishop Gerhard Müller, the prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, told a crowd in Scotland that religious education upholds the dignity of the human person. Archbishop Müller said that Catholic schools should promote “all that is good in the philosophies of societies and human culture.”

Fr. John Zuhlsdorf quoted the Observer’s article on Fr. Z’s blog and added:

Another example of what this man wants: total isolation of any religious values in the private sphere alone. Pres. Obama is working either to intimidate or legislate or even TAX religious freedom out of the public square.

Off the top of my head, I can’t think of a foreign visit to a Islamic nation where he told people on his arrival that they shouldn’t have madrasas.  Can you?

Did he when visiting, say, Israel, say “You Jews shouldn’t have synagogue schools and you muslims shouldn’t have mosque schools.”  I can’t remember.  Did he?

Each of the articles drew numerous public comments, most suggesting that Obama be more concerned about the public schools in the United States than their parochial schools, which are working just fine.

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Cheryl Carpenter Klimek

Cheryl Carpenter Klimek

Cheryl Carpenter Klimek has been a political consultant handling public affairs, political campaigns and PAC management for nearly 20 years.
Cheryl Carpenter Klimek


971 thoughts on “Obama offends Catholics in the UK, says religious schools are divisive

  1. George Huber says:

    And to think, with a degree of fear, that we still have over three more years of this idiot!

  2. RaDonna Marshall says:

    One change in your comments, there will be NO religion, unless you are counting the Muslim as a "religion".

    Devotion is the the New World Order government..that's it.

  3. RaDonna Marshall says:

    Even congressmen like Issa refer to Obama as a constitutional professor. He NEVER was a professor but a 'visiting' instructor on civil rights. It was an elective and he was only 'part time". His law license was revoked,(for lying on his application to the bar) but no one paid any attention to that either.

    For all the professors who are offended by calling him a professor, I say "Where were you when all this gathering of information about Obama's past was going on?" His PR guy, Axelrod knew too few would even object years ago. Professors live in an ivory tower which makes them too important to deal with trivial things like the truth!

  4. marieelise says:

    perfect it is exactly my thoughts too .!!!!!

  5. Fred says:

    I live in the United States and I hope the media here reports this speech because it has serious implications for private schools in America.

    First, most religious or private schools provide a better education than public schools. If this is the way Obama thinks about religious and/or private schools, then the American educational system is in real trouble. This may be Obama real agenda to end the private and religious schools in America.

    Second, with all children in America being educated in a government school, it becomes easier to brainwash our chilren to thing one way only, the government way. It is bad enough that our our government has lied to the people, undermind the wishes of the American people, go to war without the consent of the American people, and now want to takeover and brainwash our children thru the educational system.

    This is the beginning of the end of America where people like to form their own opinion on various issues. Ameriica is fast becoming a dictatorship. Good-bye freedom, hello slavery.

    Maybe Communism has a future in America.

  6. Em Casey says:

    Re:Comment by Rick Oaksford, on June 19: Vouchers SEEMS like a good idea, but what we need to get over, is the idea that the gov. will pay for our kids education (even with our own tax money), and then not dictate to us specifically what will be taught to our children. It will take the sacrifice of doing it yourself, especially when they close the church sponsored schools down. As long as we look to the gov. for a handout (even our money), we will give up our freedoms.

  7. Bill says:

    This is a big step in this president's agenda. His agenda is to destroy morality in the country, then impose tyranny on the citizens who cannot discern evil. Hitler did exactly this and this president is not far behind him. Destroying religious institutions will enable this president to achieve his goal of dominance over our lives.

  8. Books Will Save The says:

    I had something to say. I wrote it then deleted it. However, you can ask the Obama NSA crew for a copy of my post.

  9. yan says:

    I thought Obama's comments, in the context of an address made in N. Ireland, where Prots and Catholics have historically hated each others' guts, made a lot of sense, and that the reaction on the American Right was much ado about very little. But I have to admit Fr. Zuhlsdorf makes a good point: Obama didn't say anything similar when visiting Israel in respect to synogogues and madrassas. However, it could be said in response to Fr. Z that just because Obama didn't say it, doesn't mean he doesn't think it! In which case, his saying it in the context of N. Ireland shows that he thinks the people there are more mature, more civilized, less entrenched against each other, and more able to get his meaning–in a word, that there is more hope for peace there–than in Israel. So it is sort of an implicit compliment to N. Ireland that he said it.

    On the other hand, we should hope and pray that Obama reflect upon why it is that there really is a difference between N. Ireland and Israel, and come to the conclusion that it is the presence of the Christian faith that makes the prospect of lasting peace there a real possibility. Then, to understand that such a faith needs to be transmitted. And that requires schools, as a general matter.

  10. fran says:


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