Statement from Cardinal Keith O Brien on the opening of the Dalkeith shared campus.
Cardinal echoes First Minister s call for shared campuses to celebrate diversity Speaking after today's opening ceremony Cardinal O'Brien said;
I am delighted to have been able to participate in the official opening of this impressive complex and I congratulate Midlothian Council on the standard of facilities they have provided for all three schools that will operate on this site.
The First minister s remarks are a clear indication that shared campus arrangements, just like stand-alone schools allow Scotland to ˜celebrate diversity in our education system and in our society. The high esteem in which the First Minister and the Scottish executive hold Catholic schools is a matter of some pride to the Catholic community.
Along with my brother Bishops I fully support our Catholic schools and pray that our Catholic parents do too “ as Bishops we can do little to maintain our schools without their support.
As a former secondary school teacher I know only too well the great responsibility that is placed upon all teachers in our society. To the staff and pupils of all three schools; St. David s, Dalkeith High and Saltersgate, I send every blessing and my hope that you will succeed in creating environments of educational excellence.
The Catholic Church believes, that our Catholic schools offer a distinctive form of education, which uniquely integrates learning and human formation in all its activities. It is the Church s view that this distinctiveness should be acknowledged and promoted as an important form of diverse educational provision reflecting the diversity of our nation today. Every Catholic school community is expected to show its distinctiveness in its teaching programmes, in its forming of relationships, in its culture and ethos, in its values, beliefs and assumptions, and in the opportunities it provides for prayer and worship. This identity will be visible within the building, in various forms of display and ornamentation, and in many other activities. The staff of each school must be empowered to build its own community, with its distinctive values and culture, without any sense of pressure to submerge their ideas and purposes.
While I was happy to have been able to begin my visit this morning with a prayer in the oratory of St. David s. I was saddened by the decision not to include any prayer or blessing in the public ceremony. Such an opportunity would have allowed all those involved in the shared campus arrangement to unite in praying for the success of an endeavour so important to us all.
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