Catholic Church questions education ministry

FIJI’S Catholic Church will consider the closure of its schools and public protests if it cannot successfully resolve an impasse with the Ministry of Education over the appointment of school heads.

But any form of civil disobedience will be the final option for consideration only if three other proposals fail. Archbishop of Suva Dr Peter Loy Chong and church leaders met Education Permanent Secretary Alison Burchell early this month following the appointment of non-Catholics to head key church schools.

After raising objections publicly, Archbishop Chong proposed that meeting in an effort to find compromise.

After some heated discussions and the refusal of the Education Ministry to agree to common grounds, the Archbishop of Suva issued a statement where he asked for support and prayers “in this process of continued discernment.”

“Since there were strong reactions in social and mainstream media to the sudden appointments of non-Catholic principals to Catholic schools, particularly to Xavier College and St. Thomas’ High School, Archbishop Chong wrote a letter to the Minister for Education, Hon. Rosy Akbar, requesting that the two Monfort Brothers remain in their positions.

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