Archbishop Makarios of Australia among faith leaders opposed to religious education reforms

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Greek Orthodox Archbishop Makarios of Australia has joined other senior religious leaders in a general revolt against the Federal Government’s proposed religious educational reforms.

The reforms, which were put forward by the Australian Law Reform Commission (ALRC) in January this year, propose that faith schools would no longer be able to employ prospective staff based on their religious grounds.

The proposal would make it unlawful to employ teachers who shared or sup­ported the religious beliefs of the school.

According to The Australian, the spiritual leaders, which include the Catholic Archbishop of Sydney Anthony Fisher OP and many others, sent a letter to Attorney-General Mark Dreyfus on Monday expressing their disapproval of the latest ALRC report.

Religious leaders have written to Attorney-General Mark Dreyfus.

The leaders outlined in the letter that the ALRC proposals could not be accepted and are a “major blow to authentic faith-based education.”

“The ALRC proposals would place unnecessary and unreasonable restrictions on the freedom of religious schools to give effect to the international human right of parents and guardians to ensure the religious and moral education of their children in conformity with their own convictions,” the letter reads.

“We call on the government to ensure the ALRC properly ­addresses the terms of reference through a genuine consultation with input from religious leaders and religious education experts, parents [and] secular ­experts.”

The ALRC report is a stepping stone to the development and ­introduction of religious discrimination legislation providing protections for faith groups and individuals.

Mr Dreyfus is scheduled to receive a final report from the ALRC by April 21 and has made no decision yet on the ARLC’s recent proposals.

Source: The Australian.

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