Monday, 8 December 2014
Captains Catholic strike again! OR Are Abbott & Pyne yearning for papal knighthoods after they retire?
In a move bound to incense many of the 22 per cent of all Australians (4,796,791 people) who declared they had no religion in the 2011 national census and one confirming a disturbing pattern of behaviour, Messrs Abbott and Pyne have decided that taxpayers will now help fund the religious training of clergy in this country.
The Age 5 December 2014:
Taxpayers would subsidise the training of priests and other religious workers at private colleges for the first time under the Abbott government's proposed higher education reforms.
As well as deregulating university fees and cutting university funding by 20 per cent, the government's proposed higher education package extends federal funding to students at private universities, TAFES and associate degree programs.
Religious teaching, training and vocational institutes would be eligible for a share of $820 million in new Commonwealth funding over three years.
Labor and the Greens attacked the policy, saying it breaches the separation of Church and State. Earlier this year the government controversially announced it would provide $244 million for a new school chaplaincy scheme but would remove the option for schools to hire secular welfare workers……
Eleven theological colleges are currently accredited by the Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency (TEQSA) to provide courses designed to prepare students to enter religious ministries.
Institutes such as the Sydney College of Divinity, Brisbane's Christian Heritage College and the Perth Bible College, which currently charge students full fees, would be eligible for an estimated $4214 funding a year each student under the reforms.
The John Paul II Institute for Marriage and Family in Melbourne, which offers course units including "Theology and Practice of Natural Family Planning" and "Marriage in the Catholic Tradition", would also be eligible for federal support….
The government's reforms were voted down by the Senate this week but will return to Parliament, with some amendments, next year.