Switzerland : petition against a religion text book

Source: FSSPX News


A parents’ committee initiated a petition against the new text book Enbiro (biblical and inter-religious teaching for French Switzerland) deemed "maladjusted and badly made". The petition has already gathered about 1,000 signatures, and the petitioners demand that the Office of Public Education withdraw the book which, for them, is not Catholic.

And indeed, this new text book gives ample space to Islam, Buddhism and feminism. Vincent Pellegrini, reporter for the Nouvelliste du Valais, announced in the daily Le Matin of September 13 that he was no longer sending his children to the catechism classes. The township of Savièse simply decided not to use the book in the classes of its schools.

Several Muslim parents also voiced criticisms against the text book. Just like the dissatisfied Catholic parents they consider that the religion program is not suited to the beliefs they desire for their children. At the level of the canton however, it is not possible to give the exact number of children withdrawn from the religion classes by their parents because of the new program, given the fact that the parents’ motive is not asked for when a child is withdrawn.

Although the people at the origin of the committee do not belong to the faithful of the traditionalist community Saint-Pius X of Ecône, a considerable number of signatures came from there, acknowledged the committee’s spokesman, Jean-Claude Kollros.

The committee aims at gathering 2,000 signatures by the end of November. The petition is addressed to the Department of Public Instruction, culture and sports and to the president of the Grand Council of Wallis. The Committee does not claim any political allegiance, however it presents itself as an initiative to defend the "values" for fostering the conservation of an "organized and well-structured" society.

For the spokesman of the committee, the refusal of the bishopric of Sion to condemn the multi-cultural text book is deplorable. As for the pedagogical complements that the diocese obtained to regain some balance in the program, "they are of the same kind" observes Jean-Claude Kollros. He denounces the "omerta" (the law of silence) practiced by the Catholic Church in Wallis on this subject.