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Teen expelled from Catholic school for leaving Church

DDP/The Local · 30 Apr 2010, 09:11

Published: 30 Apr 2010 09:11 GMT+02:00

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Secession from the Church violates school rules, headmaster Manfred Schöpplein said late on Thursday, explaining that this led him to present the case to the Augsburg diocese – which runs the only university-track school in the area. It also happens to be embroiled in the huge child abuse scandal hitting the Catholic Church in Germany in recent months.

The organisation faces its gravest crisis of modern times, with decades-old claims of sexual abuse by priests surfacing. Last week Augsburg Bishop Walter Mixa, who was accused of beating children at an orphanage, though not of sexual abuse, was forced to resign.

The scandal has inspired an increasing number of Germans to leave the Church. Last week a poll said nearly a quarter of the country’s 25 million Catholics were considering the move.

The diocese authorities decided that the 10th grade girl would be forbidden to attend school in the next school year, throwing town authorities into an intense debate.

City council member and Catholic Edeltraud Baur said she found the sanction intolerant and a violation of the right to choose one’s religion.

Story continues below…

Meanwhile head of the parents' association Birgit Maile said she understood the expulsion, explaining that parents sign a contract with a religious school that specifies children could be kicked out if they leave the Church.

The high school receives funding from the Bavarian Ministry of Education each year, but the ministry refused to comment on the case.

DDP/The Local (news@thelocal.de)

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Your comments about this article

09:43 April 30, 2010 by Prufrock2010
This is one corrupt organization! If it is true that this is the only university-track school in the area, the expulsion of this student is particularly vile. The school should not only be denied state funding, it should be shut down.
09:57 April 30, 2010 by LancashireLad

Do we know if the school gets state funding? Is it a private school? The Local doesn't tell us that (or I missed it). If the parents had to sign a contract then it's probably a private school and at least in the eyes of the law if the contract is entered into it must be honoured.

Please don't think I am condoning what happened - "god forbid" - but if the parents signed the contract (note - not the girl), then the contract must be stuck to.

Did she leave of her own volition or did she follow her parents?

All questions we can only speculate on at the moment.
10:08 April 30, 2010 by steve_glienicke
Lancashire lad, you did miss the point - The high school receives funding from the Bavarian Ministry of Education each year, but the ministry refused to comment on the case.

So they get state funding and should honor this girls education, it is just another example at the moment of the catholic church nailing its own coffin shut, they will not learn it seems to me.
10:09 April 30, 2010 by Prufrock2010
The article clearly states that the school receives state funding from the Bavarian Ministry of Education.
10:14 April 30, 2010 by LancashireLad
Sorry folks - I missed the last line.

In which case it is a state funded school and cannot discriminate on the grounds of religion. The ministry should withdraw funding or demand tht the girl is reinstated.
10:19 April 30, 2010 by Prufrock2010
lilplatinum --

"I told the priest at first confession 'Forgive me father, I have sinned, I once killed a man in Reno just to watch him die'".

That's the funniest line of the day! I almost spit my coffee on my keyboard. Bravo!
10:38 April 30, 2010 by hkypuck
This seems to make sense to me. I mean if this girl isn't catholic, then it's logical that she shouldn't go to a catholic school, right?

I mean, if I don't want to eat pizza or spagetti anymore, then I should stop going to an italian restsurant.

Would it be better that she be 'forced' into listening to the catholic doctrine in her classes if she refuses to abide by these beliefs? What's next, she files some legal case to get the 'oppressive catholic agenda' taken out of CATHOLIC schools? (are catholic schools still aloud to display the cross on campus?)

It seems like a case of "You can't quit! You're fired!" A mutual 'breakup' if there ever was one.
10:47 April 30, 2010 by LancashireLad
I went to a christian school but was only there for the high level of education offered by the school. Had I professed to being an atheist (which I wouldn't have dared) I know I wouldn't have been expelled becasue there were a number of non-christian childeren there too.

Was the contract that the parents signed actually legal? If it was then the case (sadly) is closed. If it wasn't, can the state legally stop funding, as they are paying for a school - which happens to try to indoctinate into the catholic faith too?
11:08 April 30, 2010 by hkypuck
They should simply say "Wenn du nicht katholisch ist, du aus Bayern geht. Denn diese sind die Regeln." That's how it is in some middle eastern countries: Here's our philosophy, you are welcome to stay. If you don't follow our philosophy, you don't need to stay here and suffer, feel free to leave.

Yet another problem when you mix your public with your private.

But more importantly, how does a 17 year old "leave the church"? I was raised catholic as a kid which meant that my parents dragged me out of bed on sunday morning and I stood up,sat down and kneeled when everyone else did. When I was old enough to drive, I often ditched/was absent from Sunday mass. But no one was taking attendence!

Did this girl hold some press conference to announce her decision? (like some footballer leaving FC Bayern for Liverpool - gasp!)
12:02 April 30, 2010 by Prufrock2010
hkypuck --

The problem I see with this is that, if what's reported is true, this school is the only school in the area with a university-track. That would effectively deny the kid the opportunity to go to the university unless her family relocated. It also raises even more compelling questions about the propriety of the school's actions while it is receiving state funding.

Like you, I was raised Catholic as a kid and attended Catholic schools. I renounced Catholicism at age 17 and one priest attempted to have me expelled from the high school. I called his bluff and it didn't work. Later I came to wish that it had.
13:32 April 30, 2010 by hkypuck
Again, I repeat "Wenn du nicht katholisch ist, du aus Bayern geht. Denn diese sind die Regeln." Does Bavaria (where I live) only sponsor CATHOLIC schools? If that is the case then, one could argue, that this is the "will of the people".

The fact that this is the only university-prep school in the area says a little something about the state of public school development and zoning. Are there no other ('secular') schools that have a university-prep cirriculum in that area? It will be interesting to see that the 'will of the people' is over ruled when they do away with funding of catholic schools entirely.

Of course the Catholic Church could fund the schools themselves. they are, after all, one of the wealthiest organizations in the world. But they are spending money on defense attorneys right now.


as far as the issue of provacative clothing is concerned..., that's one of few BENEFITS of being a teenage boy in a catholic school!
14:12 April 30, 2010 by dbert4
The young lady should relax. By next school year the headmaster will have been removed for inappropriate conduct with young boys and she can continue her education in peace.
14:24 April 30, 2010 by LancashireLad
Now that the law has been quoted, and leaves nothing to interpretation, it remains to be seen what effect this contract will have - or if it is even legal.

Please note: If this is the law of the country saying that religion cannot be discriminated against, I would say this is a secular government.
16:46 April 30, 2010 by ErnestPayne
Another fine example of christian tolerance. Pope Benny the umpteenth is proudly marching back to the dark ages. When can we expect the inquisition?
17:37 April 30, 2010 by Mr Goodmorning
This goes further to point out the utter absurdity of Germany's state support for religion. It has no place in a modern society. It's time for the amendment of the Grundgesetz to remove all references of State support for religious institutions. The vast majority of Germans really belong to no church, why should they be supporting these corrupt institutions?
17:57 April 30, 2010 by HarryR
I think the Church´s is very clear.

Those pupils attending a Church run school who, reaching into adulthood as they are, decide that they cannot in conscience concur with the teachings and guidance of the Roman Catholic Church should keep it to themselves and by omission deceive teachers and fellow pupils about one's actual beliefs and partake in at least the school run religious ceremonies for form's sake only.

As long as you go thru the motions, the Church will have no complaints. If everybody goes thru the motions of being dutiful, obedient Catholics it's not actually distinguishable from the real thing which is good enough.
18:22 April 30, 2010 by michael4096
All this misses one very important input: What is the purpose of education?

If the purpose is to allow kids to think for themselves - in this case, education has certainly succceeded

If the purpose is to create kids that think as "I" do - it has also succeeded because it labels the participant a failure

What is not to love?
19:23 April 30, 2010 by wmm208
Europe is a problem....

Islam is the answer....
19:24 April 30, 2010 by bernie1927
As if the church didn't have enough problems! More power to that sassy little girl. She had finally had it. Her parents indoctrinated her and she had the guts to follow her own instinct. Small wonder, after all the shenanigans the church has pulled. Bravo. The church won't have your money any more. Are they really that stupid??
19:35 April 30, 2010 by wubba
Frankly I don't quite understand this logic. There are two things in particular that bother me.

1. State funded school (even if only partly funded) should not discriminate upon religion.

2. Catholic school's in general should be more accepting of other (ir)religions. Not only does this present an opportunity to dispel myths of the church to people who normally would be uneducated (or media educated), but it also allows their students to garner a better viewpoint of the world. I am a Catholic and went to a Catholic school that allowed people of all (ir)religions. It was great hearing other peoples perspective of the world and helped me better understand my path in life. Christianity in general needs to do a better job of acceptance NOT tolerance (def. the power or capacity of to tolerate unfavorable environmental conditions.) Students should not be taught to tolerate people who are "wrong", instead to accept people who view the world in a different light.

The world would be so much better if we stopped tolerating and started accepting.
15:29 May 1, 2010 by fair1day
Good for the school! She needs to be kicked out. Her parents signed a contract.

Europeans are such religious goofs. Grow up, and deal with her choice to walk away. She'll regret it later on. Only a couple of posters here "get it".
15:55 May 1, 2010 by Bruno53
Catholic Church going down? Don't worry, others will come to substitute it. But you are not going to like them: Islam, "Jehovah's Witnesses" and crazy evangelists. Oh boy!
17:35 May 1, 2010 by Prufrock2010

He now seems to be posting as "fair1day." He's simply expanded his anti-German rants to anti-European rants. Another American troll who's probably never set foot in Europe away from a military base.
22:08 May 1, 2010 by michael4096
Europeans are such religious goofs.
What is a "religious goof"? I think someone has just paid me a compliment but I'm not totally sure.
22:40 May 1, 2010 by Prufrock2010
With peschvogel you can never be totally sure.
03:46 May 2, 2010 by protest2020
One word DOGMA !! A vicious little word with far reaching consequences for anyone who decides for themselves to choose their own spiritual path .. The catholic heirarchy think they own your souls .. schools are for teaching not brain washing and the sooner there is separation from church and state the better.. there's some seriously warped minds in Rome.. Its stuck in the past
12:22 May 3, 2010 by michael4096

1. There is no legal requirement for anybody in germany to ever pay any church tax, ever, under any circumstances.

2. I have never asked about religion in a job interview, I've never been asked about religion and I know nobody else who has been asked. It is illegal to discriminate on religious grounds and, as any interviewer will tell you, not knowing something is a good way of ensuring you cannot be discriminatory. (Exception: if you are applying for a job with a church organization or similar, they can legally discriminate.)

I do agree that the church plays too great a role in german affairs
00:41 May 4, 2010 by carliecutie
I have never attended a Catholic school, so please correct me if I'm wrong. We don't know the circumstances that caused her to walk out of church in the first place. I have been to several churches where the pastors have announced things that seem to be either contradicting or incorrect. So who are we to judge her for being her own person and having her own beliefs? She is almost an adult now and therefore should be aware that her actions might give her more than just a detention.
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