Notre Dame University (USA) and the Australian Catholic University (Australia) organized a Symposium to explore legal constraints on religious liberty and school autonomy that Catholic schools in different contexts are faced with. First, it wanted to give insight into how legal and education-policy constraints shape the operations of Catholic schools globally. In an open dialogue between scholars, educators, and officials from around the world, we tried to discern which constraints are acceptable accountability regulations and which ones represent undue restraints on religious liberty and school autonomy. Two, it wanted to give voice to the Catholic Church’s experience with—and perspectives on—the legal constraints under which Catholic schools operate. We discussed constructive ways for the church to respond to threats to religious liberty and school autonomy. Among the speakers was the United States ambassador to the Holy See, the Australia Ambassador to the Holy See, and the Vatican Secretary for Relations with States, Archbishop M. Gallagher.
OIDEL presented and explained the current situation of educational pluralism in Europe, focusing on the anthropological challenges of Catholic Schools, and other faith-based schools, in a secularized society. The director of OIDEL also encouraged the Catholic School community to bring their concerns and preoccupations before of International Organizations such as the United Nations.
In this meeting, OIDEL got to know many Scholars and educators from around the world and developed a deeper understanding of the challenges of faith-based schools.