Rome (NEV CS / 25), May 18, 2019 – “With the approaching dates when thousands of students will take the final state exams of the first cycle of studies, we intend to bring to your attention the question of the presence of Catholic religion teachers in the examination committees, and to highlight the incongruity with the lay and plural framework that distinguishes the public school and the entire Italian legal system”.
The president of the Federation of Protestant Churches in Italy (FCEI), pastor Luca Maria Negro, and the moderator of the Waldensian Board, pastor Eugenio Bernardini, sent a letter to the Minister of Education, University and Research, Marco Bussetti, pointing out once more the theme of the introduction of Catholic religion teachers in the State Examination Committee.
The introduction of the Legislative Decree n. 62/2017 has modified the discipline in the sense of providing for the entire class council to express its opinion on the admission vote, thus also including the teachers of the Catholic religion and those of alternative activities – for the students who choose them.
The two signatories note that the teaching of the Catholic religion “is not among the compulsory subjects nor, therefore, is it subject to examination”; for this reason the relative teacher has no power to influence with his vote. The letter also denounces that by virtue of this rule “the student who opts for alternative subjects or for non-attendance at school undergoes unequal treatment”.
For this reason, and in order not to fail to safeguard the rights of religious minorities and to implement the supreme principle of secularism, Negro and Bernardini hope that the Minister “will take into consideration the concrete hypothesis of an interpretative revision of the provision in question, in order to avoid the risk that thousands of students be subject to unequal treatment in the legitimate exercise of not making use, in the form deemed appropriate, of the optional teaching of the Catholic religion”.