In the face of growing pressure for inclusive schooling in Ireland and outrage over the latest child abuse scandals involving Catholic orders, bishops in Ireland are defiantly seeking to maintain their grip on schooling in the country.
Ireland's Catholic Church is involved in the running of hundreds of schools across the country.
Following a three-day meeting in Maynooth, the national seminary, which among other issues, focused mainly on the fallout from the Ryan Report into the widespread abuse of children in religious-run State institutions, the bishops issued a public statement.
The Catholic leaders insisted that children are now adequately protected from the risk of abuse in their schools and said it would be wrong to remove religious orders from the managing of schools.
Campaigners against abuse say the culture of secrecy, denial and partiality which enabled appalling and systematic abuse some years ago has still not been removed.
In Northern Ireland, the Catholic Church and some Protestant leaders are resisting the growth of inclusive (non-denominational) schooling, though others in the churches and the wider community want to see public education opened up for all, irrespective of religion.