A recording of an MP discussing how to end Catholic education in Scotland has been condemned as “chilling” by a bishops’ conference official.

According to a report in the Scottish Catholic Observer, remarks by Tommy Sheppard, the MP for Edinburgh East, have emerged from a Humanist Society Scotland (HSS) fringe event at last year’s SNP conference, at which he said he wanted to introduce a secular education system.

The event was held to promote the HHS’s “Enlighten Up” campaign, which aims to end mandatory religious representation on local authority education committees.

Mr Sheppard said the way to make education secular was to introduce it “bit by bit”, in order to “chip away at the power organised religion has within our school system”.

Mr Sheppard said campaigners should eventually “advocate that the role of religion in schools is for people to learn about it but not for it to define the value system in the school.”

A spokesman for the Bishops’ Conference of Scotland condemned the remarks as “a blatant attack on religious freedom and chillingly intolerant”.

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