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Non-Catholic Education

I read recently that Australia passed a law that requires all homeschool curriculums to be in full accord with the state schools. To put it lightly (and keeping my comments rated "G"), that is evil. The state has absolutely no business deciding what parents are going to teach their children. Yes, the Church has authority to tell parents how to educate (and she has done so many times in the past--even though few acknowledge it today), but the state has no right to usurp parental authority.

Pope Leo XIII in Affari Vos:

"...our children cannot go for instruction to schools which either ignore or of set purpose combat the Catholic religion, or in which its teachings are despised and its fundamental principles repudiated."

Pope Pius XI in Divini Illius Magistri (“On Christian Education”) gave the following guidance:

"The frequenting of non-Catholic schools, whether neutral or mixed, those namely which are open to Catholics and non-Catholics alike, is forbidden for Catholic children."

There was a time when all Catholic schools were solid and unquestionably Catholic (when they were run and staffed by the Religious) and they were also free for all Catholic children to attend. That day is long gone. The entire idea of a "public school" in America is a little over a century old (and the manner of the degeneration of public schools is evident). The Church has always taught that Catholic Children must be taught in a Catholic setting and their education must not be "mixed" with non-Catholic ideas.

Pagan governments (like that which we see practiced in America), generally, do not like parents to be the "first teachers" as the Church says they are. Communism especially condemns any and all parental influence on the education of the child. America is not communist (yet) but some states are very communistic in their educational requirements. This mostly effects those who see that the public schools have become ungodly, and that Catholic schools are little better (now that they have become a business like the public schools).

Many (not all) of our families at St. George homeschool their children. This is a viable option that accords with Catholic teaching, but we cannot take it for granted that because a child is homeschooled that he will receive a solid Catholic education their either! Homeschooling must be fully Catholic just as much as a parochial school must be.

Although Canon Law does not appear today to require much more than a "Catholic education" for Catholic children, the options are dwindling more and more over time in how to fulfill that. There will likely come a time when the tide turns and we find that parochial schools (parish schools) are once again all solid and teach clearly the Catholic faith (without requiring parents to go broke to afford it!). Until that day, Dads and Moms have to make some hard decisions to make sure that their children are never catechized by the world. Educating our children in the Catholic faith, however, is not optional.


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