Socialist Catholic Church Sees Home Education as Dangerous Competitor?

16 09 2009

It starts out one way:
“We are engaged in the defense of hearth, home, and the families entrusted to us. ”

But then either ideology drives reason off an intellectual cliff or it says exactly what it means and I just never heard it this clearly before, dunno which. Can’t wait to see what CW has to say about this polemic:

The common approach to homeschooling today is inherently dangerous, because it may go against what our entire Western tradition and the Catholic Church herself teach about the education of the young — that education should not be done in the home, at least not for long, except during a time and place of crisis.

Seems a pretty stark set-up of American individualism in selfish conflict with institutional, one might even say SOCIALISTIC traditions, both of the Church specifically and the Western World generally:

Let us consider three Church pronouncements.

“Education is essentially a social and not a mere individual activity…. The family is an imperfect society, since it has not in itself all the means for its own complete development; whereas civil society is a perfect society, having in itself all the means for its particular end.”

Education, the fathers wrote “is directed toward the formation of the human person in view of his final end and the good of that society to which he belongs and in the duties which he will, as an adult, have a share.”

“Parents are the first educators, not the only educators, of their children. It belongs to them, therefore, to exercise with responsibility their educational activity in close and vigilant cooperation with civil and ecclesial agencies.”

The Compendium goes on to describe the “primary importance” of parents working with “scholastic institutions” in the education of their children.

. . .there is a rising individualism that is worming its way into our literature on homeschooling. Homeschooling in this nation was spearheaded by the hippies of the 1960s and has largely been embraced by Protestants; some 95 percent of homeschoolers today are Protestants, and the tone of the literature and materials often reflects that make-up.

More alarming, homeschooling has risen alongside home-churching . . .
My right to secure an education does not mean I have infused talents as an educator or rights to a teaching vocation.

And the boffo finish, in which it’s stated as fact that “the family is unequal to the task” and that’s why there must be School:

Since, however, the younger generations must be trained in the arts and sciences for the advantage and prosperity of civil society, and since the family of itself is unequal to this task, it was necessary to create that social institution, the school.



15 responses

16 09 2009
Daryl Cobranchi

IAATM as always. They’re missing the tuition dollars. Because, if the Catholic Church really believed all that nonsense, they never would have taken Pierce v. Society of Sisters to the SCOTUS. They’ve echoed EXACTLY the arguments for the State in Pierce.

“The child is not the mere creature of the state Catholic Church; those who nurture him and direct his destiny have the right, coupled with the high duty, to recognize and prepare him for additional obligations. “

16 09 2009

I know, right? 🙂

16 09 2009

Well, when a Catholic family decides to homeschool the diocese is losing out on not just one tuition, but more like six 🙂

16 09 2009

Hmmm, that would explain the doctrinal messages that lead to having all those Catholic children in the first place too. . .it’s all connected!

16 09 2009
Nance Confer

Like the full quiver people.


17 09 2009

Over the years, the Catholics I’ve known best are my husband’s family whose religion makes no room whatsoever for “worming and rising individualism.” I’ve had the impression that, generally, Catholics feel more obligated to the churches they attend; evangelicals “shop” for churches, and such. So, maybe the Catholic Church fears losing its traditional central role in the lives of parishioners. But, these are all wild generalizations, obviously – and based on a bunch of anecdotal stuff 🙂

17 09 2009
Crimson Wife

I read the article the other day, and what I felt the author is saying is that no family is an island. Catholic homeschoolers in his opinion should band together to form co-ops within parishes so that children have access to resources the parents cannot provide. What’s so controversial about that?

I would be concerned about any homeschooling family (of whatever religion) who isolated their children from the world. It’s not healthy for kids to grow up hidden away in a family fortress.

17 09 2009
Crimson Wife

As for the concern over lost tuition dollars, the claim is that tuition charged does not cover the full cost of educating the child. Seems hard for me personally to believe given the pricey tuitions at parochial schools in my area but that’s what I keep hearing…

17 09 2009

Thanks CW – for both comments. I agree it’s not controversial, except when the co-ops are publicly supported. Then it’s apparently a government takeover instead of good for kids. 🙂

Would you say the LDS approach to church community banding families together yet isolated (self-sufficient?) from the larger secular village is similar? I’ve always seen both as very much local government, just under a cross —

17 09 2009
Crimson Wife

The friends I have who are mainstream Mormons don’t strike me as particularly isolated from the world. Obviously if you’re talking about those FLDS folks down in the Southwest, that’s a different story. Unfortunately, the Feds messed up big time in the way they went about investigating allegations of abuse within the FLDS last year. 😦

17 09 2009

I was thinking about the ward system, the stockpiled foodstuffs and how you are assigned people to check up on you etc– isolated from the larger community not in a literal compound, but by having the church community meet all your needs in that co-op governance model?

24 09 2009
terry @ breathing grace

Interesting to hear that a Catholic official views the family as inadequate for providing an education for its children. I hadn’t heard about that. It seems that rising numbers of homeschoolers are becoming a threat to just about everyone who earns money based on student head counts

Thanks for the interesting information.

24 09 2009

Hi Terry, nice to see you again. 🙂

25 09 2009

As a Catholic, our local diocese has allowed homeschooling to be a part of the educational path. I know several families that homeschool and are Catholic, just as I know many that send their children to public school and go to Mass.

15 11 2009
Religious Left Emerges, Religious Right Erodes « Cocking A Snook!

[…] on “individual and institution” may shed new light viewed through this prism. The Catholic Church for example is like the institution of home education, diverse ideas that form practices and identity and then […]

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