18 January 2008

God's Guardian of the Child

There was much discussion a few month's back on the upcoming elections and the importance of abortion and a candidate's views on it. Although it remains the moral issue of the election I came across another Fr. McNabb essay that was first printed in Blackfriars, July 1929 dealing with the education of children and a statement from the English Hierarchy on the eve of a general election. The Bishops were not afraid to issue this statement to ensure that the voters understood the ethical principles involved without respect to either party's position.
"In view of the approaching General Election, the Archbishops and Bishops of England and Wales deem it well to remind all Catholic voters of the following principles which underlie the Catholic attitude on Education, so that in giving their votes such electors may act in conformity with Catholic teaching and tradition in this matter of vital importance."


1) It is no part of the normal function of the State to teach.

2) The State is entitled to see that citizens receive due education sufficient to enable them to discharge the duties of citizenship in its various degrees.

3) The State ought, therefore, to encourage every form of sound educational endeavour, and may take means to safeguard the efficiency of education.

4) To parents whose economic means are insufficient to pay for the education of their children, it is the duty of the State to furnish the necessary means, providing them from the common funds arising out of the taxation of the whole community, but in so doing the State must not interfere with parental responsibility, nor hamper the reasonable liberty of parents in their choice of a school for their children. Above all, where the people are not all of one creed, there must be no differentiation on the ground of religion.

5) Where there is need of greater school accommodation the State may, in default of other agencies, intervene to supply it; but it may do so only in default of, and in substitution for, and to the extent of, the responsibility of the parents' of the children who need this accommodation.

6) The teacher is always acting in loco parantis, never in loco civitatis, though the State to safeguard its citizenship may take reasonable care to see that teachers are efficient.

7) Thus a teacher never is and never can be a civil servant, and should never regard himself or allow himself to be so regarded. Whatever authority he may possess to reach and control children, and to claim their respect and obedience, comes to him from God, through the parents, and not through the State, except in so far as the State is acting on behalf of the parents."

1 comment:

Laura The Crazy Mama said...

Whoa, if only this were true in our life and times! We would have so many more choices in education (although, I actually LIKE teaching the kids myself...it would be nice sometimes to have someone who knows a subject so much better than I to teach them!) and we could even reasonably trust schools to actually TEACH our children something!


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