Given from the Catholic Broadcasting Station 2SM Sydney Australia
Choose a topic from Vol 2:
Whatever others may think of our public policy of free,compulsory, and secular education, Catholics cannot in conscienceaccept that system as being suitable for the education of Catholicchildren. The real reason is that the religious training of thechildren is not sufficiently provided for, the time allotted forreligion being quite inadequate, even were it utilized. The Statesystem demands the "3 R's," reading, writing andarithmetic. Catholic principles demand the "4 R's,"religion, reading, writing and arithmetic; and religion first, notmerely a third-rate item. Again, even granted that religion weretaught adequately in the school, education is as much a matter ofenvironment and atmosphere as of anything else. You can't havea Catholic atmosphere in a school, where 75% of the children arenon-Catholics. Children's convictions are formed or deformed inthe playground every bit as much as in the classroom. For childrenare impressionable and greatly influenced by the opinions andassertions of their companions. And a Catholic child who constantlyhears non-Catholic children giving utterance to their parents'peculiar religious or irreligious opinions is certainly not beingwell grounded in the Catholic Faith. If Catholic parents want tobring up their children as good Catholics, they must send them to aschool where they will come into contact with a consistent Catholicteaching, both in classroom and playground.
That is a foolish interpretation of the words you quote. Thereis no reference whatever to any loss of power to think for oneself.The words say that the child is to be brought up in the way itshould go, obviously in the right way; not in the wrong way inwhich it should not go. And if one has been taught the right thingin childhood, he will continue to believe it, if he has any sense,in later life. Any Catholic who thinks for himself in later life,will find only reasons to confirm the truth of the Catholic Faith taught him in his youth, provided hethinks soundly, and avoids packing his mind with false ideasderived from unreliable and partisan sources.
It is simple in its principles, but it has to be taught in itsfullness in accordance with our Lord's command, "Teach allthings whatsoever I have commanded you." Also, Catholiceducation is as much a matter of atmosphere as of classes inreligious doctrine. To put any child in the midst of hundreds ofothers who never mention religion, scarcely think of it outsideSunday school hours, or if they do speak of it, do so according tosystems utterly opposed to Catholic teaching, is no way to give aCatholic education to a Catholic child. Where it is possible,Catholic parents are obliged to secure a truly Catholic educationfor the children God gives them.
The Church is doing her duty in trying to keep the"flock" within the sheep-fold. Surely you are not goingto blame the shepherds for doing their strict duty in the name ofChrist. Also, it is not to prevent Catholic children from findingout too much. It is to prevent them from knowing too little of thetruth, from acquiring too many erroneous notions, and from modelingtheir lives upon those of sheep wandering without a shepherd.