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Arkansas Catholic
Little Rock, Arkansas
March 1, 1930     Arkansas Catholic
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March 1, 1930

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coupled with the high duty, to recog- nize and prepare him for additional obligation." History bears witness that espe- cially in m6dern times States attempt to violate rights conferred by God upon families while it splendidly shows that the Church has always de- fended them. The best proof is the confidence families show in schools belonging to the Church. As we wrote in a recent letter to the Car- dinal Secretary of State: "Families immediately recognized that this is so and from the earliest days of Chris- tianity to the present day fathers and mothers, even if wholly or part- ly hnbelievers, sent their children in millions to educative institutions founded and directed by the Church." Look to Church for Protection. The truth is that parents look with confidence to the Church, certLi], of finding protection of' the rights of families. The Church, in fact, con- scious of her Divine universal mis- sion and of the duty of all men to follow the only true religion, though she ever tries to remind parents to baptize and educate their offspring in the Christian religion is neverthe- less so jealous of the inviolability of the natural rights of families to edu- cate their children that she does not consent, except with certain special safeguards, to baptize children of in- fidels 'or in any way to take charge of their education against the wish of their parents till such time as the children can freely dispose of them- selves and embrace the faith of their own free will. We note, meanwhile, as we said in our speech mentioned above, two facts of the highest importance: The Church places at the disposal of families its ministry as teacher and educator. Families rush to profit thereby, giving to the Church their children in hundreds and indeed in i thousands. These two ,facts pro-] present life by the unification and co-ordination of everybody's efforts. Function of Civil Authority. Double, therefore, is the function of civil authority which resides in the state. It must protect and promote, no~ absorb families and individuals and not attempt to replace them. Therefore, where education is con- cerned, it is the right, or rather: duty, of the state to protect with its laws the prior rights---as we describe above ---of families over the Christian edu- cation of their offspring. As a con- sequence it is the duty of the state to respect the supernatural rights of the Church over Christian education. Similarly it is the duty of the state to protect this right in offspring if the educational action of parents should be lacking, either physically or morally, through incapacity or un- worthiness, since their educative right is not absolute or despotic, as we already said, but dependent on a natural and Divine law and therefore subject to the authority and judg- ment of the Church as well as to the vigilance and juridical tutelage of the state which must protect the in- terests of the community. Besides the family is not a perfect society which has within itself all the means necessary for its perfec- tion. In this case---which is ex- ceptional-the state must not take the place 7)f families but must sup- plement the education of families with the means in its power but al- ways in conformity with the natural rights of offspring ~nd the supernat- t, ral rights of the Church. In general, it is the right and duty ]of the state to protect, according to the rules of sound reasoning and of Church morale, the religious educa- tion of y6uth, removing those public causes contrary thereto. Principally it is the state's duty in order to promote the public welfare to encourage the education and in- claim a great truth most important ]struction of youth in all ways, and in from the moral and social viewpoint, l the first place by favoring and help- They say that the educative mission ling the initiative and work of the belongs before all and above all in IChurch and families, which as shown the first place to the Church and to lby history and experience is extreme- families. It belongs to them by ly efficacious. Then the state must natural and Divine right and there-Icompleto the work of the Church and fore in inevitable as well as irre- placeable fashion." As we have seen, great benefits derive to the whole of society from this pre-eminence of the Church and families in educative missions. Sim- ilarly no harm can come to the true rights of the state in regard to the education of citizens according to the order established by God. These rights are given to civil society by the author of nature Himself, not on the score of paternity as in the case with the Church and families, but owing to the authority which belongs to civil society in order to promote the common temporal well-being, which is its specific reason of existence. As a consequence education does not belong to civil society in the same way as it belongs to the Church and families, but in a different way corresponding to its different aims. Now the aim of civil society, which is the common temporal good, con- sists in insuring peace and security in order that families and private in- dividuals may enjoy the free exer- c~se of their rights and also'consists families in those cases where it is proved insufficient, even by means of! schools and institutions of its own, because the state more than any oth-: er body is provided with adequate: means which are placed at its dis- posal for the benefit of all, "and it is right that the state should use these means for the benefit of those who All this does not exclude the fact that for the proper administration of public affairs and for internal and external defense and peace, all of which are things extremely necessary for the public good and require spe- cial preparation, the state may re- serve for itself the institution and di- rection of preparatory schools for some of its departments, and espe- c~hlly for the militia, provided it takes care not to injure the rights of the Cl~rch and families. Exaggerated Nationalism Assailed. It is not, perhaps, useless to repeat here this warning, because in our days (wherein we see the spread of a nationalism as exaggerated and false as it is the enemy of true peace and prosperity), it is not unusual for proper bounds to be exceeded in or- ganizing on military lines the so-call- ed physical instruction ofyouth (sometimesalso of young girls, against the very nature ofhuman things), often invading beyond meas- ure in this d.ay of our Lord the time that should be dedicated to i'eligious duties or to the sanctuary of-domes- tic life. We do not wish to criticize any- thing that may be good in the prin- ciple of discipline or of the encour- agefilent of legitimate daring in such methods, but only wish to criticize excesses such as, for instance, the spirit of violence, which is very dif- ferent from the spirit of strength or of' military valor in the defense of a country or of public order. We also criticize such excesses as undue glorification of athleticism, which even in the classic pagan age marked the decline and decadence of true physical education. In general, not only for youth but for all ages and conditions o'f men it is the task of the state and civil so- ciety to impart that education which may be called civic, which consists in publicly presenting to individuals col- lectively such objects of reasonable knowledge, of imagination and of the senses as induce them toward i honesty and lead them to it as a moral necessity. It is the duty of the state not only to perform the active part of presenting such ob- jects but also the negative part which p~events the presentation of objects contrary thereto. This civic education, which is so ample as to absorb almost the whole: action of the state for the common good, must on the one hand be at- tuned to rules of rectitude and on the other must not contradict the provided them. and Tdctrine/ of the Church, which is the Besides the state can demand divinely constituted mistress of such see to it that all citizens have neces-|rules. sary knowledge of their civic anal national ~duties and that to the de- gree of intellectual, moral and phys- ical culture which in the present con- ditions of our times is truly indispen- sable for the common good. However, it is clear that in all these means for promoting public or private education and instruction the state must respect the native-rights of the Church and families over Christian education, besides observing distributive justice. In any case any scholastic or educative monopoly is illicit which unjustifiably constrains physically or morally families to send their children to state schools against J-1. _ .m_*_L_J _ o ,, . ~ .... Everything we have hitherto said about the action of the state in the matter of education rests vn the firm, immutable base of Catholic Doctrine, "De Civitatum Constitutione Chris- tiara" so admirably set forth by our predecessor, Leo XIII, especially in his Encyclicals "Immortale Dei" and "Sapientiae Christianae," namely: "God divided between two powers the government of the human species, namely, ecclesiastical and civil; one with authority over divine things and the other over human. Both are su- preme each in its own sphere. Both bave well-defined limits which~ are contained in them, marked by the are subject to both, it may that the same subject, though u different aspects will come judgment and competence of! In such cases the most God must have marked for each! a clear order the way they low. The Powers that be dained by God." Church and State Share The new education of youth cisely one of those things long both to the state and the "though in different ways," said above. "There might, therefore," ues Leo XIII, "exist mony between the two powers co-ordination is rightly that whereby the body and man harmonize. The exact and nature of co-ordination be precisely determined, thinking of the different the two powers with due the excellence and nobility respective ends, for whereas { chiefly concerned with usefulness of earthly things, e~i instead, procures eternal benefits. All of the S~pirit Is "Whatever there is in human ! m any way sacred, all that the worship of God or the souls, either owing to its that may be considered end at whic.h its aims, submitted" to the jurisdiction ulation of the Church. As rest, which remains in the and civil sphere, it is right belong to Vhe civil auth Jesus Christ commanded render to Caesar the thin Caesar's; and to God, the are God's." i Whoever refuses to admi principles and to apply them cation would necessarily Christ founded His Chl:rch men and would deny that the state are subject to Divine law, which is ous and contrary to sane especially in the matter of tion, extremely pernicious proper formation of youth ly ruinous for civil society the true well-being of the sortium. Principles Benefit On the contrary, these principles cannot but the greatest benefits for the formation of citizens. This i~ dantly proved by facts in al As Tertullian, in the first Christianity in his "A Saint Augustine in his age c, fy all the adversaries of the Church, So we in our day with him, "Those who say doctrine of Christ is the the State, let them give us such as the doctrine of Christ soldiers should be, let them such subjects, such husband wives, such parents, such masters, such servants, such judges, gatherers as such a demands, and then let there' the Christian doctrine harmful State. Or rather let them tare to proclaim it, when observed for the greatest