Skip to main content

State Aid for Catholic Schools: Help or Hindrance?

2/19/2009 - 16:14 PST

(Page 2 of 2)

their children.

A second option would be to shift from direct subsidies to a policy of tax breaks, whereby Catholic parents could nominate a particular school they would like their taxes to go to. That, argued Gregg, would create "major incentives" to educators to pay more attention to parental wishes rather than "the whims of state officials and politicians pushing politically correct agendas."

For his part, Berg argued that two things are needed if pluralism is to coexist with the state financing of Catholic schools: first, a developed jurisprudence to determine which regulations are legitimate or illegitimate for Catholic schools financed by the state. Second, even if state financing continues to be available, Catholic schools will still need to call on the voluntary commitment of the faithful.

"The tradition of voluntary support will have to be there as a backstop," said Berg, "because state funding brings too many dangers."

Father David Jaeger, professor of canon law at the Pontifical Antonianum University, stressed that parents have a right to state funding for education under canon law. But this whole area of whether such financing should be sought and accepted in light of encroaching secularist ideology is "something new."

Like Berg, he believes the key question for the future will be where to draw the line between helpful state intervention and impermissible interference.

But for Gregg, if that line cannot be satisfactorily drawn, then the Church should take radical action. "Anything that impedes the ability of Catholic schools from maintaining and promoting that which is at the very heart of its inspiration -- which is the Catholic faith -- ought to be dispensed with," he said. "In our age, if this includes state funding, then it, too, ought to be one of those things that the Church casts off, not as an act of defiant confrontation, but rather as an inspiration of love for its beginning and ultimate end, the Lord Jesus Christ."

That may inadvertently please the likes of Barry Sheerman, but at the same time he’d be less able to prevent Catholic schools from being, as he would put it, “too serious” about the faith.


Catholic Online  CA, US
Catholic Online - Publisher, 661 869-1000



Catholic Schools, Aid

Rate This Article

Very Helpful Somewhat Helpful Not Helpful at All

Yes, I am Interested No, I am not Interested

Rate Article

1 - 2 of 2 Comments

  1. Mike Cundell
    5 years ago

    Simple - accept that the state should be secular and non biased and therefore, so should be it's institutions or find the money privately

  2. Helenl
    6 years ago

    I don't think any religious learning institution should accept any financial support from the State. Slippery Slope! I believe families should have vouchers so that they may choose the school of their choice. States then would be aiding families and not institutions.

Leave a Comment

Comments submitted must be civil, remain on-topic and not violate any laws including copyright. We reserve the right to delete any comments which are abusive, inappropriate or not constructive to the discussion.

Though we invite robust discussion, we reserve the right to not publish any comment which denigrates the human person, undermines marriage and the family, or advocates for positions which openly oppose the teaching of the Catholic Church.

This is a supervised forum and the Editors of Catholic Online retain the right to direct it.

We also reserve the right to block any commenter for repeated violations. Your email address is required to post, but it will not be published on the site.

We ask that you NOT post your comment more than once. Catholic Online is growing and our ability to review all comments sometimes results in a delay in their publication.

Send me important information from Catholic Online and it's partners. See Sample

Post Comment

Newsletter Sign Up

Saint of the Day

March 4 Saint of the Day

St. Casimir
March 4: Casimir grew up in a world where his life was not his own. As a ... Read More