The First and Best of Teachers: All Catholic Parents are Home School Parents
of subsidiarity by deferring to the smallest governing unit; not usurping but empowering and helping families. The current overly federalized approach to education in the United States is failing.
The teaching of the Catholic Church on the primacy of parents in the educational mission is clear and helpful. If understood properly, and presented by actively involved Catholics, it can provide insights for a new National Educational policy. After all, the primacy of marriage - and the family founded upon it - as the first cell of society, the first church, first government, first school, first hospital, first economy, and the first mediating institution of the broader society is at the heart of Catholic Social Thought. Reaffirming it is the path to social recovery.
A just and efficient philosophy of government should be founded upon the truth that the family is the first government and that all other government must first be at its service. This is not just a "religious" truth, it is the TRUTH. In his marvelous apostolic exhortation on the family entitled "The Role of the Christian family in the Modern World" (Familiaris Consortio) Blessed Pope John Paul II affirmed the social and political role of the family and called for the development of a "family politics". The teaching of the Catholic Church on the primacy of parents in the education of their children is fundamental and Catholics must lead the charge.
Catholics should embrace a "family politics". We desperately need it. It is time to help people understand Parental Choice in education. It is about the recognition of the family as the first school and first vital cell of human society. This is not just our "religious" position, it is the truth. Parents are the first teachers of their children and all education begins in the home. We need to acknowledge in our positive law the right of parents to choose for their own children where they go to school. That choice should include the full array of options, public, private, parochial, charter and home schools, no matter what their economic status.
Education outside of the home is an extension of the parental role and should recognize and defer to the parents primary role in the educational mission. These children are not, in the words of the US Supreme Courts' Wisconsin v Yoder decision "....mere creatures of the State." The family is the first government and the first school house. We have forgotten that objective truth as a nation and we are reaping the consequences.
Here is an insight taken from the Apostolic Exhortation "Familiaris Consortio": "The right and duty of parents to give education is essential, since it is connected with the transmission of human life; it is original and primary with regard to the educational role of others, on account of the uniqueness of the loving relationship between parents and children; it is irreplaceable and inalienable, and therefore incapable of being entirely delegated to others or usurped by others..."
In his "Letter to Families" the late Pope wrote "Parents are the first and most important educators of their own children, and they also possess a fundamental competence in this area; they are educators because they are parents. They share their educational mission with other individuals or institutions, such as the Church and the State. But the mission of education must always be carried out in accordance with a proper application of the Principle of Subsidiarity."
"This implies the legitimacy and indeed the need of giving assistance to the parents, but finds its intrinsic and absolute limit in their prevailing right and actual capabilities. The principle of subsidiarity is thus at the service of parental love, meeting the good of the family unit. For parents by themselves are not capable of satisfying every requirement of the whole process of raising children; especially in matters concerning their schooling and the entire gamut of socialization.
"Subsidiarity thus complements paternal and maternal love and confirms its fundamental nature, inasmuch as all other participants in the process of education are only able to carry out their responsibilities in the name of the parents, with their consent and, to a certain degree, with their authorization."
Parental (School) Choice is an idea whose time has come. It is a matter of true social justice, not what is masquerading as social justice in some circles these days. The opposition of some in control of the teachers unions to such a just approach to educational policy and fundamental fairness shows how far some of these mediating associations have strayed from their primary role. They fail to defer to the first mediating institution of the family. Parental choice in education is right for our children, right for our parents and right for our Nation.
In addition, we need to reaffirm the primacy of parents in the education of their children and the vital role of homeschooling. There is no conflict between support for good and faithful parochial schools and support for Catholic home schooling.
- - -
Pope Benedict XVI's Prayer Intentions for January 2013
General Intention: The Faith of Christians. That in this Year of Faith Christians may deepen their knowledge of the mystery of Christ and witness joyfully to the gift of faith in him.
Missionary Intention: Middle Eastern Christians. That the Christian communities of the Middle East, often discriminated against, may receive from the Holy Spirit the strength of fidelity and perseverance.
Keywords: Home School, parental choice, school choice, education, homeschooling, Deacon Keith Fournier
Rate This Article
Leave a Comment
More Politics & Policy News
- The New Golden Calf and the Women of a New Babylon. America and Kardashian - Where's the outrage?
- FBI admits to using drones on U.S. soil. What's next armed drones?
- Supreme Court: No, you can't ask for proof of citizenship for voter registration
- What happens when the Culture of Surveillance meets the Culture of Corruption?
- Obama tells Charlie Rose Americans are uninformed on NSA program. So why doesn't he inform us?
- Bombshell: Low-level NSA agents can wiretap anyone, even the president, sans warrant
- PRISM precursor programs sparked concerns, potential resignations under Bush
- Facebook, Microsoft reveal number of government requests for your info, but no details
- Whistle-blower Snowden says Obama can still save face after PRISM debacle
- Fr. Paul Schenck: Finding Living Faith on Catechetical Sunday
- The Movie Yellow: Incest as 'Normal' and Cassavates's Slides Into the World of Woes
- The Chicago School Teachers Strike Reveals the Need For School Choice
- The Sexual Barbarians and the Dissolution of Culture
- The Happy Priest Challenges Us to Ask: Who is Jesus to Me?
- Michael Coren on Canadian Public Schools: Teachers, leave those kids alone
- We Cannot Ignore Our Consciences: Cardinal Dolan On Religious Liberty
- In the Face of Danger, Successor of Peter Travels to Lebanon as a Messenger of Peace
- Reflections on the Dignity and Vocation of Women: Who or What?