Is it a sin to attend a secular college and allow your children to attend them?

I read an article in the Old Catholic Encyclopedia that said this…

The attendance at non-Catholic schools by Catholic children is something which, for weighty motives and with due safeguards, can be tolerated, not approved. In any case parents must carefully provide for the child’s religious instruction. As to higher education, parents have a clear duty to see that the faith of their children is not imperilled by their going to non-Catholic universities and colleges. In the lack of positive legislation before parents can assent to their children attending non-Catholic universities or colleges there must be a commensurately grave cause, and such dangers as may threaten faith or morals are to be rendered remote by suitable remedies. The last-named requirement is obviously the more important. Failure to fall in with the first, provided that means had been taken faithfully to comply with the second, would not oblige the confessor to refuse absolution to such parents. There is an undoubted and under ordinary circumstances inalienable authority to be exercised by parents.

This is freaking me out because I just enrolled to a non-catholic college!!!

I’m also freaked out because it would seem by the above quote that the parents are held culpable if the young adult decides to pick a secular college whether the parents want them to or not.

Is this teaching true anymore?

I wouldn’t say that what you are quoting was a teaching of the Church, but rather was a general judgment based on the particular circumstances of the time it was written. At the time the Old Catholic Encyclopedia was written Catholic elementary schools were either free or extremely low cost to attend and very few individuals went on to college or beyond. Today a Catholic elementary school can cost several thousand a year, Catholic high schools can be over $10,000 a year, and Catholic colleges are tens of thousands of dollars.
Back in an era when it was a truly an “all things being equal” choice between a Catholic school and secular school, choosing a secular school would raise serious questions. In an era where families simply cannot afford to send their children to a Catholic school its not quite as surprising or unreasonable to choose a secular school.
That being said, secular schools have also come a long way. The larger secular schools will most likely have a Newman Club and/or a Catholic chaplain so the danger of being away from the faith is greatly lessened.

As I said, it wasn’t a teaching as much as a practical judgment. However its warnings are still essentially true. Even today we need to be aware of environments that would attack our faith or educations that would seek to undermine our values. But no, its not a sin to choose an affordable secular education as long as we safeguard our faith.

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