Homeschooling is much more effective not only academically but also spiritually; therefore, families should send their kids to Catholic schools only if it is impossible for them to home-school, and they should never attend public schools. Pope Pius XI, in Divini Illius Magistri, says “that the so-called ‘neutral’ or ‘lay’ school, from which religion is excluded, is contrary to the fundamental principles of education. Such a school moreover cannot exist in practice; it is bound to become irreligious.” He also mentions
the present-day lamentable decline in family education [homeschooling]. The offices and professions of a transitory and earthly life, which are certainly of far less importance, are prepared for by long and careful study; whereas for the fundamental duty and obligation of educating their children, many parents have little or no preparation, immersed as they are in temporal cares. The declining influence of domestic environment is further weakened by another tendency, prevalent almost everywhere today, which, under one pretext or another, for economic reasons, or for reasons of industry, trade or politics, causes children to be more and more frequently sent away from home even in their tenderest years. And there is a country where the children are actually being torn from the bosom of the family, to be formed (or, to speak more accurately, to be deformed and depraved) in godless schools and associations, to irreligion and hatred, according to the theories of advanced socialism; and thus is renewed in a real and more terrible manner the slaughter of the Innocents.
Although all Catholics should avoid public schooling, Fr. Corapi has said: “If you want your child to lose their faith, send them to a Catholic school. If you want them to fight for their faith, then teach them at home and send them to a public school.” This reminds me of Mark Twain’s quote “Never let your schooling interfere with your education” or the similar one by Albert Einstein, “The only thing that interferes with my learning is my education.”
Ivan Illich states correctly in Deschooling Society that:
The mood among some educators is much like the mood among Catholic bishops after the Vatican Council. The curricula of so-called “free schools” resemble the liturgies of folk and rock masses. The demands of high-school students to have a say in choosing their teachers are as strident as those of parishioners demanding to select their pastors. But the stakes for society are much higher if a significant minority loses its faith in schooling.
Consequently, it makes sense that, based on Illich’s assessment, Extraordinary Form mass Catholics home-school more frequently.
The next issue is sex education in Catholic institutionalized schools. Female students dressed in short-skirt uniforms and even less modest cheer-leading outfits is abominable, and yet so is coeducation itself, as this quote from Divini Illius Magistri shows:
- False also and harmful to Christian education is the so-called method of “coeducation.” This too, by many of its supporters, is founded upon naturalism and the denial of original sin; but by all, upon a deplorable confusion of ideas that mistakes a leveling promiscuity and equality, for the legitimate association of the sexes. The Creator has ordained and disposed perfect union of the sexes only in matrimony, and, with varying degrees of contact, in the family and in society. Besides there is not in nature itself, which fashions the two quite different in organism, in temperament, in abilities, anything to suggest that there can be or ought to be promiscuity, and much less equality, in the training of the two sexes. These, in keeping with the wonderful designs of the Creator, are destined to complement each other in the family and in society, precisely because of their differences, which therefore ought to be maintained and encouraged during their years of formation, with the necessary distinction and corresponding separation, according to age and circumstances. These principles, with due regard to time and place, must, in accordance with Christian prudence, be applied to all schools, particularly in the most delicate and decisive period of formation, that, namely, of adolescence; and in gymnastic exercises and deportment, special care must be had of Christian modesty in young women and girls, which is so gravely impaired by any kind of exhibition in public.
Sex education at the Catholic high school I attended was, looking back on it, utterly abominable. The high school minister presented it as though he were a comedian, basically mocking God’s great gift of sexuality. The students loved it, yet I can attest that our souls did not. Also, abortion was not in the curriculum, not even for theology classes.
- Another very grave danger is that naturalism which nowadays invades the field of education in that most delicate matter of purity of morals. Far too common is the error of those who with dangerous assurance and under an ugly term propagate a so-called sex-education, falsely imagining they can forearm youths against the dangers of sensuality by means purely natural, such as a foolhardy initiation and precautionary instruction for all indiscriminately, even in public; and, worse still, by exposing them at an early age to the occasions, in order to accustom them, so it is argued, and as it were to harden them against such dangers.
- Such persons grievously err in refusing to recognize the inborn weakness of human nature, and the law of which the Apostle speaks, fighting against the law of the mind; and also in ignoring the experience of facts, from which it is clear that, particularly in young people, evil practices are the effect not so much of ignorance of intellect as of weakness of a will exposed to dangerous occasions, and unsupported by the means of grace.
According to Divini Illius Magistri, “between the two powers [civil and ecclesiastical] there must reign a well-ordered harmony. …] Whatever else is comprised in the civil and political order, rightly comes under the authority of the State; for Christ commanded us to give to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s.” So must we support separation of school and state? I believe so, just not separation of truly-Catholic-school and state.
Keep praying for our Catholic families and schools and that the Catholic homeschooling movement will gain momentum, with God’s grace, and transform society and save souls.