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The Improper Catechesis of Catholic Schools

May 31, 2023

The Improper Catechesis of Catholic Schools by Joshua Long at Crisis Magazine. Lex orandi, lex credendi—the law of prayer is the law of belief. If we demonstrate for our students that we have control over sacred things, we are driving them away from Christ not closer to Him. We are exposing them to something which is only Catholic in outward appearance but lacks all of the substance of the true Church. A weak faith is better than a strong heresy. The point is this: we must stop replacing Christ’s words with our own. It is not “more educational.” It does not facilitate education but impedes it. The price of this is twofold: not only does the instruction not stick, but it leads to a liturgy which is irreverent, man-centered, and spiritually dangerous. Read 

‘Back to Basics’ in Education is Not Enough by Gillian Richards at The American Conservative. C.S. Lewis recognizes that the split between fact and value proves artificial. Saying schools should just teach the “facts” suggests that we can only know what we can observe and measure, rendering values mere sentiments. But as Lewis makes clear, normative judgments—expressions of like and dislike, awe and disgust—also convey something real…. Lewis wrote: “In a sort of ghastly simplicity we remove the organ and demand the function. We make men without chests and expect of them virtue and enterprise. We laugh at honour and are shocked to find traitors in our midst. We castrate and bid the geldings be fruitful.” It is a bitter irony that some Americans on the right now invoke the very thing Lewis critiqued as the cure to the ideologies that have replaced progressivism—critical theory, gender ideology, and the like. Read  

“The Child is Not the Mere Creature of the State…” by Charles J. Russo at Catholic World Report. The Pierce [v. Society of Sisters of the Holy Names Jesus and Mary] Court both upheld the right of non-public schools to operate and famously reasoned that “[t]he child is not the mere creature of the state; those who nurture him and direct his destiny have the right, coupled with the high duty, to recognize and prepare him for additional obligations.” Seventy-five years later, in Troxel v. Granville, a controversy from Washington over visitation rights, the Justices added that “the interest of parents in the care, custody and control of their children—is perhaps the oldest of the fundamental liberty interests recognized by this Court.” Read 

Social Media Robs Children of Childhood by Fr. Dominic Bouck at First Things. Social media is robbing children of childhood and the effects are lifelong. And of course, it is not just kids that are being harmed—social media is reducing many adults to adolescence. Considering that these all-consuming forms of communication have only existed for about a decade and a half, we have been running a massive experiment on everyone. Read 

High School Students are Beginning to Resist the LGBT Propaganda Being Forced on Them by Jonathon Van Maren at LifeSite. Lakeridge High School in Oregon recently ran into an interesting problem: boys were ripping tampon dispensers off the walls of their bathrooms and dumping them in the toilet…. Why are there tampon dispensers in the boys’ bathroom to begin with? Oregon’s 2021 “Menstrual Dignity Act” requires all public schools to provide all students regardless of “gender, age, ability [and] socioeconomic status” with menstrual products in order to promote “privacy, inclusivity, access and education.” The educational impact of putting tampon dispensers in boys’ bathrooms, of course, is to inform children that boys can have periods, which is to say that girls can be boys. Read 

Maryland Parents Sue School Board for ‘Flipping the Script’ on ‘Pride’ Books Opt-Out Policy by John Frawley Desmond at National Catholic Register. Amid a growing backlash against the adoption of “LGBTQ”-themed books for children in public-school classrooms, a group of Maryland parents just filed a federal lawsuit against the Montgomery County Board of Education, alleging it had improperly reversed its policy of allowing parents to opt their children out of sensitive reading materials. “The basis of the legal challenge will start with the First Amendment, which protects the right of parents to direct the religious upbringing of their children,” William Haun, senior counsel for the Becket law group, a public interest group that filed the lawsuit on behalf of three Muslim and Christian families. Read 

Kevin Stitt Signs Bill Enacting Oklahoma Universal School Choice by Jeremiah Poff at Washington Examiner. Gov. Kevin Stitt (R-OK) signed legislation Thursday that adds Oklahoma to a growing list of states that have enacted universal school choice... "Regardless of ZIP code, we now have an opportunity for a parent to take their kid to any school that they want," Stitt said. "You have a refundable tax credit to take your kid to a charter school, to a Christian school, to any private school, wherever you think your kid may be able to thrive. I remind people all the time: School choice should not just be for the rich or those that can afford it. Now, it's available for every single family in the state of Oklahoma." Read 

Throwback Thursday 

Sense and Nonsense: Whose Mass Is It? By Fr. James V. Schall at Crisis Magazine on July 1, 1990. The Mass is first of all a sacrifice. “The sacrificial nature of the Mass was solemnly proclaimed by the Council of Trent in agreement with the whole tradition of the Church,” the General Instructions affirm. To the same Brazilian bishops, John Paul II remarked: “It is clear that the Mass is something more than a feast of fraternal unity; it is much more than a meal among friends or a free supper for the poor. Nor is it a time for 'celebrating' human dignity, and purely earthly accomplishments and hopes. It is the Sacrifice which makes Christ really present in the Sacrament.” Of course, the first part of the Mass is word. The priest is to speak of God. The Mass is a whole, word and sacrifice and communion. The priest must be very careful not to obscure the Mass from what it is by something he is. Read

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