FishEaters Traditional Catholic Forums

Full Version: Is it mortal sin to send your child to public school?
You're currently viewing a stripped down version of our content. View the full version with proper formatting.
Pages: 1 2
My son will be 3 in a couple months, and I'm starting to think about his schooling.

The only private Catholic school is fairly expensive, but -- if it means my child's salvation -- I'll have to make the necessary sacrifices.  The economy in my province is absolutely dreadful, and the provincial government did away with the denominational school system years ago.
No, it not a sin to send your child to public school.

If you wish to send your kid to parochial school, then look to see what tuition assistance is offered. Most Catholic schools offer greatly reduced rates in return for volunteer work. There is also of course homeschooling.

Sent from my VS986 using Tapatalk
Just FYI many Catholic schools are not any better.  They teach the "new Church" stuff, and most of the teachers are hyper-libs.  I went through Catholic school and two of my brothers are atheist as a result of the catechesis they received.  I honestly think no Catholic education is better than a deeply incorrect one.  Those misconceptions cannot be very easily erased.  It's really insidious stuff.  Think about everything you read on this forum about what the Church is going through.  All of that will be taught to your child as authoritative fact in Catholic school.  

An SSPX run school?  Sure.  But what you imagine as Catholic education is dead and long gone, both in form and in content.
(02-25-2018, 10:35 AM)FultonFan Wrote: [ -> ]The provincial government did away with the denominational school system years ago.

It's probably for the best. I'm from Ontario and a teacher from my """Catholic""" high school was in a gay "marriage".
(02-25-2018, 10:35 AM)FultonFan Wrote: [ -> ]My son will be 3 in a couple months, and I'm starting to think about his schooling.

The only private Catholic school is fairly expensive, but -- if it means my child's salvation -- I'll have to make the necessary sacrifices.  The economy in my province is absolutely dreadful, and the provincial government did away with the denominational school system years ago.

It’s not a sin. Years ago, US public schools taught the Bible, using the Protestant bible. That, of course, was problematic for Catholics, so sending Catholic children to a public school would have been discouraged more years ago than now. 

I went to public school, and had a good experience in terms of my moral formation.  That was a different generation, however, and secular society was not so overtly secular. The areas where I lived and went to school were and still are (considering one of them is in a large city) some of the most conservative and religious areas of the US. We didn’t talk about God, but we knew how to act. I wasn’t Catholic then. Regardless, I believe my public education gave me valuable opportunities that changed my life, that I wouldn’t have had otherwise. I am very grateful for them, and if I had children I would want the same for them.
In itself (i.e. considered without reference to any subjective details added), yes, it would be sinful for a parent to choose to send their children to a secular state school when there is a Catholic school available. Historically a parent who did this would be refused absolution (because they created a continual sinful situation).

That's the bare objective consideration which do not take into consideration the following :

  • Historically, Catholic schools were free or nearly-free, because religious and priests staffed them and having lay teachers was rare. This meant the cost was very low. In true situations of poverty, often any fees were waived. This meant that sending a child to another school was not due to financial considerations, thus far less reason.
  • Historically, Catholic schools taught the Faith. Few now do so, or if they do they are often tainted with modernist/liberal errors like "religious freedom". In this regard they often are worse than public schools because they seem to teach the Faith, but provide a false teaching, whereas there is no expectation of learning the Faith in a secular public school.
  • Historically, Catholic schools were very numerous, such that nearly every parish or second parish would have a primary school and the bigger towns/parishes would have a secondary school which fed from those primary schools. Now there are relatively few Catholic schools.
  • Because staffed by religious (who were usually quite numerous, often more than what was strictly necessary), there often was opportunity for the younger religious to care for the special needs children. Today, few good Catholic schools have special needs programs.
Given those and other factors, the subjective considerations for each child now become more important, so it cannot be laid down as a general rule that a parent who sends a child to a secular public school is certainly committing sin. There are now financial considerations that did not previously exists, there are considerations about the Faith being taught, there are considerations of availability, and considerations for the individual child given the lack of certain programs.

Thus, no you would not be sinning, necessarily in the situation you describe.

Still, you should prudently consider the available options and all the different factors. You are ultimately responsible before God for what you provide, and while the Church can guide you, it is your prudential call as to what is proper. If you do the necessary investigation and consideration, then you will not be at fault for any negligence, and then as the situation develops you can reconsider.

Also you might consider what is being taught, especially in Canadian public schools. Exposure to the junk, like the pro-LGBTQIABCDEFGHIJK... agenda later is life is far less harmful than when they are taught this is good in the first few years (which warps them early along). In such a case, homeschooling for a few years to avoid that crud might be the best option before then you transition them into public or Catholic school. 

It itself, you should avoid Protestant schools, but if there is no good option aside, a Protestant school early in life is less of a problem that it might at first seem. But again, that often must be prudently considered against the other options you have.

Whatever the case, you must supply their religious education. Even if they go to a Catholic school, you should be checking up, and even supplementing their religious education with books, lives of Saints, extra Catechism, etc.
Uh, no. If it's the cheapest option and you're in a district that is half-way decent (e.g., reputation, non-SJW principal + president + super) then go for it. Catholics aren't obligated to send their kids to parochial schools and sometimes, if the parents do it right, the kid may actually know and keep their faith beyond puberty. If parochial schools want to compete with state education on a serious level then they need to decrease tuition and actually be Catholic. Catholicism that is nominalism is misleading to those who want the real thing; I'd rather send my kids to a reputable public school than send my kids to a softie Catholic institution that boasts about "spirituality" and pastoral garbage. Now if the Catholic school is academically challenging and is actually Catholic then it becomes a tougher decision. Such places exist, and they're becoming increasingly rare yet coveted, but more of name only kind exists. If my kid had any learning or physical disabilities then public schools are the first ones to get looked at simply for the services they can provide (in fact they're under law to provide).

Quote: It itself, you should avoid Protestant schools, but if there is no good option aside, a Protestant school early in life is less of a problem that it might at first seem. But again, that often must be prudently considered against the other options you have.

Whatever the case, you must supply their religious education. Even if they go to a Catholic school, you should be checking up, and even supplementing their religious education with books, lives of Saints, extra Catechism, etc.

Aurora Griffin, author of How I Stayed Catholic at Harvard, is a graduate of a Protestant high school. Her father didn't want her attending a nominal Catholic school in southern California so he sent to a Protestant one. In her situation, both as a Catholic in a Protestant school and as a cradle Catholic, she's an exception given that she was raised in a rather traditional Catholic household. If we use her as an example it can be done but the kid has to have parents who relay why they're attending X school and not Y plus a dose of home teaching. It also helps if the kid is receptive to the faith; going over her upbringing I could see several incidents that it could've gone wrong.
(02-25-2018, 03:33 PM)MagisterMusicae Wrote: [ -> ]In itself (i.e. considered without reference to any subjective details added), yes, it would be sinful for a parent to choose to send their children to a secular state school when there is a Catholic school available. Historically a parent who did this would be refused absolution (because they created a continual sinful situation).
Which is exactly why my Grandfather ended his formal education in grade two. He was born on St Patrick's Day, 1863, the child of the only German family in a solidly Irish town in Eastern Iowa. His Catholic parents, of course, sent him to parochial school. Unfortunately, the extreme bigotry of the Irish against the Germans meant that if an Irish child vomited, the nuns made him clean it up, because he was 'just a German'!


As a result, when he was seven, in grade two, he told his parents that he wanted to go to public school. They refused, because it was a sin to send a child to a non-Catholic school if a Catholic school was available. So, in an act of defiance, he threw his school books in a creek. His parents bought him another set, which he proceeded to burn! That ended his formal education. His parents would not send him to public school, and he would not attend a Catholic school where he was mistreated because of his nationality, so he dropped out of school at seven.
You're dammed lucky if you can homeschool, do it. Public schools are getting worse by the minute as is out sick society.
We're fortunate to live in an area where the public schools are nice. The most decent Roman parish in the area has a nice K-8 school, but the costs are exorbitant. Sending my kids there would cost right at $3000 a month, and more as our younger ones get older, which is beyond our means. Their tuition assistance is 50% for the first two years in the school, and then full price. It's in a much richer part of town, but the parish nearer to us does not have a school, and even if it did, I'd be suspicious given the liturgical praxis of that parish.

I understand the economics of how this is happening – lay teachers need to be paid decently, and there are just not enough priests and religious to staff schools. I get it. But it is a perversion for Catholic education to become a "rich kid" thing.
Pages: 1 2