Guidelines for Catholic Home-Schoolers:
Thought -- for the Starving Catholic Home-Schooler
face it. Catholic parents all over North America and now beyond have
turned to home-schooling for one overwhelming reason: Catholic
schools almost universally provide scarcely more than a vestige of
Catholic education or formation for Catholic youth.
may discover a thousand and one more euphemistic reasons to
home-school once weve started, but it is an incontestable fact
of recent history that parents do so primarily because we have no
reasonable alternative if we take seriously our obligations to form
our children as Catholics amidst the current conditions of crisis in
the Church. The schools wont help -- they even hurt: were
left to try it ourselves. Sad, but true of things (to paraphrase St.
home school parents learn of dioceses proposing guidelines for home
schoolers one immediate question should come to mind: Why at this
time in history, when the innocence and faith of countless children
have been imperiled or ruined in Catholic schools, should Catholic
parents take the risk of re-submitting their children to diocesan
educators or their materials?
at it from another perspective: whats so broken about
home-schooling that it needs fixing anyway?
Pittsburgh Home Schooling Regulations are important if
only because many say these are the kind of guidelines acceptable to
Catholic home schoolers. Oh, really?
guidelines certainly reiterate the Churchs teaching that
parents are the primary educators of their children. Do we really
need guidelines to expound this Catholic truth? And do we
need to hear it from the very officials who have run roughshod over
that truth and its application to families the past 30 years?
part III of the guidelines, under The Role of the Teaching
Church, we read:
are their childrens primary educators, but not their only
educators. The teaching Church is the guarantor of the soundness of
Christian doctrine -- the revealed truth that comes from Jesus
Christ -- whenever that doctrine is conveyed.
a minute: which home-schooling parent do you know denies the
authority of the magisterium? Isnt the point rather:
whether Pittsburghs diocesan officials and their counterparts
throughout the western world have even the slightest idea about what
Catholic home-schooling is and why it has become so urgently
necessary for the salvation of our children?
part IV of the guidelines, under Education and Communion,
authority of parents and pastors has sometimes come into conflict
because of the wide variety of readings of current diocesan policies
for sacramental preparation. Homeschooling families should not be
unduly burdened in sacramental years. In general, if they are
providing their children regular and thorough catechesis, they
should not be required to attend additional parish religious
education classes. The pastor, however, has the responsibility to
evaluate readiness for reception of a given sacrament (cf. Quam
Singulari), and he should clearly state for all parish families
how he will determine that readiness. Again, this process should not
be burdensome to the family or traumatic to the children, and the
requirements for home-catechized children should be neither more nor
less demanding than they are for other children. When service
projects or other works are required, the parents may be entrusted
to oversee the works.
Why is there a conflict of authority caused by the wide variety of
readings of current diocesan policies? Does anyone expect such
conditions to change on account of new guidelines?
The words, in general are interesting: how will it be
determined who will have to attend parish religious education
Given that home schoolers will be trained differently, how are the
neither more nor less demanding requirements to be
the next paragraph we read,
while parents are the primary educators, their interpretation of
doctrine can never supersede the legitimate teaching authority set
over them in the Church.
operative words here are legitimate and "legitimate teaching authority." The whole controversy
is not over whether there are legitimate authorities in any
given diocese or situation, or that Bishop Wuerl is not the legitimate
teaching authority, or that no Catholic may interpret doctrine over or in place of the legitimate authority. The controversy is over the legitimacy of pastoral directives, not magisterial authority, coming from the authorities in Pittsburgh et al. Such directives may be wise or foolish, good or bad, helpful or problematic, laudable or regretable, and Catholics are thereby bound to heed them accordingly.
the section about resources in the Diocese of Pittsburgh made
available to home-schoolers: Do home schooling parents really think
they will enrich their knowledge of Catholic doctrine by availing
themselves of the various programs and courses offered through the
Department of Religious Education/CCD in Pittsburgh or just about
any other diocese in the US or Canada?
the section on Diocesan Policy Related to Home Catechesis and
Sacramental Preparation, we read:
months prior to the scheduled sacraments, parents will need to
arrange an interview between the pastor (or his delegate) and their
child to determine the childs readiness and to allow time to
make adjustments in any further preparation, if necessary.
Interviews are to be based upon the requirements noted in the
Sacramental Policies and information stated in the Catechetical
Curriculum Guidelines, Diocese of Pittsburgh.
you read the Catechetical Curriculum Guidelines issued by the
Diocese of Pittsburgh, or its Catholic Vision of Love? Could
any serious Catholic believe these documents really help lead
Catholics to right knowledge and right practice of our Holy Religion
or to holiness? Could it be rather that no Catholic in his right
mind would consider allowing his child to become associated with
those who are guided by such documents? Moreover:
Who will be the pastors delegate and what authority will he
or she have?
Their actions speak so loudly I can hardly hear what they are
saying! These are by and large the same pastors and their delegates
who have imperiled nearly two generations of young Catholics in
neo-Modernist hetero-indoctrination. Should Catholic home-schooling
parents be made to feel confident that we are to send our children
back to such rogues for their stamp of approval or re-education?
the benign sounding Catholic wording, the passage demonstrates the
reasoning and one key objective of the guidelines; namely, to direct
home-schooling families to the parish settings, mechanisms or
bureaucracies which typically endanger the Faith. Thats the
bottom line of these and how many other guidelines.
only redeeming passage of the Pittsburgh guidelines is the last
paragraph -- which essentially nullifies all the preceding
jargon of the document: A candidate whose parents do not
participate in special programs may not for this reason be deprived
of the right to eucharistic [sic]
Communion. (Code of Canon Law 843, 912)
Catholic home-schoolers resolve never to rebel against their lawful
authorities. Let Catholic home-schoolers also beware of the sin of
human respect and stay as far away as necessary from the workings
and reforms of the neo-Modernist establishment.
parents need to prepare themselves and their children to receive the
sacraments privately and quietly from priests who will not burden
them (nor punish them further) for fulfilling their duties in the
education and formation of their children. The resulting
marginalization is a small sacrifice to offer for the moral health
of our children. In fact, it may be the only ,means to pass on the
faith of our fathers to them, and the generations to come. God help.
us! Our Lady, Help of Christians, pray for us!