Recently Father John Zuhlsdorf responded to a reader who asked if it was ok to send your children to an SSPX school in the post ASK FATHER: Can I send my kids to an SSPX school? Essentially he responded it was up to the parents to make that decision. I agree with this. It is ultimately the parents responsibility given by God to educate their children. Everyone else helps. I would like to share how we made this decision for ourselves.
1. Public schools. Father Zuhlsdorf appears to skip over the primary reason to avoid public schools in America. They teach socialism, the religion of humanism and your children are not socializing with other kids in the faith. Thus by attending public schools we are “allowing” or “encouraging” our children to surround themselves with non-Christians, and specifically non-practicing Christians teachers. Yes their are practicing Christians that attend public school, but not all, depending upon your area perhaps not even the majority. Yes you can socialize them after school but you are fighting up river. They are with non-traditional Catholic teachers and kids 8 hours a day. Every day. This becomes much more important as the children get older. Also, public schools in America teach religion, oh yes they do. They teach that all faiths are equal. They teach all cultures are equal. They even pass out Satanic literature and teach the sin of homosexuality is a virtue. In the public square they teach the faith of atheism is the only one allowed. Some describe the religion of government schools as “…secular humanism, scientism plus prosperity.” No matter what you call it American governmental schools teach what amounts to a religious world view. Public schools were never an option for us.
2. Protestant schools. There are some very good Protestant schools where we landed in the American Redoubt. However again, the issue of socialization of the young and the life-long friendships they can make in high school. Also, Protestant schools will ask for all children to participate in some way with religious education. If not, why is it a religious school? I don’t think my children even know what a King James Bible is. We teach and live a “hard Catholic identity” lifestyle that Father John Zuhlsdorf has help make popular. This is no way takes away from my commitment to work with anyone of any faith especially other Christians. And when thinking of Protestant or public schools for believing Catholics please remember this cannon.
Canon 1366. Parents or those who take the place of parents who hand over their children to be baptized or educated in a non-Catholic religion are to be punished with a censure or other just penalty.
[Right! A “non-Catholic” religion. That would apply to the Lutheran school. It wouldn’t to the SSPX school. Thanks for bringing in this sobering canon. Good contribution. – Father Z ]
3. Novus Ordo schools. If we had to choose, we would rather send our children to a Catholic Novus Ordo School. The one in the local area is terribly liberal and progressive, filled with the pro-choice, little half-naked little girls throwing the Eucharist out like Frisbee with the Church of Nice, but we would try. Again the Novus Ordo are Catholic. Sometimes I think traditional Catholics forget this. Our issue is that the local Catholic Novus Ordo schools are not K-12, thus most kids go to “public school” eventually. We are thankful that we are not forced to make that decision.
4. Homeschooling. We tried homeschooling as long term subscribers to this blog can attest. We could not make it work in our home for various reasons. Simply put homeschooling is not for everyone even though I love it and support it.
Thus for our family the schools that are associated with the SSPX was the option. We explained to the Sisters and the Headmaster at our local school that we have no issue with the SSPX and pray for reconciliation all the time. We choose to remain with the FSSP because we have made roots there, and the FSSP are the priests that helped us rediscover our traditional Faith. Although we sometimes attend the SSPX chapel for Mass, we explained that on Sunday we will normally be going to a FSSP parish. The Sisters did not have a problem with that as long as we were consistent and solid in our decision. They did not want our family bringing “the SSPX is evil, but we want to attend your school” attitude. The Catholic Headmaster of the boys school had no issue but gave us the same concern of keeping the “issues” out of the school. He said his parish is growing so much that he is thankful for others like the FSSP to help carry the load of the massive growth of Tradition. In the girls school there are more than 240 girls, in the boys schools they have more than 200, with a kindergarten class of more than 25.
My point is we make no waves at the school and are trying to find our path in this time of great confusion in the Church. We thank the Lord for the Society and this opportunity, and I pray my children will be worthy of it. For the interest of families who want to provide their girls with a thoroughly Catholic and Thomistic education in a boarding school atmosphere, the Dominican Sisters of Fanjeaux have two foundations here in the States:
St. Dominic’s School
Post Falls, Idaho
Holy Name of Jesus Academy
Massena, New York