Perhaps the most important question that should be raised is the definition of the term "necessity" as regards education.
As thinking people who have minds capable of thought process that lead to decision that leads to actions accompanied by words and feelings, it is not a bright scenario to think of generations of people growing up lacking the skills to make decisions, follow them through, etc., if they are ignorant of their own capabilities, etc.
However, there is more to education than the mere academic nature of it which instructs the person (primarily children) in the skills of reading, writing, thinking, math, science, history and the like. These are all find, for they can develop the mind, which is accord with God’s Will. However, knowledge that is not given parameters, that is not without instruction of its own is to provide any person who enters an academic institution to find him or her self in a situation which leads to an unbridled thirst for all knowledge, even if that knowledge is harmful to the self, to others, to society as a whole.
What parameters, then, should there be on the role of and purpose of education in a society. Is the nature of education merely to develop the mind, not caring whether the consequences of acquired knowledge are beneficial to the whole, or the individual? If care for society as a whole and a person individually is part of the entire education process, then careful thought must be given as to where the boundaries are to be laid, where the institution of education operation as a whole, and the individuals engaged in education either as instructors or learners realize and accept that the boundaries are there to protect, rather than hinder. There are certain minds that are, after a period of primary instruction, education, more than capable of going beyond the boundaries into greater depths of knowledge, understanding, implementation, etc. This is not for all, as is God’s Will, not man’s. The self-imposed boundaries are to benefit society, to benefit all of mankind, not to become a form of tyranny.
We argue incessantly in this country about separation of church and state, which puts education and the knowledge it offers out there as a grab bag for any and all, without any guidelines, perimeters, boundaries, or the like. We make education a god, and put the God who gave us the absolute right and necessity to educate out of the picture, when He is the very One who is the boundary, the safeguard, the guidepost beyond which we do not venture lest we enter into dangerous waters that might lead us to the abyss.
Do we educate today in order to teach our children, all children, to live according to a Supreme Authority, God, who has given us the necessary means for life, and for eternal life? Or, do we merely teach our children the techniques of survival in a materialistic world, teaching them from preschool on to compete, to grab for the brass ring and who care who gets trampled on in the process? Are we turning out generations of truly ignorant geniuses, who can definitely read, write, compute complex math problems, program computers, develop satellites, etc., but generations of children who haven’t a clue how to disseminate the information they read, who don’t care whether the end result of their work is good, as long as they benefit from it. Generations who think only of their own good, of more and more ease, more and more money, speed in technology, etc., and give not one thought to the Author of All Life and All Knowledge.
Knowledge for the sake of knowledge is dangerous. Knowledge in search of God, for God, seeing Him and searching for Him in this knowledge brings the fruits that we need, both for our earthly existence, and more importantly, for our home with God for all eternity in Heaven.
What good does it behoove a man if he gain the whole world, but lose his immortal soul?
Christ spoke these words to us in the Gospel. Are we to deny them, for the sake of convenience. It’s easier to send the kids out the door, whether to public of private school, and entrust their education to others because we’re very, very busy holding down one, two or three jobs to pay the bills…which might include tuition if the school is private.
Private schools offer excellence in academics and frequently tout that they are Bible-based, Christian based, Catholic-based, or whatever, when, in reality, they go for the same grab-bag of federal funds that the public schools get, provided said schools follow the secular agenda set down by the federal and state governments.
Mother Cabrini was a missionary. But she was also a teacher in her own way, and a very good one. She did not possess degrees after her name. She did not attend conference after conference on the psychological development of the child, the environment of the child, and all the other excuses we throw around today as a reason for more state and federal funding. Rather, she tackled the instruction of adults and children with one aim: To teach them of God, who had given them the earth and all its wonders for their use. She taught them basics, and brought them to a self-awareness of their intrinsic worth through the grace of God, their Father. She did not bother with fancy things that might have speeded up the academic courses. That the person could read, write, comprehend and in that reading, writing and comprehension come to the realization, however gradual, that he/she was a child of God, meant for Heaven, and that it was God’s Will that the earthly life be spent in doing good for the benefit of all, would not be lost in the clutter, confusion, poverty, anxiety and concerns of the day.
Yes, we have progressed tremendous in technology since Mother Cabrini worked among the people. We have things she may not have even dreamed of. But she did what we talk about, and she did it simply. She educated the people she encountered in a way far superior to the education that is offered today. She taught the people of her world how to love God, to love themselves and their neighbor as they loved themselves, and added the basics of reading, writing, etc., to that foundation.
We’ve left God out. We’ve taken the foundation out of education and replaced it with a weak substitute…ourselves, as if we were god and all-knowing. Knowledge without God is useless. Knowledge from God and for God is without limit—for He directs and guides and does not make mistakes. Maybe it’s time we took education back to its roots, and stopped trying to become so sophisticated we wipe ourselves off the face of the earth by our arrogance and our ignorance.
On the heels of their deaths, both left legacies that would forever haunt generations to come. JFK left the policies of Roosevelt, which he cleaned up, in the incapable hands of Lyndon Baines Johnson who plummetted the United States into the most bitter and hated war in American history - a war without a cause which divided the country not seen since the Civil War. The respect that had been attributed to authority of every kind began to erode quickly. Police forces were mocked by rebelling students; soldiers who had been cheered and loved during World War II and the Korean War, were now hated and despised - looked on as the enemy; politicians from the mayor to president were scorned and ridiculed by the people and the media. And in the Church, where once Catholics accepted everything the Magisterium imparted, this cancer of rebellion began to take its toll. Young liberals within the Church began calling for change and they looked to the Second Vatican Council, convened by Pope John before his death, as the answer. They even rallied sympathizing cardinals and non-Catholic experts to their side, encouraging a more "ecumenical" approach to the Council for one specific purpose: If they left everything to the Magisterium of the Church, they reasoned nothing would be changed drastically; but if they were able to enlist non-Catholics in the process along with such radicals as Hans Kung and that ilk, they might be able to not only persuade the old guard towards change but also effect a new regime within the Church by shaming the Church into not being more ecumenical, more "with-it" in these modern times we live. Every radical organization came out of the woodwork demanding to be part of this "Ecumenical" Council. It was a PR nightmare for many in the Vatican curia who had never faced this kind of pressure before. Sadly, some caved, forgetting that these Councils are not dictated by the whims of the public, but rather the needs of the Church and the guidance of the Holy Spirit in determining and fulfilling God's Will.
For three years this Council continued, on and off, and when it convened on December 8, 1965 - the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception, many did not realize that almost everything had remained in tact. Some things had been changed to accommodate the faithful regarding culture, streamlining and clarification. Fortunately, most of the bishops, cardinals and priests taking part had relied on the wisdom of the Holy Spirit and the traditions of Holy Mother Church. Unfortunately, there were still too many radical prelates, clerics and liberal lay leaders who railed that the Church did not go far enough and damn the Council, they'd do it their own way. But to openly rebel would have been suicide on their part. The faithful would rise up as one and point to "obedience to the Pope and the Magisterium" and they'd be drummed out of the Church, losing any effectiveness they would have had. No, a different tactic had to be taken. That scheme was to infiltrate the media and chosen liberal Church lay leaders at the diocesan and parish levels, planting the idea that whatever they mandated did not come from them but from the Council Fathers at Vatican II. By the time the truth came out, it would be too late. Oh, how right they were! They started slowly, realizing too much on the plate would make fervent Catholics suspicious. The culture of Catholics is to be obedient and so they played on that aspect, claiming "the Church has changed this so now you must do it this way, or believe this." Catholics everywhere trusted these pastors and lay leaders were being honest and if they said it, then it had to have come from the Pope himself. We know that sounds ridiculous, but that's basically how Catholics felt three decades ago. Trust was the watchword, and it was violated to the enth degree by those who were plotting their own agendas. Look back on the way changes in the Church evolved and if we knew then what we know today, would we have allowed these things to happen in and to our precious Church? No way! This gives cause to also better understand victims of pedophilia back in those days. Unsuspecting altar boys - back when boys were the only ones who served at Mass - most often strived to serve as ideal Catholic young men, spurred on by their parents and priests. As confusing as the teen years are mentally and physically, they're even more pandemonious pscyhologically and this is what pedophile priests and liberal agenda manipulators played on: the psyches. Laying the guilt trip on Catholics, especially the young ones if they didn't comply with the "personal" wishes of someone who could effect their lives. Things that were not right were now suddenly okay? Mores and ritual changed too fast and disallusionment set in. Is it any wonder so many - including priests and nuns - left the Church shortly after Vatican II? Sadly good religious also left. Confusion reigned and their roles became foreign to what they had been called to do in their vocations. Young abused boys, growing into men, lived with the guilt in a state of quandary, despair and loss of self-respect, afraid to reveal the traumatic to anyone for fear of rejection, ridicule and scorn. As more and more truths became evident as to the crimes committed against these youths and the scandal accompanying it, more and more the pedastal Catholic clerics had been placed on during the first part of the twentieth century began to crumble. The collapse of Camelot was complete.
How the pedastal crumbled and how liberal theologians, Hollywood, and the media influenced the masses while radicals worked behind the scenes at the parish level in the 70's will be the topic next week as we expose the false prophets in the American Church in this on-going megaseries.
To review all past installments of this on-going series, go to Archives beginning with the inaugural A CALL TO PEACE internet issue in January 1996. volume 7, no. 1.