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Blessed Clemens von Galen on the Right Ordering and Purpose Catholic Education October 19, 2017

Posted by Tantumblogo in awesomeness, Basics, catachesis, Domestic Church, episcopate, family, General Catholic, Glory, Grace, manhood, sanctity, Society, Spiritual Warfare, the struggle for the Church, Tradition, true leadership, Virtue.
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Clemens von Galen was beatified as a confessor, for the witness of the Faith, and defense of his flock, he gave during the rise and fall of the evil Nazi regime.

The Nazis, as the Left has been doing in this country for a few decades, attempted to kill the Faith by a thousand cuts. Contra the communists, they simply didn’t outlaw the Church on day one and declare all faithful, and especially clergy, enemies of the state.  They operated more by craft, deception, and moderate, but constant application of many means just short of force (though having recourse to force more and more as their ends became more and more obvious – the destruction of the Church – and more and more individuals rose up to oppose them.

As we all know, Vatican Council II did not burst on the Church from a vacuum.  The rot, pointed out by Pope St. Pius X already 30 years before von Galen, was already quite deep.  As such, there were huge debates in the German hierarchy as to how to respond to the Nazi regime.  The slight majority of bishops favored general public science and acquiescence, seeking to influence the regime by endless private dialogue behind the scenes, while a large minority, led in part by von Galen, favored a much more public, confrontational approach.  Because all the bishops, including for a time von Galen, were convinced they could only have effect if they spoke in total unanimity, all the bishops were kept more or less silent for a time by the ineffectual dialogue faction.  Eventually as the persecution became more and more severe, von Galen and others broke with the demand for unanimity and began operating more and more on their own.

Nowhere was the persecution of the Church more apparent than in the area of education.  Like everything else Church-related in crazy Germany, the Catholic schools were state funded.  Well, that gave the Nazis a perfect opening to do just what they pleased with them.  Then they simply started closing all the parochial schools and forcing kids into government Hitler Youth indoctrination camps (remember, the modern public school system and structure is a largely German, and progressive, invention).

This gave rise to von Galen writing an extensive pastoral letter to his flock on the right nature of Catholic education, to try to give them arms with which to protect their children.  It’s really quite good – so good, I can imagine virtually no American prelate uttering words of even close to the same effect.  Maybe Burke, but even that’s dubious in part.

The point of this post is: compare von Galen’s description of a proper Catholic school and education, and compare to the Catholic schools you know.  See how they line up.

Excerpted from various parts of pp. 148-157 of The Lion of Münster:

A Catholic confessional school, according to von Galen, is a school in which Catholic children are taught by believing Catholic teachers, in accordance with the principles of the Catholic Church. [Already we see a massive variance with today’s “Catholic” schools – many children aren’t Catholic, the teachers often are not Catholic and many reject vast swaths of the Faith even if they are, and they are more and more rarely taught according to Catholic Truth.]  Religion influences every aspect of education……….

He urged parents not to be fooled by the different names that might be used in the propaganda for the new state schools, whether it be “the community school,” “the German school,” or “the German confessional school.” Demand instead: the Catholic confessional school.  Then he gave clear, simple, straightforward answers to the standard arguments in favor of the new community schools.  Perhaps, he said, parents would be told that in Catholic areas, everything would remain the same in the new schools. “That is not true,” was the response. “If all were to remain the same, then why all the pressure and advertising for a new school? Will all remain the same if teachers can be assigned to your schools who are not Catholic, or who have left the Catholic Church, or who deny the articles of her faith?“……….

To the claim that the new schools would still have religious instruction, the bishop replied that a brief class on religion each day does not constitute a Catholic education, if for the rest of the day, the educational philosophy was based on a non-Christian spirit and if there were no more prayer and celebration of feast days.  He reminded parents that already, teachers who no longer believed in the Catholic Faith were teaching in Catholic schools……….[Wow. It’s almost as if he’s describing the vast majority of Catholic schools today.  Or, put another way, the Catholic school of today is closer to the Nazi model than the Catholic one?  How many children go through 12 years of Catholic schooling and emerge knowing basically nothing of the Faith, except the same sneering derision for many of its moral precepts they learned from their teachers?]

[But it’s not all on bad Catholic schools……]……No school could make up for parents’ neglect in their children’s religious education.  They should be sure to keep good religious writings in the home and to watch carefully the teaching their children received in the school.

Consecrate your family by means of your parental office so that it will be an acceptable offering to God! Be conscientious about the divine service of communal prayer in your houses!  The father as the head of the family should be its delegate and its representative before God.  Plant the spirit of the fear of the Lord and reverence for the Saints in the hearts of your children! The cross should have the place of honor in a Christian home!……..[Awesome advice]

……….Guard your authority! Give your children healthy spiritual nourishment and genuine joy!  Do not tolerate any poisoning of their loyalty to the Church or disparaging of the Faith by slanders [from those given authority over them as teachers.  Better yet, don’t give unworthy people that authority!]

………God had given [parents] a sacred responsibility, he told fathers and mothers, a responsibility for which they were consecrated by the Sacrament of Matrimony.  The great importance of this Sacrament was becoming even more clear in their own days.  Neither the Church nor the state could absolve them of their duty as educators of their children, nor could the schools take responsibility from them.  He urged them to recall the words of St. Peter: “He who has an office, let him fulfill it in the strength hat God supplies” (I Pet iv:11)……..

[In fact]…….Better NO religion classes in the schools than religion classes that destroy rather than build up, that poison rather than heal!  Keep watch, Christian parents, and observe carefully whether your children are learning the true faith in the school, and are being directed in the truly Christian way of life! [I think after decades of experience, a few worthy exceptions aside, that we can conclude that virtually all Catholic schools are to be assiduously avoided, for they destroy rather than build up, and poison rather than heal.]

————-End Quotes————

Well, as I said, simply compare and contrast what passes for Catholic education these days in virtually all diocesan or religious-run schools, with what Blessed Clemens von Galen describes as both good and bad in proper formation of children.  No wonder, as Venerable Fulton Sheen and many others have said, the absolute last place you want to send your child for Catholic education is a Catholic school (or college/university, for that matter).  Yes, there are a handful of exceptions, but even those exceptions carry with them certain dangers.

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Comments

1. The Lord's Blog - October 20, 2017

Reblogged this on Jean'sBistro2010's Blog and commented:
Blessed Clemens Von Galen…………………….


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