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Divini Illius Magistri – The Role of the State – Part 7

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Pope Pius XI then tells us:

In our day, these principles have become inverted with many States giving priority to promoting government ideologies and propaganda into the Catholic schools. The religious element is either ignored or contradicted by the State parties.

Pope Pius XI addresses this very issue in the next paragraph of the encyclical.

In Ireland and other western democracies, the State pays lip service to the Catholic ethos of public schools and then mandates programmes which are contrary to the Catholic faith to be taught in those Catholic schools. This is particularly evident in the area of human sexuality where Relationships and Sexuality Education programmes are made mandatory in Catholic schools even though their content contradicts infallible Catholic Church teaching on this matter.

The response of most of the Catholic bishops is to develop programmes of their own which they claim are fully compliant with the mandated State curriculum. However, this is a contradiction and only leads to a compromise of the Catholic faith. These compromises endanger the faith of the children that are subject to these programmes. In many cases, the programmes developed by the bishops will selectively use resources developed by the State in order to show their compliance. This unfortunately gives an endorsement to the State as being a trustworthy source of information even though the State publicly and deliberately contradicts infallible Catholic Church teaching.

Such action on the part of the bishops also undermines the encyclical ‘Divini Illius Magistri’, because the bishops are co-operating with what Pope Pius XI has called policies on the part of the State that are “unjust and unlawful”. All such policies must be resisted.

Pope Pius XI was alert to some of the dangers facing education but some others were not prevalent in his time. Sundays have now become ordinary shopping days and a false anti-nationalist ideology has developed which seeks to create a one world government without borders or national identities. It would seem that this is also an attack on the Catholic identity of certain nations which are inherently opposed to such globalisation. Another danger of this globalist movement is that it tends to provoke the false, excessive Nationalism which Pope Pius XI warns against.

The problem that is now manifest in western democracies is that the secular State provides a civic education which includes the promotion of abortion, contraception, divorce, “same-sex marriage” and euthasasia all of which are contrary to the doctrines of the Catholic Church. That these are promoted in “Catholic” schools makes them all the more abhorrent, but there is very little resistance to these government policies because they have been nurtured and infiltrated into the public mind over many decades.

Here we see that Pope Pius XI does not deny that there is a role for the secular State in education. He is pointing out that State’s authority is not absolute, that it is limited to the realm of the natural common good, and that is must not encroach on the higher goods which pertain to the supernatural life of man.

These points are largely disregarded in “modern” western democracies and it would seem that a false understanding has developed which leads to a compromise on the part of the Catholic Church authorities in these States. Pope Pius XI now points out this problem and issues a challenge to those who oppose these principles.

We live in an age where principles no longer matter to most men. The authority of Jesus Christ is essentially denied and the civil society of most western democracies is heading for collapse, just as Pope Pius XI said it would. Today the challenge issued by Tertullian, St Augustine, and repeated by Pope Pius XI in ‘Divini Illius Magistri’, is simply ignored. Those who command power in western democracies are following the dictates of a ruling class who treat of mankind as of a species of animal to be husbanded and controlled as a form of livestock. The inherent dignity of man, created in the image and likeness of God, is denied. Man is portrayed as being a danger to the planet and the ‘herd’ needs to be culled as it has grown too populous. Very few episcopal voices have sounded the alarm and the rate of apostasy from the Catholic faith in once Catholic nations is astounding for the speed at which is has occurred. The lack of resistance to those who oppose what were once considered normal moral principles, is also astonishing. The commandment not to kill, has been subverted to the extent that abortion is now the leading cause of death in the world.

The corruption of education amongst youth in recent decades is also a leading cause of the transformation of societies from seeking the common good, to promoting that which is inherently evil as being good for society. This problem will have to be tackled with a major programme of reform for the Catholic schools to bring these schools back to first moral principles.

To be cont’d…

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