Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Fr. Hardon on Homeschooling

In response to Fr. Peter Stravinskas, concerning homeschooling ("Will the Real Vatican II Please Stand Up?" July-August 2003), I would like simply to quote from a well-known Catholic priest, the late Fr. John Hardon:

"I have been encouraging homeschooling under the strong advice of the Holy See. There is a passage in Pope John Paul II's historic document Catechesis in our Time: 'In places where widespread unbelief or invasive secularism makes real religious growth practically impossible, then the Church of the home remains the one place where children and young people can receive authentic religious instruction.'"

Fr. Hardon continues: "Homeschool Catholic education is defended and encouraged by the Vicar of Christ. He is saying that in secularized countries like our own, homeschooling may be necessary. Why should Catholic parents home-educate their children? Why not send them to Catholic schools? First, most of our once-flourishing Catholic schools in America have closed because thousands of consecrated women religious have abandoned these institutions. Second, because the religious instruction—even in catechetical programs in Catholic parishes—is sadly deficient. This is confirmed by the frightening report given by the chairman of the bishops' commission on catechetics. He recites a litany of doctrinal errors and defects in the religion textbooks used to teach children in parishes in our country."

These comments are taken from a tape of a talk given at the Michigan Catholic Home Educators conference July 1997.


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