Third Sunday after Epiphany St. Raymond of Penafort - Confessor J.M.J.

Lesson 33: DUTIES OF PARENTS TOWARD THEIR CHILDREN Taken from "A Brief Catechism for Adults" -- available online at . "But he that shall scandalize one of these little ones that believe in Me, it were better for him that a millstone should be hanged about his neck, and that he should be drowned in the depth of the sea." (Matthew 18:6) 1. To give their children the necessary food, clothing and shelter. This obligation rests on both parents, whether living together or separated. They must also keep their children from all danger to life and protect them from possible death. 2. To give them good example. Parents give good example by observing strictly all of their religious duties. For example: Regularly attending Mass, not eating meat on days of abstinence, carefully avoiding indecent speech, lying, cursing, criticism of others, immodesty and drunkenness. -- Parents should remember that children are great imitators, and they should be very careful of everything they do and say in the presence of their children. 3. To provide a truly Catholic home for them. A Catholic home is one in which God and Religion are of the greatest importance. -- In the home there should be crucifixes, pictures of Jesus, the Blessed Virgin Mary and the Saints. Indecent pictures and calendars, lewd and sensational magazines, books, comic books, TV shows and videos ( ) have no place in the Christian home. There should be good books, Catholic newspapers and Catholic magazines. 4. To have them baptized as soon as possible after birth. It is a serious sin to delay the Baptism of infants, and if there is any danger to the life of the newly born baby, the priest should be called immediately. -- In danger of death, and if no priest is available, Baptism can and should be given by anyone (preferably someone other than the parents). The one baptizing need not be Catholic; he may be of any religion or

especially during vacation time. 7. the parents should have him (or her) see the priest and receive the necessary instructions on marriage. To teach them to pray." The daily family Rosary will go a very long way toward ensuring that the children grow up to be good Catholics. Experience has shown that Catholic home schooling produces excellent results both spiritually and academically and that it brings great blessings to the family. A Catholic cannot marry except in the presence of a Catholic priest and two witnesses. To see that they go to Confession.olrl. Parents should not keep children home from Mass except for very serious reasons. -. if possible.In very many cases today. 10. --See Lesson 43. Parents are forbidden by Church Law to send their children to any other kind of school.of no religion. To see that on Ash Wednesday and the Fridays of Lent they abstain from meat altogether and that on the other Fridays of the year they refrain from meat or perform a comparable penance. [*See below for more on this subject] -. saying at the same time: "I baptize thee in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost. Parents commit . To insist that they marry in the Catholic Church. The procedure is: Pour water over the head of the child. 9. as well as grammar school. To send them to a Catholic school. especially Question 11 http://www. They should encourage dating only with Catholics. But he must have the intention of doing what the Church does in Baptism. the only truly Catholic school available is home schooling. Daily prayers should be said together by the whole family. The children should be taught to go to Confession and Holy Communion regularly and frequently ." . 8. This includes high school and college. receive Holy Communion and receive Confirmation. To see that they go to Mass every Sunday and on the six Holy Days. or at least with non-Catholics who are willing to take a full course of instructions in the Catholic Religion.As the saying goes. "The family that prays together stays together. 6. --When a son or daughter begins to think seriously of marrying.every week.

12. purity. sewing. . . To prepare them for marriage. These lessons must be given early and repeated continually. both by word and example. and modesty in dress. marriage. a place where he feels free to bring his companions. body piercing. 15. Parents should avoid complaining about the hardships of married life and joking about the sacred duties of marriage. truthfulness. Children should be taught early to respect all lawful authority. Many parents sin seriously by bad example in this matter. To give them wholesome recreation and keep them from evil companions.a mortal sin by forcing or unduly persuading any of their children to marry. cooking. drinking. as well as the VCR. and being neat and orderly. repairing. The Christian home should be the center of the child's social life. obedience.Parents should be extremely careful about allowing their children to attend motion pictures. 18. Children receive many un-Christian ideas on life. To correct their sins and faults. To teach them the virtues of honesty. 17. the State and the School.Lesson 33. such as cleaning. caring for children. from these sources of entertainment. being on time. To avoid email filter blocks. To give them the Christian attitude on marriage and having children. --They should also be taught the practical side of making a home. -. To teach them respect for all lawful authority. 11. The children should be taught the serious duties and responsibilities of marriage. 16. especially the authority of the Church. To teach them respect for the rights and property of others. It is a serious sin to neglect this duty. --The birth of another child should be a joyful occasion for the whole family so that the other children will consider having children as the greatest blessing of married life.olrl. crime. numbers 13 and 14 are not posted here but can be viewed online at http://www. 19. they should also examine their comic books and govern their use of the radio and television.

cannot receive absolution in the Sacrament of Penance.S. incumbent on parents to strain every nerve to ward off such an outrage. __________________________________ * Christian Education The Catholic Church has always stressed the essential need for parents to send their children to Catholic schools unless there is no other possible option. should they persist in their attitude. vitalizing. Instead of turning a child away from such a desire.] 20."It is. then.The Church cannot approve schools which exclude religion from the curriculum. according to Catholic moral teaching. and permits Catholic children to attend them. and.. such parents. brother or sister in the family is one of the greatest blessings that God can give a mother and father. if her judgment is unfavourable. Having a priest. motion pictures and television. when the circumstances are such as to leave no alternative. tolerates schools in which religion is not taught.[One can imagine what Fr..". and to strive manfully to have and to hold . Below are teachings from 5 different Popes on the subject: Catholic Church Teaching on Education: . 1831). parents should encourage the child. claims the right to forbid attendance" (Letter of Gregory XVI to Irish Bishops. To encourage a child's desire to be a priest. . and when due precautions are taken to supply by other means the religious training which such schools do not give. She reserves the right to judge whether this be the case. . --. The Church. Pope Pius IX. and co-ordinating factor in the life of the child.. Cogan would say of modern radio.Those parents who allow their children to frequent schools where it is impossible to avoid the loss of souls.tanbooks. . both because religion is the most important subject in education." Instructions Of The Holy Office To The Bishops Of The U. . 1875 . and because she contends that even secular education is not possible in its best form unless religion be made the central. a brother or sister."A Brief Catechism for Adults" is available in print from http://www.

."Duty of Attending Only Catholic Schools. "1. Fontes. 1860. Catholics should not choose mixed schools but have their own schools especially for children. There both teachers' lips and students' ears are inclined to godlessness. 381. Fid. In reality. see Instruction of the Holy Office. they are nothing more than the stronghold of the powers of darkness. 1875. or mixed-schools. 1890 . It is even more demanded by the existence of those public schools. For an education in which religion is altered or non-existent is a very dangerous education" Militantis Ecclesiae. 1910 .. and first and foremost to keep them away from schools where there is risk of their drinking in the poison of impiety" Sapientiae Christianae. where everything holy is ridiculed and scorned. that is. Prop. however. under what circumstances and with what precautions against the danger of perversion. Catholic schools. Pope Leo XIII. (As to elementary and high schools. and . Does the provision of canon 1374 apply only to elementary and high schools. 24 Nov. We are referring to those schools which are unjustly called neutral or lay. 4649.. as is fitting. whatever their grade. 1897 . Pius X.S. They should choose excellent and reputable teachers for them. neutral.exclusive authority to direct the education of their offspring. and it pertains exclusively to the Ordinary of the place to decide. Pope Leo XIII. especially the public schools in the U. even though they admit some non-Catholic pupils. The natural law itself forbids Catholics to attend schools. Mixed schools are those which admit pupils of any or no religion. those which are open also to non-Catholics.C. "2. VII."First. if they are dangerous to faith or morals. in accordance with instructions of the Holy See. 7 Apr. Catholic children may not attend non-Catholic. p. Both common experience and many documents of the Holy See prove that this danger may exist not only in the elementary and high school but in college and university as well. Vol. n." Editae Saepe. see S. lacking all religion. or also the colleges and universities? "a. in a Christian manner. attendance at such schools may be tolerated (Canon 1374)."Obviously the need of this Christian instruction is accentuated by the decline of our times and morals. Pope St. Neutral schools are those which exclude religion by prescinding from it. such as the public schools in the United States. do not come under this classification. As to colleges and universities.

1867. particularly in young people. 4868. n. Fontes. and also in ignoring the experience of facts.. Far too common is the error of those who with dangerous assurance and under an ugly term propagate a so-called sex-education. worse still. and the law of which the Apostle speaks. 4868. also S. such as a foolhardy initiation and precautionary instruction for all indiscriminately..) It was in regard to universities that the Holy See declared: 'The unformed and unstable characters of young people.. in order to accustom them. to the Bishops of England. 405. pgs. that in general no sufficient reason can be conceived for entrusting Catholic young people to non-Catholic universities. Fid."Another very grave danger is that naturalism which nowadays invades the field of education in that most delicate matter of purity of morals.. even in public. Vol. the great power exerted over the young by human respect and the fear of ridicule on the part of their fellows--all these things produce such a present and proximate danger of falling away. Does it apply equally to colleges and universities? We think that no such strict canonical requirement can be proved. Vol. Fid. Prop. evil . falsely imagining they can forearm youth against the dangers of sensuality by means of purely natural. vii. not strictly obligatory. 762-4) . parents and young people are bound by the natural law to remove effectively the danger of perversion by employing safeguards which are really sufficient.) 'It is almost if not quite impossible for those circumstances to exist which would render attendance at non-Catholic universities free from sin. The only thing which this canon adds to the obligation of the natural law is the provision that it is for the Ordinary of the place to decide in accordance with the instructions of the Holy See. Prop. such attendance may be permitted. and as it were to harden them against such dangers.' (S. It is prudent and advisable.. and. to consult the Ordinary on the sufficiency of these precautions.earlier documents there cited. the erroneous teaching which is inhaled as it were with the very atmosphere in those institutions without being offset by the antidote of solid doctrine. Prop. under what circumstances and with what precautions against the danger of perversion. 1867. p. Rom.' (Encyclical of the S. fighting against the law of the mind. Fontes. so it is argued. VII. Such persons grievously err in refusing to recognize the inborn weakness of human nature. VII pg..C. 6 Aug.. 405. by Bouscaren and Ellis (1951. p. from which it is clear that.C. 23.) "b. Vol. VII. In the absence of such legislation. n. 6 Aug.C." From Canon Law: A Text and Commentary.. by exposing them at an early age to the occasions. 1867. n. 405. 4868. Fid. Fontes. 6 Aug.

And first. it is itself a sin for us to knowingly put ourselves in the occasion of sin. as regards family life. If we look at our page on "Occasions of Sin".: Pope Pius XI on Sex-Education. And as we can see from the commentary on Canon Law. Catholic children must always be sent to Catholic schools unless not otherwise possible. and particularly fatal in tender years. and closes it on religion" ON THE RELIGIOUS QUESTION IN FRANCE. parents have a serious obligation for seeing to proper Catholic education of their children. Encyclical of Pope Leo XIII promulgated on February 8. 1929 ."Christian Education" . To divorce these is to wish that youth should be neutral as regards its duties to God. -. and unsupported by the means of grace. 1884 Summary Looking at Church teaching. it is of the highest importance that the offspring of Christian marriages should be thoroughly instructed in the precepts of religion. a system of education in itself fallacious. and are occasions of sin. and that the various studies by which youth is fitted for the world should be joined with that of religion.practices are the effect not so much of ignorance of intellect as of weakness of a will exposed to dangerous occasions. for it opens the door to atheism. even adults must use extreme caution when attending non-Catholic colleges and many courses teach contrary to Catholicism.taken from .