ADDRESSING the World
Union of Catholics at the inaugural session of their London Congress on Tuesday. the Earl of Craven pleaded for a genuinely integrated schools system with freedom of parental choice, for a demographic survey at international level of Catholic requirements, and for professional economic planning.
The Earl commented on the world-wide cleavage of education into two systems, one State, and the other religious. "The two are embattled," he said, "when they should form a complementary whole under the auspices of freedom of parental choice.
"Such a pattern of events", he continued, "can all too easily arrive on our doorsteps, overnight and uninvited. Witness the curious educational conditions which existent in France before the War, when nuns had, by law. to go about in laywomen's clothes.
"The devil has attacked the innocents from the kick-off. He attacked them in Bethlehem, just as he attacks them through Communism today, behind the Iron Curtain. God preserve the schools of Catholic Poland!" Referring to the situation in the United Kingdom. the Earl said that it is a good thing that we are left with a voluntary system of schooling. "But, of course, the costs are high, and so are the fees. However, ours are not so high as those of our non-Catholic opposite numbers, because they are mostly run by the various orders and institutions of the Church.
"The aim in view", said the Earl. "should be to allow parents a full and complete choice in the sort of education they want for their children. within the commonsense framework of a just, Slateauthoriaed, educational scheme: a scheme which gives allegiance to the clauses contained in the Geneva Declaration of Human Rights.
"It is suggested by many experts that an assessment of Catholic requirements can be started by a demographic survey. supported by all the recording machinery of the Church.
"Education is big business, and such statistical evidence could not be achieved without the expenditure of a great deal of effort and money. It would entail a staff of paid employees backed by professional direction. For this reason, I suspect that it could not be undertaken at anything less than Diocesan level.
"It seems to me that such a well-developed effort would be unanswerable by the officials of either Local Governments or National and Federal Ministries. This type of scheme, once accepted, would almost certainly pay for itself over and over again, even if it was accepted in part."'
The Earl then stressed the need for planning. "For economy's sake". he said. "planning is an essential in this world of high costs, high standards and expanding development in all fields. With the need to plan goes the even greater need to choose clearheaded executives. Planning is useless without professional application".
Some further points from the Earl of Craven's speech.
. ON SIN: "Those who deal in sin have an understanding that is all the greater. Sir Walter Moherley said that it is a fallacy to suppose that. by omitting a subject, you teach nothing about it. On the contrary, you teach that it is of secondary importance,
"I don't know how had the situation is in other countries, but I suspect the problems are those of our age, and are representative to a greater or lesser degree everywhere. I refer to the problems of ylaowunigind foickider, with reference to
"The police are themselves under pressure, because they cannot completely understand the moral principles which they are paid to uphold. and they find much to puzzle them in society."
• ON CORPORAL PUNISHMENT: "In order to administer a beating in English State Schools, the teacher has, first of all, to warn the student on three occasions, and is obliged to keep a 'black book'. The whole rigmarole has to be witnessed. Do you consider that this is justice, or does it run contrary to child psychology? Softness can he lack of charity" • ON SCIENCE: "It is only Christian education, within the dogma and teaching of the Catholic Church, which can draw together all the threads of science under one roof. A full education glorifies the true God by the very essence of wonder which illuminates the mind.
"It is something to wonder at, that the Sciences are drawing together, and becoming one, just as countries and churches are. We should be pleased that the Biochemist and the Biologist are at one with each other, along with the physicist or the chemical engineer. We should be happier still to see the Astronomer growing in stature to a Cosmologist, while the • ON TEACHERS' SALARIES: "Teachers must be attracted first of all by a sense of vocation, whether they be lay or ecclesiastical. The lay teacher s salary should be the second consideration: the labourer is worthy of his hire. The lay teacher may well be married, or wish to get married. and an intellectual home, after years of training. is not easily founded on the smell of an oily rag. Merit is part of the worthiness for hire.
"In England, we. as Catholics, are placed in a position of grave difficulty in the muter of adequate salary for lay teachers because of the problems raised by a State Educational System which does not make adequate allowances for denominational schools. In other countries. such as the United States, this problem is even greater."
• ON READING MATTER. "One wonders how much trouble is caused by reading matter available to young persons. I once said, in the House of Lords, that 'the Christian virtues of our ancestors arc being violated in order to fill the ever-bulging pockets of unscrupulous publishers, with gold filched from the virtues of our children'.
"Such men do not give a button —I could say Damn, which is a four-letter wordfor virtue, or the health of social morale. As for love. charity and self-sarrilice, such so-called native doctrines become completely unintelligible in their earthy and materialistic philosophy.