Church On School Choice


The Catechism of the Catholic Church

“Parents have the right to choose a school for them which corresponds to their own personal convictions. This right is fundamental,” and “public authorities have the duty of guaranteeing this parental right and ensuring concrete conditions for its exercise”

Gravissimum Educationis - the Declaration on Christian Education

“Parents who have the primary and inalienable right and duty to educate their children must enjoy true liberty in their choice of schools. Consequently, the public power, which has the obligation to protect and defend the rights of citizens, must see to it, in its concern for distributive justice, that public subsidies are paid out in such a way that parents are truly free to choose according to their conscience the schools they want for their children”

“The Sacred Council of the Church earnestly entreats pastors and all the faithful to spare no sacrifice in helping Catholic schools fulfill their function in a continually more perfect way, and especially in caring for the needs of those who are poor in the goods of this world”

To Teach as Jesus Did

“We call upon all members of the Catholic community to do everything in their power to maintain and strengthen Catholic schools which embrace the threefold purpose of Christian education”

“The unfinished business on the agenda of Catholic schools, like many other schools, also includes the task of providing quality education for the poor and disadvantaged of our nation”

“Generous, sustained sacrifice is demanded of those whom God has favored in order to make available educational programs which meet the need of the poor to be self-determining, free persons in all areas of individual and social life”

“It is also imperative that the Catholic community collaborate with all Americans committed to educational freedom. The right of parents to exercise genuine freedom of choice in education in ways consistent with the principals of justice and equality must be made operative”

“While steps must be taken to ensure legitimate freedom of choice in education for all, special attention should be given to extending it to those in our country who suffer most from educational disadvantage”

“In an area so intimately related to fundamental human needs and rights as is education, coercive theory or practice which results in the elimination of viable educational alternatives is intolerable, however it may be rationalized”

The Catholic School

“First and foremost the Church offers its educational service to ‘the poor or those who are deprived of family help and affection or those who are far from the faith.’ Since education is an important means of improving the social and economic condition of the individual and of peoples, if the Catholic school were to turn its attention exclusively or predominantly to those from wealthier social classes, it could be contributing towards maintaining their privileged position and could thereby continue to favor a society which is unjust”

“These Catholics need to be assured, as they strive to regularize the frequent injustices in their school situations, that they are not only helping to provide every child with an education that respects his complete development, but they are also defending freedom of teaching and the right of parents to choose an education for their children which conforms to their legitimate requirements”