The Australian bush turkey causes a great deal of angst to most Australians who have them in their neighbourhood. They spare no expense in setting up the perfect nest for Junior. They scrape and scratch and collect as much leaf litter as possible and make a massive mound which is cared for meticulously. The angst is from the fact that they will pretty well destroy any established gardens in their attempt to make their perfect nest. So too bad about the common good. It’s all about THEM.
This is a continuation of this previous post.
God uses the Church to teach us about His will for us and His vision for how to parent. Parenting does come with a rule book, also known as the Catechism.
The following words in blue are excerpts from the Catechism of the Catholic Church
The duties of parents
2227 Children in turn contribute to the growth in holiness of their parents. (Gaudium et Spes 48) Each and everyone should be generous and tireless in forgiving one another for offences, quarrels, injustices, and neglect. Mutual affection suggests this. The charity of Christ demands it.(Matt 18:21-22)
This was foremost in my mind after having had a big, “challenging” week (aka me being really angry a lot). Then I came across this advice on anger, and it really struck a chord when Dr Guarendi said ” Anger is the difference between how things are, and how I think things ought to be.” This has given me much to ponder in relation to the above teaching. My children really do contribute significantly to my growth in holiness, and homeschooling has really brought out the worst in me in many ways but also highlighted in this the ways I most need to grow.
2228 Parents’ respect and affection are expressed by the care and attention they devote to bringing up their young children and providing for their physical and spiritual needs. As the children grow up, the same respect and devotion lead parents to educate them in the right use of their reason and freedom.
Bush turkeys and parents in general seem pretty good at providing the right physical environment to meet the needs of their young. Reasonably safe, enough food and hydration, kept warm, clean and comfortable. Entertained even.
It is another matter entirely with the spiritual needs. Children need parents, not other children to guide them in their spiritual and moral lives. How do they know which people to trust? Which Faith will genuinely fill their thirst for the fullness of the truth and fit that God-shaped hole in their hearts?
Being primarily responsible means to us that we cannot blame the dodgy State or Catholic schools, the lack of good catechesis, the Bishops, teachers, the culture for educating our children badly in the faith. If we are to stand before God and be held to account for the choices we have made about education, then we will not be able to lay the blame at anyone else’s feet for a failure to do our utmost to lead our children to God. If this is our conviction and the church empowers parents with the right to choose a school for them, then the question is not which school will give our kids the best academic formation but what sort of school are we looking for that upholds our convictions? What if we do not have access to any school which comes even close to our convictions? It is not about finding something just ok, and even if we could find the most utopian Catholic school on the planet just down the road from where we live, we are not able to be let off the hook like our favourite bush turkey buddies. We cannot leave it to the schools. Many parents have made this mistake and deeply regret it, seeing their children leave school with their faith systematically dismantled during the 12 years of attendance.
God didn’t make us like bush turkeys for a reason. He gave us as parents all the skills we need to educate our children and we have this not through a degree in education but through faith and the sacrament of marriage which despite our major shortcomings, provides abundantly for whatever is most needed in the formation of our children for eternity.
As far as possible parents have the duty of choosing schools that will best help them in their task as Christian educators.(Gravissimum Educationis 6)
It sounds good to say we have a choice, but our choices in Brisbane are so limited as to deem them impossible at this current time. The Catholic school we would consider as supportive of our call as a family is over 2,000 kms away from where we live. The distance education school we are enrolled with here in Queensland (as required by law) is Christian but not Catholic. Currently in Australia there is no Catholic distance education option at all for families.
No. Catholic. Distance. Education. In. All. Of. Australia.
Public authorities have the duty of guaranteeing this parental right and of ensuring the concrete conditions for its exercise.
We have yet to receive any help with this. Please pray we are able to exercise this right. It is an abuse of our rights as parents according to this teaching to be unable to access solid Catholic education options that comply with Australian educational laws which respects these teachings of the Catechism of the Catholic Church and upholds our rights as parents as the first and primary educators of our children.