Quoting a teacher about secularism Pope Francis says, ‘I don’t know if we’re sending the kids to school or a re-education camp’

On Friday in his audience with the BICE [International Catholic Child Bureau] Pope Francis spoke about his commitment to promoting the protection of children’s rights, especially in view of the sex abuse scandals.  The area of physical protection has perhaps been more reported in the media than the wider concern that the Pope also showed to ensure the protection of children’s intellectual development.

“ I would like to express my rejection of any kind of educational experimentation with children. We cannot experiment with children and young people. The horrors of the manipulation of education that we experienced in the great genocidal dictatorships of the twentieth century have not disappeared; they have retained a current relevance under various guises and proposals and, with the pretence of modernity, push children and young people to walk on the dictatorial path of ‘only one form of thought’.

A week ago a great teacher said to me… ‘with these education projects I don’t know if we’re sending the kids to school or a re-education camp’…

…Working for human rights presupposes the aim of fostering anthropological formation, of being well prepared on the reality of the human person, and knowing how to respond to the problems and challenges posed by contemporary culture and widespread mentality propagated by the mass media…   we should propose the positive values of the human person [to] the new culture…



M Donnelly: In the context of the Pope’s rejection of relativism and his concern over how secularism is affecting education, Pope Francis appears to be hitting back firmly at those who have accused the Catholic Church of ‘brain washing’ children.  By defending anthropological formation based on the reality of the human person, he reminds us that man retains the freedom to make real choices to follow God’s will.   Placing this also in the context of the Pope’s frequent warnings over the danger of the devil and evil of sin, it is also possible to see why he further goes on to speak of the requirement for  continuing formation in anthropology.   As the Church has consistently taught, while redeemed and transformed in his nature by Christ, it should not be forgotten that man is still damaged by sin.  This means that while man retains the freedom to make real choices to follow God’s will, the control which man has over himself and his ability to discern the will of God is damaged.  Man has to develop the moral and religious ‘intuitions’ that he experiences, so that his consciousness and his conscience, that is, his ‘knowing’ of right action, becomes attuned to and directed by God.  The Church possesses through Scripture, Tradition and the Magisterium the guidance we need for this development.  We need strong leaders who are prepared to speak this truth out so that every person is able to find his fulfilment in giving himself in ‘gift’ of love to God.

3 comments to Quoting a teacher about secularism Pope Francis says, ‘I don’t know if we’re sending the kids to school or a re-education camp’

  • ms Catholic state

    Secular state schools are indeed more like government re-education, brainwashing institutions rather than institutions of real education. This too has infiltrated into Catholic schools, and needs to be highlighted addressed and removed. Catholic schools exist to serve Jesus Christ and the children that attend….not any governmental, malign, anti-Christian agenda.

    Thank you for addressing this, Your Holiness.

    • confused

      Not the experience I have had of my children at a community school. The focus has been on academic achievement – maths, reading, science, history etc. I haven’t detected any brainwashing and they are all working so hard to keep achievement up and get the good SATs results that I doubt they would have time for any brainwashing.

  • scary goat

    Agree completely ms Catholic state. Modern education has become almost a form of child abuse. Children are being factory farmed as workers and taught sexual perversions (in a wider sense…not only gay-marriage…but sex divorced from its natural procreational setting) but they are not being formed as whole people. No wonder youth these days are messed up.

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