Support for Education

Resolution on Support for Education adopted by the 127th Supreme Convention on Aug. 6, 2009.

127th Supreme Convention

WHEREAS, the Catholic Church teaches all true education is directed toward the formation of the human person in view of his final end and the good of that society to which he belongs; and

WHEREAS, Pope Benedict XVI has defined “intellectual charity” as that aspect of charity which calls upon the educator “to recognize that the profound responsibility to lead the young to truth is nothing less than an act of love”; and

WHEREAS, the Catholic Church affirms that parents are the primary educators of their children, and that they have the duty and right to provide a religious education to their children, a right which should be respected and promoted by the state; and

WHEREAS, Catholic schools provide an exemplary education while also teaching Catholic values and beliefs to millions of students each year; and

WHEREAS, the Knights of Columbus has always supported ways to strengthen the Catholic school system and maximize the quality of educational opportunities for all children, particularly those children of lower- and middle-income families; and

WHEREAS, inner city Catholic schools have a strong reputation for providing at-risk students with educational opportunities that give them a chance to break the cycle of poverty; and

WHEREAS, most parents who choose Catholic schools for their children do so at significant cost and personal sacrifice, frequently bearing the dual burden of paying tuition to the Catholic school while also contributing taxes to support the government school system; and

WHEREAS, we affirm, along with the United States Supreme Court, that children are not “mere creatures of the state” (Pierce v. Society of Sisters) and that the needs of children and the desires of parents should take priority over the claims of entrenched educational bureaucracies; and

WHEREAS, speaking to the Sixth World Meeting of Families in Mexico City in January 2009, Pope Benedict XVI stated that the family must be granted sufficient financial support to allow it to pursue freedom of education and school choice; and

WHEREAS, Pope Benedict XVI has affirmed the importance of contributing to the financial needs of Catholic schools, saying that “everything possible must be done…to ensure that [Catholic schools] are accessible to people of all social and economic strata. No child should be denied his or her right to education in the faith, which in turn nurtures the soul of a nation;”

NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that the Knights of Columbus expresses its strong support for Catholic schools everywhere, and encourages legislation and policies that would establish parental choice in education through tax credits, vouchers and scholarships which would ensure that all parents have the financial means to send their children to Catholic schools; and

FURTHER RESOLVED, that the Knights of Columbus affirms that parents, as the primary educators of their children, should always be given the opportunity to withdraw their children from classes or any educational curriculum that is directly opposed to the fundamental teachings of the Catholic Church.