Support for Catholic Education
Resolution on support for Catholic education adopted by the 129th Supreme Convention on Aug. 4, 2011.
WHEREAS, the Catholic Church teaches that 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, many Catholic schools in Canada, Mexico, the Philippines, the United States and elsewhere 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 Catholic school systems and maximize the quality of educational opportunities for all children, particularly those children of lower- and middle- income families; and
WHEREAS, most parents who choose Catholic schools for their children do so at significant cost and personal sacrifice, frequently bearing a 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 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, Pope Benedict XVI, when speaking to Catholic educators during his 2008 apostolic journey to the United States, affirmed the importance of contributing to the financial needs of Catholic schools, saying that “everything possible must be done, in cooperation with the wider community, to ensure that they 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.