The principles of Roman Catholic education as stated in the encyclical letter of Paul VI, The declaration on Christian education (Gravissimum educationis) and the application of these principles in Catholic denominational education in the province of

Rodgers, Edward P. (1989) The principles of Roman Catholic education as stated in the encyclical letter of Paul VI, The declaration on Christian education (Gravissimum educationis) and the application of these principles in Catholic denominational education in the province of. Masters thesis, Memorial University of Newfoundland.

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Abstract

In the light of the current controversy concerning our denominational system of education it is becoming commonplace for critics to derogate the whole system because of its financial and administrative difficulties, as well as to attribute the so-called "hanging-on" stance of the churches to a grasping for power that they are unwilling to relinquish. It appears that the churches are engaged in the retention of a corporation-style monopoly, for from time to time we hear charges of discrimination, disregard for the freedom of conscience and religious rights [with particular reference to non-adherents of representative faiths] enshrined in our Charter of Rights and Freedoms, and the dismissal of teachers for behaviour inconsistent with church teaching. In the face of such charges we are reminded that the right of the churches to retain such power in our educational system stems from the entrenchment of such rights in the Constitution of our country under the Terms of Union of 1949. Perhaps we are led to believe that if such entrenchment were not the case the denominational system and its accoutrements would be relegated to the history books. The question then is quite straightforward: Why are the churches retaining such a large share of responsibility in education? Surely the answer must be more profound than the simple manipulation of power. -- The purpose of this study is to research and thus to clarify the particular position of the Roman Catholic Church on education. Although it is inevitable that some evaluation will enter into the treatment of the topic, this is by no means an attempt to justify or abrogate the Roman Catholic position, but to offer some elucidation which would serve as a foundation for rational discussion of an educational system which is, and apparently will continue to be, a controversial issue. -- Our study is an analysis of the principles of Catholic education as found in The Declaration on Christian Education of Pope Paul VI (1965); The Catholic School (1977) and Lay Catholics in Schools: Witnesses to Faith (1982), both published by the Sacred Congregation for Catholic Education, Rome; and Catechesi Tradendae, (an Apostolic Exhortation of John Paul II, 1979). These documents were chosen primarily for the impact they have on Catholic Education. Paul VI’s Declaration on Christian Education may be considered the most recent definitive statement of the principles of Catholic education. The two post-Vatican II documents formulated by the Sacred Congregation for Christian Education, The Catholic School (1977) and Lay Catholics in Schools: Witnesses to Faith (1982) were included because they offer specific interpretation of the Declaration's presentation of the role of the Catholic School and of the lay teacher in the educational field. The Apostolic Exhortation, Catechesi Tradendae, of John Paul II underlines the importance of education in the faith and therefore affirms one of the most fundamental principles of Catholic education, that is, the unity of faith and knowledge. Specifically our study endeavours to ascertain whether the ideals presented in Catholic teaching are faithfully reflected in local Catholic denominational policy statements and documents. Following the introductory chapter we will consider the principles of autonomy, freedom, and conscience as they are presented in the Declaration in chapter II. In chapter III the relationship between faith and education is explored, for this aspect of educational thought is crucial to any understanding of the Catholic position on schooling. The fourth chapter concerns the Catholic church's teaching on parental rights and education. Chapter V will be an attempt to navigate the difficult waters of the Catholic teacher's role, while the final chapter will consider some of the issues arising out of our local denominational system. -- It is our hope that the elucidation of the principles in this thesis demonstrates that Catholic education does not bear within itself any essential incompatibility with the objectives of those who are seeking a more efficient educational system in Newfoundland and Labrador. Undoubtedly our denominational system is beset by difficulties but to subscribe to the thinking that these difficulties are the direct result of the present system, and will disappear with its dismantling, is an oversimplification. Local Catholic education authorities, in particular, the Catholic Education Council, have demonstrated a willingness both in policy statements and in the practical implementation of these policies to find solutions to the problems that beset education provincially.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
URI: http://research.library.mun.ca/id/eprint/5216
Item ID: 5216
Additional Information: Bibliography: leaves 198-204.
Department(s): Education, Faculty of
Date: 1989
Date Type: Submission
Geographic Location: Canada--Newfoundland and Labrador
Library of Congress Subject Heading: Catholic Church. Pope (1963-1978 : Paul VI); Catholic Church--Education--Newfoundland and Labrador; Church and education--Newfoundland and Labrador

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