Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity
July 13, 1961
NUMBER 10, PAGE 8-9b

"Out Of The Same Mouth .... Blessing And Cursing"

Luther W. Martin, St. James, Missouri

"Out of the same mouth proceedeth blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not so to be. Doth a fountain send forth, out of the same hole, sweet and bitter water? Can the fig tree, my brethren, bear grapes; or the vine, figs? So neither can the salt water yield sweet." (James 3:10-12)

We quote the above scripture to illustrate the predicament of the Roman Catholic Church in these United States. If her utterances that become known to the public are to agree with her teachings in other lands and in the past, then they are in discord with the American concept of the "four freedoms." Thus, if she harmonizes her current utterances in order that they may compare favorably with the principles of our Democratic Government, she finds herself playing the part of "blowing both cold and hot" simultaneously.

"Public Schools .... A Mortal Sin"

Recently in this publication, we wrote an article with the above quotation as its title. In that treatise, we quoted from a Roman Catholic paper, The Liguorian, "published with ecclesiastical approval" at Liguori, Missouri. In that publication, the following statement was made:

"Refusing to send a child to a Catholic school, when there is no good reason for not doing so, and no permission of their pastor for not doing so.... is a clear-cut mortal sin."

...If, without consulting their pastor, and for subjective reasons of their own, they (Catholic parents, L.W.M.) send their child to a public school, they are guilty of a mortal sin, and ordinarily cannot be absolved in confession until they have placed their child in the Catholic school...."

In this quotation, it is plainly and clearly stipulated that it is a mortal sin (a sin which deprives one of life) for Catholic parents to send their children to the public schools .... UNLESS they obtain permission from their pastor or bishop to do so..

"The Catholic Viewpoint On Our Public Schools"

In the issue of September 2, 1955, the St. Louis Register, the Official Newspaper of the Archdiocese of St. Louis, published the following statements, under the above headline:

"The position of Catholics toward the public schools was clarified by the National Catholic Educational Association in a statement containing the following five principles:

"Catholics believe in the public schools.

"Catholics believe that as citizens, like all other citizens, they have an obligation to pay taxes for the adequate support of the public schools in their community.

"Catholics have not interfered, and will not interfere, with the justifiable expansion of the public schools in their community.

"Catholics have a civic duty to take an active interest in the welfare of the public schools. (More than 5,000,000 Catholic children — more than 60 per cent of the total — attend public schools.)

"Catholics have great admiration for the rank and file of public school teachers, who in a spirit of self-sacrifice and dedication to American ideas have stuck to their posts despite the relatively low salaries paid to them in many localities."

Now, let us compare the sentiments of these two different Catholic publications.

(1) "Catholics believe in the public schools"....but "It's a MORTAL SIN" to send your children to them, without the priest's or bishop's permission.

(2) "Catholics....won't interfere with the JUSTIFIABLE expansion of a school system"....but it's SINFUL for their children to attend them, without special permission.

(3) "Catholics have great admiration for the rank and file of public school teachers....," yet IT'S A MORTAL SIN for, children of Catholic parents to be taught by these same public schools teachers (without special priestly permission) .... even though Catholics claim to "admire" the public school instructors.

Which are we to believe? It cannot be accepted without clarification

A Catholic Mother Writes About Catholic Education

In the "Letters to the Editor" column of the September 2, 1955, St. Louis Register, a Catholic mother writes concerning some of the practices of the Roman Catholic schools:

...I noticed in Mr. Kane's letter that he stated he had never heard a sermon in any Catholic church, the object of which was to stir up bad feelings on the part of Catholics toward protestants.

"This may be true, but I dare say Mr. Kane has not been in all Catholic churches and does not know all


"I would like to ask Mr. Kane if he read Father Strode's article 'How to Ruin the Faith of Young People,' and his ridiculous word picture of the Catholic students in secular universities.

"It seems to me Father Strode's article was a direct aim at causing bad feelings between Catholics and Protestants. It could serve no other purpose unless he thought perhaps it might help to keep the Catholic student and his money closer to his Church. To say the least, it was definitely against our teachings to love all mankind.

"Fortunately, there ARE good Catholics who do not believe such drivel and refuse to be taken in by it. We are not uneducated people living in the dark ages, and we have the intelligence to see good and bad in all people, regardless of what their religious background might be.

"In closing I might add that all Catholic schools are not perfect either. My little girl had it drummed into her head that she would be punished if she did not learn her catechism, and she would go to hell if she did not attend church regularly, till she became so nervous and frightened that we had to send her to a public school.

"I try to keep an open mind about religion and I do not think it's fair or Christian to scare the wits out of little children or to brainwash Protestants to get them into our churches...."

This Catholic woman had the courage to sign her name to her letter, and it was published in the St. Louis Register. Her willingness to be frank and open in her criticism of the Catholic school of her daughter's experience, is quite admirable and refreshing in this day of usual Catholic censorship.

Catholic Code Of Canon Law On Catholic Education

"Catholic children should not frequent non-Catholic, neutral or mixed schools. It is for the local Ordinary to decide, according to the instructions of the Apostolic See, (Pope of Rome, L.W.M.) in what circumstances and with what precautions, attendance at such schools may be tolerated without danger of perversion to the pupils." (Canon Law 1374)

There we have it! The Official teaching of the Roman Church to the effect that "Catholic children should not frequent" PUBLIC SCHOOLS. Public schools are non-Catholic, neutral as regards religious teaching, and are "mixed," i.e., persons of ANY religious persuasion are welcome to attend. Further, according to the statement of Canon Law, the Pope of Rome has provided instructions for the local parish priest as to what circumstances or conditions might result in special permission being given for the Canon Law to be exempted.

A Summation

It seems that this "fountain" sends forth several "flavors" at the same time.

The Ligourian, an approved Catholic publication, says it's a "mortal sin" for Catholic parents to send their children to a public school without special permission.

The St. Louis Register, also an Official Catholic paper, says .... "Catholics believe in the public schools." And, that "Catholics admire the rank and file of public school teachers...."

The Code of Canon Law, says.... "Catholic children should not frequent non-Catholic, neutral or mixed schools ...."

It appears that Catholic parents....Catholic "lay people" as their "clergy" would term them....might like to cooperate with the public schools of our nation. But, as sure as they do, it's a sin unto death, without their "clergy's" permission.

"Ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free." (John 8:32)