Thursday, January 05, 2006

Factum Non Dictum

Or in English, talk is cheap. So I've written to the diocesan Tribunal--those folks who handle annulment cases, but can apparently answer questions about canon law for laity on other matters--and asked for clarification on Canon 793 (see posts below) in relation to a diocese or parish requiring CCD classes and particular textbooks for children not enrolled in a parochial school. The letter (e-mail really) is addressed to the Judicial Vicar of the diocese.

Dear Father -------,

On behalf of myself and other interested parents of the diocese, I would be grateful for replies to the following brief questions.

Canon 793 specifies that "Catholic parents have also the duty and the right to choose those means and institutions through which they can provide more suitably for the Catholic education of their children according to local circumstances."

1. Do Catholic parents as a general matter have the right to choose not to make use of particular educational materials and/or classes, if in the parents' best judgment such materials and classes do not provide suitably for the Catholic education of their children, and the parents provide for the Catholic education of their children in some other way?

2. May a parish or diocese require Catholic parents to enroll their children in a class which, in the parents' best judgment, does not provide suitably for the Catholic education of their children, particularly if only a single option is made available to the parents?

3. May children be refused the sacraments of Communion, Confession, and/or Confirmation if their parents do not enroll them in a class as in (2), but provide their children a suitable Catholic education in some other manner?

4. May a parish or diocese require Catholic parents to educate their children using a particular textbook chosen by the parish, one which in the parents' best judgment does not provide suitably for the Catholic education of their children?

5. May a parish or diocese require Catholic parents to educate their children by choosing from a limited list of textbooks, none of which in the parents' best judgment provides suitably for the Catholic education of their children?

6. May children be refused sacraments if their parents do not use the particular textbook, or one of the list of textbooks, required by the parish or diocese as in (4) and (5), but provide their children a suitable Catholic education in some other manner?

Please note that I am not inquiring whether a diocese or parish is required to provide additional educational options; but only whether parents are forbidden from refusing to make use of materials and classes which they deem unsuitable, if they are able to provide a suitable Catholic education through other means.

Thank you for your time and attention, Father.

Yours,
----------------------------------------------------------
So now I wait.

4 Comments:

Blogger Jag said...

Sharon - this is unrelated to the post it is conntected to but I had to reach you. I have seen your comments on other sites and need info! I am interested in what you know about Awanas and catholic children. I am a practicing catholic, my daughter attends ccd my son is in catholic preschool and I am considering continuing for kindergarten. I attend a MOPS group and a friend invited us to Awanas. We went last week just as "guests" but have been asked to keep coming. It seems fine, fun for the kids, my 8 year old daughter loved it, my 4 year old would just rather be with mom most of the time anyway. I am trying to learn more about it and what is the Catholic church's view on it all. Also, I have practical questions too such as vetting of the volunteers, police checks and all that as all the parents but me left their kids there with people who, to me were STRANGERS! Please help with any info you have. Interested in facts but also you opinions. And any resources, other sites you can reccommend. Thanks!

11:24 AM  
Blogger The Opinionated Homeschooler said...

jag,

I've had exactly two encounters with Awanas, and they were very different. I don't want to go into too much detail here in the combox, but I would say to be careful; Awanas can be just a fun little Scripture study for kids, or it can be a straightforward attempt to recruit 'unsaved' kids (which category apparently included my own) into a 'biblical' church. Be aware that the Awanas kids in that church are getting points (you've probably noticed they have a point system) for bringing in their unsaved friends. Be aware also that it's not just learning Scripture neutrally, but that the verses are chosen and presented so as to present a theology very different from Catholic belief.

I've never seen Awanas in particular addressed by any Catholic leaders, but the usual requirement of prudence, both for your child's safety with strangers, and regarding your duty toward your children's religious upbringing, would urge caution.

8:01 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks for that information. I would love to hear more if you are willing /able to share. I don't know much about blogs but is there a place to share my email address with you for more info? If not I appreciate your comments. I have been searching the web for more info and read some postings through the Awanas site that were very negative towards Catholics which made me more concerned.
Funny how we are viewed as unsaved. My mom is devout and raised us as strong Catholics - she would shocked to know we are not saved.
thanks.

6:09 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

By the way the anonymous is me, Jag - I can't figure out how to post again with the info I registered.

Sorry - told you I don't much about blogs.

6:10 AM  

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