THE other defect, respecting education as found in the public schools

of the land, is that it leaves the soul out of all consideration and

relegates the idea of God to a background of silent contempt. On this

subject we can do no better than quote wisdom from the Fathers of the

Third Plenary Council of Baltimore.

"Few, if any, will deny that a sound civilization must depend upon

sound popular education."
ut education, in order to be sound and to

produce "beneficial results, must develop what is best in man, and make

him not only clever, but good. A one-sided education will develop a

one-sided life; and such a life will surely topple over, and so will

every social system that is built up of such lives. True civilization

requires that not only the physical and intellectual, but also the

moral and religious, well-being of the people should be improved, and

at least with equal care.

"It cannot be desirable or advantageous that religion should be

excluded from the school. On the contrary, it ought to be there one of

the chief agencies for moulding the young life to all that is true and

virtuous, and holy. To shut religion out of the school, and keep it for

home and the Church, is, logically, to train up a generation that will

consider religion good for home and the Church, but not for the

practical business of real life. A life is not dwarfed, but ennobled,

by being lived in the presence of God.

"The avowed enemies of Christianity in some European countries are

banishing religion from the schools (they have done it since) in order

to eliminate it gradually from among the people. In this they are

logical. Take away religion from the school, and you take it away from

the people. Take it away from the people, and morality will soon

follow; morality gone, even their physical condition will ere long

degenerate into corruption which breeds decrepitude, while their

intellectual attainments would only serve as a light to guide them to

deeper depths of vice and ruin. A civilization without religion would

be a civilization of 'the struggle for existence, and the survival of

the fittest,' in which cunning and strength would become the

substitutes for principle, virtue, conscience and duty."

One of the things the Catholic Church fears least in this country is

Protestantism. She considers it harmless, moribund, in the throes of

disintegration. It never has, cannot and never will thrive long where

it has to depend on something other than wealth and political power. It

has unchurched millions, is still unchurching at a tremendous rate, and

will end by unchurching itself. The godless school has done its work

for Protestantism, and done it well. Its dearest enemy could not wish

for better results.

Popular education comes more and more to mean popularized irreligion.

The future struggles of the Church will be with Agnosticism and

Infidelity--the product of the godless public school. And without

pretending to be prophets or sons of prophets, we Catholics can foresee

the day when godless education, after making bad Christians, will make

bad citizens. And because no civilization worthy of the name has ever

subsisted, or can subsist, without religion, the maintenance of this

system of popular and free government will devolve on the product of

Christian education, and its perpetuity will depend upon the

generations turned out of the religious school.

The most substantial protest the Catholic Church offers against godless

education is the system of her parochial schools; and this alone is

sufficient to give an idea of the importance of this question. From

headquarters comes the order to erect Catholic schools in every parish

in this land as soon as the thing can be done. This means a tremendous

amount of work, and a tremendous expense. It means a competition on

educational grounds with the greatest, richest and most powerful nation

in the world. The game must be worth the candle; there must be some

proportion between the end and the means.

The Catholic Church has the wisdom of ages to learn from; and when she

embarks on an enterprise of this kind, even her bitterest enemies can

afford to take it for granted that there is something behind it. And

there is. There is her very life, which depends on the fidelity of her

children. And her children are lost to her and to God unless she

fosters religion in her young. Let parents share this solicitude of the

Church for the little ones, and beware of the dangers of the godless