Sacramental and Moral Foundations
Bishops Teaching Children
A Practical Method
By Which Roman Catholic Bishops
Can Personally Direct
The Religious Education
Of the Children of Their Dioceses
Cambridge, Massachusetts USA
Written in the Year of the Great Jubilee
The key to understanding the Bishops Teaching Children method is comprehending that there is something very new about it, but that what is 'new' about it is not some technical or practical recommendation.
Nearly all of the Bishops Teaching Children method's technical and practical recommendations are based on ideas and structures that have been proven to work for millions of children over decades. These ideas and structures may well be unfamiliar to Americans, or to Catholics, but that hardly makes them 'new.' By and large, the technical and practical novelty of the Bishops Teaching Children method is merely the suggestion that the use of these proven ideas and structures could improve American Catholic religious education for children.
Yet there is something very new about the Bishops Teaching Children method: its founding assumptions, nine novel assertions regarding Roman Catholic religious education in the United States, that must now become part of the sacramental, and through that, the moral discourse of the Catholic faithful, and in particular, their Sacred Pastors.
1. This seemingly innocuous statement is the key to the pronounced novelty of the nine assertions that serve as the sacramental and moral backbone of the Bishops Teaching Children method. The operant phrases in it are 'all' Catholic children, 'as much as possible,' and 'all' adults in the diocese. A very extended elaboration of the meaning of each phrase is necessary.
How can one be responsible to fulfill the obligation to see to it that 'all' the children are indeed learning 'as much as possible?' Obviously, periodic monitoring of the extent ('as much as possible') of the religious knowledge of each and every child in the diocese ('all') is needed. Otherwise, the assertion has no moral component, but is just a romantic thought that no one is really expected to take seriously.
Thus, even the right and duty of Catholic parents to teach their children about the faith takes on its full meaning only within the principle of subsidiarity.
An individual family has absolutely no inherent right or duty to monitor the religious education of other people's children. That is totally beyond an individual family's inherent moral competence. At very best, such monitoring would amount to nothing more than one family just plain snooping into some other family's business.
Thus, if the fundamental basis of the religious education of Catholic children in a diocese were the inherent moral competence of individual families, the moral obligation to see to it that 'all' children in a diocese were effectively schooled in the faith would be morally impossible to fulfill. It would be no one's business - indeed, it would actually be immoral - to see to it that 'all' were learning as much as possible.
To make a small pun - no one would have the right to 'see,' so no one could have the ability to 'see to it.'
Nor can parents monitor even their own teaching without being responsive to the whole local church, and their local ordinary as the chief teacher of the diocese.
For where would parents find a standard which they could apply to themselves to make certain that their children were learning 'as much as possible' about their faith? Obviously, they would have to compare the knowledge their own children had learned with the knowledge learned by other children from other families.
An instructive paradox occurs: an individual family directly trying to fulfill its moral obligation regarding religious education would be acting immorally. One family has no right to inquire about the religious knowledge gained by the children of another family. It is beyond an individual family's moral competence to snoop into another family's business like that.
Yet without that information, no comparison is possible, and so that family can not find a standard by which to measure even its own competence. Thus, "We taught our children 'as much as possible'" could only mean whatever each individual family decided it meant - and that would be that. Without a moral basis to compare children from different families, we would violate moral imperatives if we even attempted to say more.
Plainly, not any family or even any association of families, but only the local church as a whole, under the local ordinary as its chief teacher, possesses the sacramental character, and by that character, the moral competence; that is, both the inherent right and the inherent duty, to see to it that 'all' the Catholic children in the diocese are learning 'as much as possible' about the faith the local church professes in union with the whole Catholic Church.
Secondly, 'as much as possible' should not be taken to mean that a low level of intellectual knowledge about the faith is ever acceptable, particularly in an advanced technological society. Particularly in such a society, advanced, solid, and true intellectual knowledge of the Catechism and the faith among a substantial number of the faithful is practically indispensable both for evangelization and for Christian life.
Thus, particularly in advanced technological societies, unremitting practical efforts to increase such intellectual knowledge among 'all' Catholic children is a moral obligation - and again, that obligation falls first not on parents, but on the entire local church, and particularly the local ordinary. Parents are indeed the first teachers of their children, but the whole local church is the teacher of the faithful, under the local ordinary as the chief teacher. As shown in this Endnote, only the local church under its local ordinary possesses the sacramental competence, and thus, the moral competence, to see to it that 'all' children in the diocese learn 'as much as possible.'
Third, the entire local church - 'all' American Catholic adults in the diocese - thus, not merely parents and the local ordinary, has a moral responsibility for the religious education of Catholic children in the diocese.
This phrase underscores a fundamental antagonism between the assertions implicit in the Bishops Teaching Children method, and those implicit in the current system of religious education. The nature of that antagonism is not only moral, but even also sacramental.
The Bishops Teaching Children approach asserts that, in each diocese, there exists a true public, made up of all the faithful under their bishop, which has a moral responsibility to teach the faith it professes in union with the whole Catholic Church to the children of that diocese. The correct name for that 'public' is of course its sacramental name, "the local church," which, in union with the whole Catholic Church, is a mysterious sacramental reality, "the holy society by which we belong to God," as St. Augustine put it.
The preceding words, however correct and pious, have little practical meaning within the structures of current religious education. By contrast, the Bishops Teaching Children method takes the sacramental character of the local church seriously.
Can you teach a student while being forbidden to ask him any questions about what he knows? Can you monitor a student's progress while being forbidden to know his actual progress?
Teachers have an inherent right and duty to learn what each student knows, and to monitor each student's progress. Otherwise, they would be unable to teach.
The student protests: "It is a violation of my 'privacy' to force me to tell you what it is I know. Further, 'monitoring my progress' simply means continual violations of that same 'privacy,' and multiplies the wrong done to me. You have no right to learn the extent of my knowledge, because that violates my right to 'privacy.' If I, or someone I know, is satisfied with what I have learned, that ought to be enough for you."
Please note: whoever you are, if a student says this to you (and is able to make it stick), you have no ability to serve as his teacher. His assertion of 'privacy' has eliminated your ability to teach him.
Anyone who has no moral competence to ascertain what a student has already learned, can not be that student's teacher. A teacher requires direct, specific knowledge of what a student has learned, in order to be able to assume the title of 'teacher.' A student who, by invoking a right to 'privacy,' makes it impossible for someone to have direct, specific knowledge of what the student has learned, has rendered that person unable to be called his 'teacher.'
Here we get to the crux of the extraordinary antagonism between the moral and sacramental preconceptions implicit in the Bishops Teaching Children method, and those of the current system of religious education.
The Bishops Teaching Children method begins with the assertion that the local church, and all its adult members in union with it, under its Sacred Pastor, are really, actually, the teachers of the Catholic children of the diocese. Which is to say, the local church, and all its adult members in union with it, under its Sacred Pastor, has the inherent right and duty to learn what each and every Catholic child in the diocese has learned about his faith, and to monitor his progress in that knowledge.
When a local church implements the Bishops Teaching Children method, then, consistent with justice and ordinary morality, and to the maximum extent possible, the religious knowledge of every single Catholic child in the diocese becomes a matter of public record.
Children must be protected; that is a given. However, children need to be protected from many things.
For instance, children need to be protected from the possibility that an adult may try to hide behind the need for children to be protected, to avoid being held accountable for his own performance. Another important thing children need to be protected from is ignorance, particularly ignorance that could have been avoided if adults had acted more responsibly or competently.
Thus, anyone invoking a Catholic child's right to 'privacy' must also immediately address these serious practical considerations, which in the first place, the Bishops Teaching Children method addresses far more adequately than the present system, but these practical considerations pale beside a question: what is the reason proposed to keep the extent of the religious knowledge of each and every child in a diocese from becoming public knowledge? For that question is equivalent to this one: what is the reason proposed to deny even a single member of the local church opportunity to teach a child about the faith professed by the whole Catholic Church?
For anyone, however qualified, who is forbidden to know what a student has learned, can not be 'teacher' to that student. Yet, by sacramental grace, every member of the faithful, across the board, has at least an initial competence to teach the faith, and an inherent right and duty to do so, consistent with practicality and ordinary morality.
To deny public access to the religious knowledge of each and every Catholic child in the diocese appears to tread very near to denying across the board what must instead be solemnly asserted: that the whole local church, and all its members, under the local ordinary, has an irrevocable initial competence, and an inherent right and duty, to teach 'all' the children of the diocese 'as much as possible' about the faith it professes in union with the whole Catholic Church.
From a technical point of view, the Bishops Teaching Children method will work much better than the current system of religious education, because, as is well known by economists, increasing the 'transparency' of a complex social or economic system greatly improves outcomes, and the Bishops Teaching Children method massively increases transparency within a diocese's religious education.
Complex systems tend to work inefficiently and inequitably when knowledge is 'private,' held in dribs and drabs about bits and pieces by a few here and there, and they tend to work efficiently and equitably when knowledge is public, readily available to anyone in the system.
'Transparency' is greatly to be distinguished from totalitarianism. Indeed, transparency can greatly increase the ability of people directly on the scene to take charge of the system at that point. Transparency engineers in a bit of real optimism. Quite in contrast to totalitarianism, it allows for the possibility that, given adequate information, individual people on the scene can create good surprises, not just bad ones. Transparency can make individual initiative and creativity possible, and provide a basis by which all members of a complex system can be more accountable for what the system as a whole is doing. Transparency by itself is certainly not what makes a complex system more reliable, efficient, and adaptable, but it does seem to be very helpful to that end.
Yet technical arguments, however strong, can always be dismissed or ignored, particularly when the technical argument is inconvenient to some firmly held belief, such as the inherent 'privacy' of a student's knowledge of his faith.
However, one can fairly ask not a technical, but a theological question, a sacramental question. How may a local church, and all its members in union with it, under its Sacred Pastor, serve as 'teacher' of all the children of the diocese, under the present system of religious education? When what 'all' know can not be monitored, there can be no teacher who is responsible for that 'all.' How then can the sacramentally-founded responsibility of the local church under its local ordinary to teach have any practical realization? How can there be a teacher of 'all' if - lest 'privacy' be violated - there must be no teacher of 'all'?
'Privacy, ' of course, is itself at best merely a secular, weak substitute for the deeper underlying revealed reality, which is the inherent dignity of each human person. To the extent that 'privacy' defends that inherent dignity, it is laudable; but, as everyone knows, abortion, the most extreme dismissal of the inherent dignity of the human person, is legal in the United States by a claim to 'privacy.' Justifying anything important merely with an invocation of a right of 'privacy' should sway no Catholic bishop in the world.
The Bishops Teaching Children approach makes the extraordinary assertion that the sacramental reality of the local church as 'teacher,' and the sacramental reality of the local ordinary as chief teacher of that local church, can have a far more adequate realization than is presently imagined - particularly if the sacramental reality, and not a secular right to 'privacy,' is the fundamental basis for the local church's system of 'teaching.'
As is clear from many of the other nine assertions in this chapter, while it is important to make Catholic children co-responsible for their religious education, adult, not childish, feet are the ones that need to be held to the fire. It is essential that every single Catholic child in a diocese be protected, but however else the children are protected, every single one of them also needs to be protected from ignorance. That can not be done practically, let alone morally, unless the local church, under its local ordinary as chief teacher, has the inherent right and duty to monitor the performance of 'all' - each and every one of - the children in the diocese.
There is no teacher of 'all' if, out of respect for 'privacy,' knowledge of what children know about their faith is held in dribs and drabs by a few here and there. A teacher of 'all' can exist only if the religious knowledge of each and every child is a matter of public record.
Beyond any practical, technical, or logical argument, what is being stressed here is that the local church, and all its members, under its local ordinary as chief teacher, and he in union with the Holy Father and the bishops of the whole Catholic Church, has the inherent right and duty to monitor the religious knowledge of 'all' - each and every one of - the children in the diocese, not from some mere practical consideration, but as part of the local church's sacramental character as teacher.
Thus there are deep antagonisms between the Bishops Teaching Children method and the present system and conceptions of religious education, antagonisms that go beyond the practical dimensions of religious education, and even beyond its moral dimensions, and touch on the sacramental mystery of the local church as teacher, thus drawing the religious education of children near to the very heart of the mystery of the Catholic Church.
Let us begin by considering the practical reality of the present system of religious education. At present, American Catholic religious education is conceived of in almost totally 'private' terms. While some statistical knowledge may exist regarding how many Catholic children have some sort of religious education, knowledge of the actual outcomes of religious education is virtually nonexistent. Any one person at best has a limited knowledge of a few specific cases.
Thus, no local ordinary, and zero per cent of Catholic adults in each diocese, know even in statistical terms exactly what the Catholic children of the diocese actually have learned about their faith, and it is ludicrous even to ask if even one individual in any diocese knows, or can even find out, what each and every Catholic child in the diocese specifically has learned, which pedagogical methods were used to teach him, who taught him, and whether the child's knowledge, or lack of it, was due to the failures or success of adults or pedagogical methods, or to the child's own efforts or lack of them.
The Bishops Teaching Children method asserts that all adult members of the local church, by virtue of their sacramental union with Christ, are, under their local ordinary as the chief teacher, moral agents in the religious education of the children of the diocese.
The current 'private' conception asserts nearly the opposite: virtually no one has any 'business' inquiring into the religious knowledge of any particular child. Even another religion teacher, if he were not directly responsible for a child's schooling, might be 'prying' into a child's 'private' business if he attempted to ascertain the child's religious knowledge, and clearly, it would be a serious invasion of 'privacy' if any non-teacher gained access to such information.
Thus 'privacy' is a term used to pre-define virtually all the faithful in a diocese as having no inherent competence in the religious education of any particular child.
The practical consequences of this have been delineated above: since it is none of anyone's business to know whether 'all' the children are learning 'as much as possible' about their faith, then no one knows that, or even can know that.
Yet, to say it again, beyond the devastating practical consequences, beyond even the moral consequences, of the present 'private' conception of religious education, there is a sacramental consequence, even more serious. Under the current conception, in direct practical, if not theological, contradiction to sacramental reality, no one can be 'teacher' to 'all' - for, in order to teach, such a 'teacher' must know what 'all' have learned, and that would be against everyone's 'fundamental' right to 'privacy.'
Thus, when the religious knowledge of children is a 'private' matter, there is, strictly speaking, no diocese of children who 'all' need to learn 'as much as possible' about their faith, but only a 'private' agglomeration of children, who know - whatever they know, and nothing more can be said. Yes, some few can know what a few children know, but no one, under pain of a violation of 'privacy,' can know what 'all' know.
The Bishops Teaching Children method begins with the sacramental character and authority of the whole local church, and all its adult members, under its local ordinary and in union with the whole Catholic Church, to teach 'all' the children of the diocese 'as much as possible' about their faith.
The moral novelty of the Bishops Teaching Children method rests on its ability to make religious education founded on that sacramental character and authority much more conceivable in a practical sense. Such a foundation is no longer almost entirely a romantic idea that no one really expects to take seriously - exactly the situation that exists now, as this Endnote has established.
Current religious education in the United States - in whatever variant, whether one promulgated by home schoolers, by religious education experts, or even by the Sacred Pastors themselves - under its implicit doctrine of romantic individualism, under 'privacy,' at least practically, and perhaps even theologically, denies even the existence of a sacramentally-constituted 'public.'
It further denies, at least practically, the local church's inherent right and duty to know what each and every Catholic child in the diocese is, or is not, learning about the faith the local church professes in union with the whole Catholic Church.
Thus, 'privacy' appears to be a fundamentally misguided basis for the religious education of a local church's children, because 'privacy' begins by assuming the non-existence, or at very least, the unimportance, of the sacramental reality of the local church. (Nonetheless, the radical 'transparency' of the Bishops Teaching Children method can in fact satisfy all the demands of 'privacy,' as is shown in Chapter 6).
At present, no local ordinary in the United States, let alone the local church in each of its members and as a whole, is even theoretically able to take responsibility for the outcomes of religious education in the diocese. It seems strange even to say it, but the purpose of religious education is not to conduct classes, purchase textbooks, and pay Directors of Religious Education. Its purpose is to teach each child in the diocese knowledge of his faith. Yet what each child in the diocese actually has learned about his faith - the crucial thing, the entire reason religious education is conducted in the first place - is not known, except by a few, regarding a few. Absolutely no one in the diocese is, or even theoretically can be, responsible for the schooling of 'all.'
The reasons for this extraordinary lacuna in the thinking of American Catholics, including their Sacred Pastors, are complicated, but they come down to 'privacy.'
No one is keeping track of what 'all' the children in a diocese learn, because - apart from the assumption made at least practically and often also theoretically by many religious educators, that specific content (and thus, anything you could actually measure) is a trivial or even unwholesome part of 'authentic' schooling, an idea that is not 'religious' at all but rather is borrowed from American progressivist secular schooling - it simply doesn't occur to people, even bishops, that there really is a 'teacher,' the local church, under its chief teacher, the local ordinary, and that who is taught by that teacher is 'all.' For nearly everyone, that thought, if it even exists in consciousness, is just words, with no practical content.
In reality what everyone thinks is that religious education in a diocese is a fundamentally 'private' activity, with everything that notion implies, as discussed in this Endnote.
Thus, whatever the ultimate practical merits of the Bishops Teaching Children approach, it makes, for the present era, an extraordinary sacramental assertion, that must now forever be taken into account. The local church, and all its members, under its Sacred Pastor as chief teacher, exists. A diocese is not an agglomeration of people, children, families, or even parishes who 'privately' teach and are 'privately' accountable. Further, the truths of the faith are not even theoretically available for 'private' appropriation, but are 'handed on' in and through the very body of the local church in union with the whole Catholic Church. There is an 'all' to teach, that 'all' has a teacher, and the local church, and all its members, under the local ordinary as chief teacher, is that one authentic teacher.
Moreover, the sacramental character of the local church and all its members under its local ordinary as chief teacher, and that sacramental character alone, provides the fundamental moral basis for the inherent right and duty of that local church to teach all Catholic children in the diocese as much as possible about the faith it professes in union with the whole Catholic Church.
As corollary to this, an educational institution, organization, or association is a tool to deliver a service. Even when it acts in the name of the local church, it is not the local church. It is not even a person. It has utterly no sacramental competence or even human dignity. It has no 'right' to teach, and serves at the pleasure of the local church and all its members under the local ordinary as chief teacher. The persons in such institutions merit treatment consistent with justice and befitting human persons, but the institutions in which they labor remain tools.
Tools may properly be cherished, and they may properly be discarded, but they always remain tools, nothing more. Thus, assertions seven, eight, and nine apply at all times to such institutions, whatever their provenance, whatever their membership. One practical consequence is that the 'creative destruction' encouraged by a competitive free market (cf. Endnote 9) is morally acceptable within religious education, to the extent consistent with justice due human persons.
Finally, the Bishops Teaching Children approach makes the assertion that, to the extent possible, religious education in a diocese must found not only its theories but also its practical operation in the sacramental mystery of the local church - and not in 'privacy,' good order, educational doctrine, or any other thing, except as subsidiary to it.
Which is to say, whatever the practical merits of the Bishops Teaching Children method specifically, the sacramental unity and inherent teaching competence in Christ of all the faithful in the local church in union with the local ordinary and the whole Catholic Church must have the fullest possible practical expression in the religious education of all the children of the local church.
2. The Bishops Teaching Children method implicitly asks the question: can a bishop actually, practically, take direct personal responsibility for the religious education of the children in his diocese, or is there no practical way for him to assume direct personal responsibility, so that he has to simply trust some proxy or agent, such as an educational bureaucracy? Whatever the merits of the Bishops Teaching Children method in particular, the general moral assertion here is that, if there exists a practical and moral means to actually, practically, take direct personal responsibility for the religious education of the children in his diocese, then a bishop is morally obligated to use those means to fulfill his moral obligation as the chief teacher of his diocese.
6. That is, it is simply not fair to reward or withhold rewards from children, until you are certain that the adults who are directly and principally responsible for their schooling have given them, not merely whatever those adults conceive to be their 'best,' but the best as measured by public and objective standards.
At present, far too many children fail to learn, under the ministrations of hard-working, well-intentioned adults who believe themselves to be using sound methods, or at least, methods espoused by distinguished professors. The entire practical design of the Bishops Teaching Children method consists of a way to monitor all methods, and decide the question of what are the currently 'sound' instructional methods, not on the basis of subjective impressions or 'expert' advocacy, but on the basis of which of the current methods are objectively best at teaching Catholic children exactly what the Sacred Pastors wish those children to learn about the Catechism and the faith.
Hard-working, well-intentioned adults using these provably 'best' methods should be rewarded, and adults - even hard-working, well-intentioned adults - not using them should not be rewarded. This in outline is the practical operation of the Bishops Teaching Children method, which means to continuously improve the religious education of children by instituting an objective means by which the Sacred Pastors can, both perennially and decisively, hold adult, not childish, feet to the fire.
However, after that, you should hold children accountable for their performance. For if, through the inaction or misguided latitude of adults, children are taught that they need not be co-responsible for their schooling, they are harmed not only educationally but also morally.
9. Assertion 9 endorses no particular social or economic system as best for the religious education of Catholic children, but rather establishes a moral criterion specific to religious education by which these systems are to be judged.
Of course, actual religious education can go on only within some particular social and economic system, not all of them at once.
For the record, the particular 'economic system' the Bishops Teaching Children method takes advantage of is the free market. One (correct) way of viewing the Bishops Teaching Children method is that it is a method by which the bishop of a diocese can set the terms by which free-market competition in the religious education of the children of his diocese takes place.
A market doesn't care what is 'wanted.' You could have a free market in slaves, for example, and that market would operate as an astonishingly powerful and sensitive tool to provide everyone with the best possible slaves at the lowest possible price.
'Wants' are also various, even perhaps unlimited, both in extent and number. Should 'religious education' ever become a catch-all term within which various vague or even contradictory 'wants' are given symbolic expression - of course no one is even suggesting that this could actually happen - then no market, however efficient, will develop 'higher quality' religious education. How could it? Under those circumstances an efficient market in 'religious education' is no more likely than an efficient market in 'happiness.'
Thus, it is important to be specific about what one 'wants' - otherwise, one gets nothing in particular. Equally, when you unleash a free market, be careful what you want - you might get it.
So, the Bishops Teaching Children method allows the local ordinary's 'wants' to determine a free market. It allows him to unleash a competitive free market, knowing that the practical result of that market will be a better and better teaching of exactly what he wishes to teach. It really does provide a way by which he can actually be the chief teacher of his diocese.
However, all need to be aware that the Bishops Teaching Children method achieves this glorious result by insisting that the term 'religious education' is, in fact, very specific, and decidedly inglorious; that is, the Bishops Teaching Children method completely removes the term 'religious education' from any romantic or sanctified context. For, all along, a misguided romanticization of the idea and purpose of 'religious education' has been a direct cause of religious education's markedly poor practical results.
Thus, the Bishops Teaching Children method creates the context not only for improved religious education, but also for continuously improving religious education, but it does so only by regarding 'religious education' as a humble task, not a grand one.
It is best to state this plainly: according to the Bishops Teaching Children method, 'religious education' has no connection whatever either to 'catechesis' or to 'moral development,' except by the sacramental activity of the Lord himself through the Holy Spirit.
Those wishing to dismiss the Bishops Teaching Children method out of hand because of this might do well to reflect on national surveys, or plain experience, documenting that very large numbers of Catholics in the United States either explicitly reject, or at least do not understand that the Church teaches, central doctrines such as the Real Presence, and call to mind the claim made here, that every attempt to glorify 'religious education,' in actuality makes genuine religious education less possible.
The originator of the Bishops Teaching Children method once made a complex technical and theological argument, pulling together classical moral thinking with scientific conclusions reached independently by a working cognitive scientist and a working social scientist, after each had examined a very large amount of research in their respective fields, to show that it is in fact highly probable that morality - let alone spirituality - is not, has never been, and will never be, the name of a subject that can be taught in a 'religion' class.
As classical moral theory taught all along, by and large, morality is caught, not taught. It is mostly developed implicitly and mediatively, through normal social interactions that include relatively consistent and quite proximate rewards and punishments, and now a large body of research in both cognitive science and social science supports this classical view. There are many important things that must be learned directly, through schooling; but equally many important things are not learned either directly or through schooling, and morality is one of them.
This is not to excuse even a single unkind or inhumane practice in schooling, but rather to stress that all social institutions share equally, but also, only mediatively, in the task of moral development.
However strong this technical argument appears, there is a far stronger argument, indeed, a decisive argument, for instead of an 'argument' it is the direct proclamation of the Church herself: the Eucharist makes the Church. [CCC 1396]
Religious education, of whatever kind, does not, can not, and will not make the Church. Religious education is as humble as dirt. Its dignity comes not from itself but solely from teaching the truth.
In a sense, the Bishops Teaching Children method asks the Sacred Pastors to take the Catechism seriously. Please allow the Eucharist to make the Church! Do not imagine that something as humble as religious education can make the Church!
However, once a bishop accepts the essential humility of religious education, then at last it is itself, and he can do something with it. Properly humble, religious education is humus - not a sterile clump of minerals, but fecund, if mortal, earth.
May the Holy Virgin Mother of God help us learn what her Lord can do with nothing more than good, rich earth.
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