of Education is one of Rome’s key weapons. The Jesuits boasted, “Give us the boy
of seven and we’ll give you the man”.
Catholic Education Service in England is still powerful. Directed by Oona Stannard, it
answers to the Vatican Congregation for Catholic Education and ultimately to
the Pope and inquisition. The current Prefect is the Pole, Cardinal Zenon
predeessor was awarded an OBE and a retirement mass in Westminster Cathedral
for seeing Rome through 23 Education Acts. Stannard herself made
news defending the CES’s alleged concealment of Rome’s Grammar Schools (BCN 23rd
January 2004). A few RC schools elude the Catholic Education Service, such as
the St Francis Xavier College Liverpool which, by opting for foundation status,
scooped a Local Education Authority “jackpot” of £7 million. This was approved
by parents but slated in the Catholic Times 31st January 1999
under the headline, “School turns back on Church Control”.
of the Church
Rome’s objection to St Francis Xavier College leaving the
Catholic Education Service was that it deprived her of the right, “to appoint
governors who are practicing Catholics”. The power of Governor’s in CES
schools is formidable. In 1998 the 40-year-old Head Teacher of St Augustine’s
primary school Rainham, controlled by Southwark (RC) Archdiocese, was forced to
resign after eight years work of “extremely high standard” giving “excellent
OFSTED results” for marrying a divorcee in an Anglican Church. The governor’s
letter read, “In civil law this was a valid marriage … under the law of the
Roman Catholic Church the marriage was deemed invalid … the terms of the
contracts under which head teachers are employed in RC schools require them to
abide by the law of the church”.
dissenting parent governor said, “It seems like the dark ages”. Maidstone MP
and RC convert Ann Widdecombe commented: “If anyone takes a post in a Catholic School they
must abide by the letter to the teachings”.
is central to Rome’s Counter Reformation attack. This is seen
particularly well in the history of Irish education. President of the Irish
Republic Mary McAleese, speaking on the sixtieth anniversary of the liberation
of Auschwitz, sated that the Nazis “gave to their children an
irrational hatred of Jews in the same way that people in Northern Ireland
transmitted to their children an irrational hatred of Catholic’s”. In making
this remark she was imputing to Protestants a tactic which Rome has
freely employed for centuries and continues to do so.
recall the delight of Martin McGuinness when he entered the Protestant
heartland of Bangor as Northern
Ireland’s Education minister. As the Times
indicated, he now had power in “an area he would have known in a previous
incarnation only through IRA surveillance”. Classroom boycotts and
demonstrations spread right across Ulster. This was no over-reaction because when official
days arrived to fly the Union flag, the flagpoles at Sinn Fein’s ministries
remained bare posts. If Rome cannot seize Ulster directly she will simply revert to her original
tactic of harnessing education as a weapon to that end. From the of time
Cromwell onwards, the British Government has fought to prevent Roman priest
from injecting children with “irrational hatred” of Protestants.
properly to understand McAleese’s remark we must go back to the mid 17th
century. The commonwealth decreed in 1656 that, “Whereas by diverse Orders and
Declarations by Authority of this Nation published, Popish Schoolemasters have
made it their principall designe to corrupt ye youths committed to their charge
and to infuse into them dangerous principles”.
the Government had not lightly concluded that the “principall designe” of
“Popish Schoolemaster” was to “corrupt” and “infuse dangerous principles” into
“ye youths”. Flagrant subversive activity had driven the authorities to this
the national interest, “such Schoolemaster … (that do) corrupt the youth of
this nation with Popish principles (must be) secured and put on board of such
ship as is bound for the Islands of the Barbadoes”. Flagrant subversive activity had
convinced the authorities.
were even drawn up to educate the “Children of the Poorer Sort of Irish” by
boarding them with godly Protestants who were “religious and honest people in England and Ireland”.
This was to help parents “with no other meanes to support” their children “but
by begging or stealing or both”. An annual “publique Collection” was to fund
the scheme. A modern commentator accuses Cromwell of monstrous barbarity by
planning “a wholesale educational conscription … for the perversion en masse of
the children of the Irish people. Protestant apprenticeship was to be the means
of changing them over from their religion and even from their race. Oliver
Cromwell’s decrees shows very clearly how English Puritanism combined religious
aggression with economics.”
one must appeal to the statue’s explicit Christian intent in barbarous times.
It was hoped that children, “when they come out of their apprenticeships,” would
be able, “to get their liveings by their owne Industry” having been in the
company of Protestants who would “breede them well … principally in the fear of
God,” and thus escape poverty.
the Battle of the Boyne, Cromwellian measures were again seen as
appropriate. Every schoolmaster had to swear the Oaths of Supremacy and
Allegiance to receive a licence. But “Popish Schoolmasters” were still freely
engaging in subversion. Hence in1709 the law 8 Anne, c. 3 stated that,
“Whatsoever person of the popish religion shall instruct youth in learning
publickly or in a private house, shall be taken to be a popish regular
clergyman, and incur all the penalties and forfeitures”. This was in effect
deportation to the Colonies.
schools were charge free to Roman Catholic parents, but their minds were
poisoned against them by the priests. The children could still have their own
religious teaching at their chapels (RC churches) on Sundays, but Rome
engendered a climate of prejudice such that parents would sooner their children
had no education than let them go to the Protestant heretics. It was then that
the “Hedge Schools” appeared. Popish schoolmasters/priests would clandestinely
teach children in concealed venues out in the countryside to avoid detection.
1730 these Illegal Schools were mushrooming and a Report was commissioned to
see if the Penal Laws needed strengthening. Its finding was that, “the
Disproportion between Popish and Protestant schools is so great as to give your
Lordships reasonable apprehension of the Continuance and Increase of the Popish
Interest in Ireland”. The Diocese of Ross reported “petty schools where
pretended converts teach Children … they only fit Irish boys to be Mass priests
who return home with the greater prejudice to the Protestant Interest and
become more busy Pragmaticall Bigots than the old Romish Priests ever were”.
1733-4 George II granted a charter to the Incorporated Society for promoting
English Protestant Working Schools in Ireland. These were boarding schools and taught a good range
of subjects in the English language as well as encouraging loyalty to the crown
and above all studying the Bible with clear exposition of the Gospel. When the
pupils completed their education at the school, apprenticeships were arranged
in useful trades such as cobbling, rope-making, candle making and hat
manufacture which could lift children out of poverty. The priests cried “Proselytising!”
and warned off RC parents.
1740 Sir Richard Cox noted that, “It cannot escape any man’s notice that
wherever the English Language and Customs altogether prevail, the good effects
are instantly visible by a peaceable Demeanour, improving conversation and a
Courteous polite Behaviour accompanied by Frugality and Industry … I daily see
a reformation of Religion and Manners working its way forward with the English
Language”. But Sir Richard still had to call for “Papists who would give their
children any education” to “be put under the necessity of Protestant Schools”,
thus confirming that parents were still using hedge schools or simply not
educating their children. The clandestine, priestly education scene was
the course of the eighteenth century the Government spent “over a million
pounds”, a colossal sum for the time, trying to run a national education
service in Ireland. Yet, thanks to the priest’s kindling of “irrational
hatred” of the state education system in the minds of millions of parents, as
late as 1861 “only 35% of Catholics aged five years and over were returned as
able to both read and write. A further 19% were returned as able to read
though not to write … it may be surmised they did not do so often or with very
much ease … more than 50% of all males born between 1741 and 1760 were unable
to read or write”.
1821 Rome actually admitted that only 400,000 of her 1.4 million children
received any formal education. Yet she was well satisfied. Four fifths of the
next generation were hers.