Greenbelt Interfaith News
    U.S. Brief

    September 25, 1997

    Catholic Homeschoolers Bristle at Archdiocesan Guidelines
    Greenbelt Interfaith News

    Religious families who wish to homeschool their children often come into conflict with civil government. National Catholic Reporter reports a new twist: a conflict has arisen between the Catholic Homeschool Network of America and the Archdiocese of Chicago. Officials at the Chicago archdiocese issued guidelines on June 20 for Catholic parents wishing to homeschool their children. The guidelines allow parents to provide religious education at home rather than through their local church "in extraordinary cases." The guidelines go on to say, though, that the local priest must help select the texts and other materials used in the home instruction.

    "We're against these guidelines," said Catherine Moran, president of the Catholic Homeschool Network. "They're intrusive, a way of coming in with restrictions. We know our responsibilities as spelled out by canon law. We oppose having imposed on us that you have to use this curriculum, this book or take part in this program or you can't receive the sacrament." A consultant who helped the archdiocese develop the guidelines said that the new rules are intended "to promote dialogue and cooperation between parents and pastors."

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    ©1997 Heather Elizabeth Peterson