to follow the teaching of the Church in these matters. that is the root cause of juvenile delinquency in some Catholic children. Such parents and leachers prefer their own opinions. " Schoolmaster " disapproves of the heautifol human hand being desecrated b■ a cane, adopting the standpoint of a painter or sculptor, rather than a fashioner of souls. Holy Church, more concerned with the beauty of the soul. reminds us every Ash Wednesday: " Remember man, thou art btu dust, and unto dust shalt thou return."' And in the last anointing: " l hrmigh this holy Unction and His most loving mercy, ma the Lord pardon thee whatever sins thou bast committed by touch." Pain and fear cannot always he evil things in themselves, since they are the medicine of God.
5, Clifton Terrace.
Monkstown, Co. Dublin,
Sir,—Like most readers, my knowledge of corporal punishment in Irish schools must he based on hearsay evidence, hut Mr. O'Halloran's letter does nothing to reassure rne, The existence of a regulation is no guarantee that it is observed, and the fact that " punching the head is forbidden " makes me wonder what sort of people they are who require to have such conduct specifically proscribed.
The quotation from " Divini Mitts Magistri " is misused, for " correction " of which the Pope speaks and " corporal punishment '• of which Mr. O'Halloran speaks are not synonymous; nor does Catholic teaching hold that rules laid down in the Old Testament are to he applied literally to the 'present day, '1 here are other emotions than fear to be utilised in the training of a child, emotions which are of more value for the spiritual as well as for the secular life.
The use of the sarcastic phrase "their anxiety for their precious darlings" when speaking of the natural care of parents for their God-given children does not increase my confidence in Mr. O'Halloran's judgment of the situation.
Would not the establishment of C'atholic parent-teacher associations, as exist in many places, do much to promote co-operation between parents and teachers for the welfare of the children, and make such an unfortunate sounding society as the Schoolchildren's Protection Organisation unnecessary? John Marshall, M.D., Senior Lecturer in Neurology. University New Buildings, Edinburgh.
A Father's View
Sir,—" Mother " 19 right. In too many of our Catholic schools today the keynote of religious teaching is fear. Instead of guidance there is repression, instead of a positive inculcation of virtue a harsh discipline that crushes and repels.
I have taught in the male equivalent of convent schools for nearly twenty years and I speak also as the father of six children. Time and again 1 have objected to the attitude which bases its educational system on the answer to Question 344 of the Catechism, interpreted strictly literally. It is no doubt true to say that " our natural inclinations are prone to evil from our very childhood "; the assumption draw-n from this that all children are headed for eternal damnation if not repressed in all their natural inclinations is to my mind one of the prime causes of the leakage.
A far more fruitful system would result from Christ's own statement, " of such is the kingdom of heaven."