Page 1, 25th March 1948

25th March 1948
Page 1
Page 1, 25th March 1948 — ANTI-CATHOLIC CAMPAIGN IN U.S.
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ANTI-CATHOLIC CAMPAIGN IN U.S.

GETS A SUPREME COURT DECISION

"C.H." Special Correspondent

Not since the days of the Ku Klux Klan has such an intensive campaign been waged against Catholics in the United States as is being waged to-day.

The forming of an organization known as Protestants and Other Americans United for Separation of Church and State brought into the open the struggle against Catholics. It has been followed by a series of suits designed to limit Catholic influence in education.

Latest blow in the campaign was struck against religion as a whole when the Supreme Court ruled that " released time" religious study in public school buildings is unconstitutional.

" Released time " is a plan in which Catholic, Protestant and Jewish students are released for one clak period to be instructed in religion by clergymen or recognised teachers

of their own faith. These classes are sometimes held in the Government-supported schools, but often are held in buildings provided by, the religious groups.

CATHOLIC JUDGE WITH MAJORITY

Most of the efforts of the organisation for Separation of Church and State have been directed toward stopping school bus or other services to Catholic parochial schools. • This group, headed for the most part, by Protestant clergymen, had not come out in opposition to " released time " study.

The Supreme Court decision, while it condemned only religious study classes taught on public property. was so worded that opponents of all religious study classes conducted in co-operation with public school systems feel they will be able to eliminate all such religious classes.

Only Justice Stanley Reed dissented to the court's opinion and even the lone Catholic court member, Frank Murphy, supported the

majority opinion. The case was brought to court by a Mrs. Vashti McCollum, who is a self-styled atheist.

STATE SCHOOLS COULD NOT COPE WITH NUMBERS

The strong opposition to benefits for the Catholic parochial school system is peculiar when examined in the light 'of the public school situation in the United States to-day.

The State-supported schools are to-day overcrowded in virtually every part of the country, Catholics, who support the public schools through taxation, are supporting a Catholic school system which now has nearly three million students.

If, as is completely unlikely, the Catholic schools were to close down and throw these three million students on to the already overburdened public school system, education in the Unitild Stares would be in chaos.

• Yet, althoUgh by bearing this double burden. Catholics are giving great aid to the public schools, there is a constant demand that even the elementary services given to students—such as school bus transportation and health programmes—be denied to parochial school students.




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