SHALL THE IRISH RACE PERISH?
Bishop of Galway on Marriage
"The Catholic Church has always urged the ideal of the highly educated, cultivated I woman," said the Bishop of Galway, in an address at the Dominican Convent. Galway. " But what is the higher educa lion? That is the question. The Catholi, Church holds that it must fulfil three conditions.
" First, it must develop her character so that she has the virtues which ennoble and honour a woman. Secondly, it should cultivate her mind. That does not mean studying a lot of peculiar subjects but rather teaching her to think and judge for herself and take an interest in the serious subjects, and have a taste for music and literature and art. Thirdly, it must equip her for her duties in life so that she may discharge them well and attain the true happiness that her vocation as a wife and mother entitle her to."
The Catholic Church, Dr. Browne said, had given divine teaching on chastity, marriage and the family; and made that teaching the foundation stone of her system of education. Her system was opposed today by those who did not believe in chastity, marriage or the family and who advocated divorce, limitation of birth and emancipation from home. They pretended that they wished to emancipate women, but deep down in their hearts they wanted to destroy the institution of marriage and the family, and that was not to emancipate but to degrade and enslave.
" We have reached another crisis in our history today when, on our people attaining their full legislative freedom, the alternative of social reconstruction or social decay lay before us," Dr. Browne went on. " Is this great nation of ours for which so much blood has been spilled—is this nation, after all our labours, going to dry up and sink into depopulation and decay?
" Only recently I was looking at the attendance figures for the schools of this diocese. They were presented to me by the diocesan inspector of schools. When I compared them with the figures for ten years ago I found that outside the City of Galway there was a decrease of from 20 to 30 per cent. in the ten years, and even with the City of Galway included the total figure had gone down.
" Is this people to disappear, to dwindle in numbers and strength and courage, or are we going to build a virile, strong and Catholic nation which would find work to do in the world for God and for civilisation?
"The answer to that depends largely on the women of Ireland. If they will not bear the duties of marriage and motherhood and strive to give to God and to Ireland good sons and daughters, then no legislation or constitution can save us."
He would say to the nuns to keep ever before their minds this ideal of the Catholic education of girls. and to remember that it is their duty to prepare girls not for Christ only, but for the world—to prepare them to be Christian wives and mothers. Ninetyfive per cent. of girls would seek the vocation of Christian marriage, and it was on the faithful discharge of their duties as wives and mothers that their eternal salvation would depend.