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37 Notre Dame L. 285 (1961-1962)


The American people are confronted by a crisis of constitutional interpretation and educational policy, stemming from the Bishops' program for federal aid to parochial schools. As was to be expected, there has been much partisan clamor on both sides of the school-aid question but far too little rational discourse. That deficiency would be corrected if there were wide response to Monsignor Hochwalt's invitation: " . . . we'd like that whole question of whether we should or we shouldn't [receive financial aid from the federal government] and the constitutionality and desirability and all the rest of it to be discussed and discussed in depth by the appropriate people who can have that discussion, the American people." The papers which follow this brief introductory note are intended to contribute to the dialogue which Monsignor Hochwalt has called for and which, indeed, is indispensable if the crisis is to be resolved wisely.

Perhaps most of what has been said thus far about federal aid to religious schools, both for and against, has been addressed to the constitutional problem. It is imperative, therefore, to emphasize that there is also involved a question of educational policy, as Archbishop Wright has pointed out. In what follows I shall have a word to say about each of these two aspects of the matter, beginning with the constitutional question.



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