(THE FEDERALIST) – One of the most controversial and reviled of Catholic documents is Pope Pius IX’s 1864 “Syllabus of Errors,” a long list of popular opinions that the Roman pontiff strongly condemned. Placing the document within its proper historical context, Pius XI was concerned by developments in such countries as the United States, where Catholic education was increasingly restricted under what were called “Blaine amendments.”
Among the “errors” Pius IX assailed in the document is the belief that “all public institutes intended for instruction … on the education of youth … should be fully subjected to the civil and political power at the pleasure of the rulers, and according to the standard of the prevalent opinions of the age.”
For such declarations, the pope was labeled by many as backward, ignorant, irrelevant, and absurd. Yet in light of the Commonwealth of Virginia’s “Model Policies for the Treatment of Transgender Students in Virginia Public Schools” perhaps Pius IX, who was concerned not only with religious freedom but protecting parental duties, was on to something.
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