Teachers in Argentine Schools Warned Not to Incite Catholic Children Against Jews

Anti-Semitism in the public schools in Argentina, which culminated in the segregation of Jewish children on separate benches as a result of the government decree making the teaching of the Catholic religion compulsory, today brought a sharp warning to school teachers in Buenos Aires to abstain from inciting Catholic children against Jewish.

The warning, published by the Buenos Aires Catholic daily newspaper El Pueblo, is believed to be inspired by church authorities who are said to fear public reaction against the ultra-Catholic spirit now prevailing in the Argentine school system following the introduction of compulsory teaching of Catholicism. Thousands of copies of this warning are being reprinted from the newspaper for distribution among school teachers.

“The segregation or the displaying of contempt against Jews, atheists, or those who are indifferent to the Catholic religion is not a Christian act,” the warning says. “It is equally un-Christian to proceed so as to provoke their justified protests, and them denounce them as being rebellious. If religious teaching results in contempt of others on religious and racial grounds, it means that the teaching is not being conducted in the spirit of true religion. If it results in persecutions, then it is simply treason against religion and is to be considered nothing but a conspiracy to undermine religion.

Pointing out that history knows of despots who tried to impose “unity of faith” upon others, the article says: “To pursue such unity today in Argentina would be impossible, since we opened our doors during the last century to people of all races and religions. It is necessary that all officials in our school system realize this. Intolerance in political life and lack of understanding in religious life are the major enemies of the patriotic motives which underly our present national regeneration.”

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