Teaching the Faith Involves Everyone, Says Pope

Emphasizes Importance of Catholic Education

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VATICAN CITY, FEB. 1, 2005 (Zenit.org).- The teaching of the Catholic faith involves a concerted effort by priests, consecrated and laity, says John Paul II.



The Pope made that appeal in a message today sent to the Vatican Congregation for Catholic Education, on the occasion of its plenary session in Rome. The Vatican dicastery has authority over teaching in Catholic schools.

"In the context of globalization and of the changing crossroads of peoples and cultures, the Church feels the urgency of the mandate to preach the Gospel and intends to live it with renewed missionary impetus," wrote the Holy Father.

"Therefore, Catholic education appears increasingly as the fruit of a mission that must be 'shared' by priests, consecrated persons and lay faithful," the message continued. "In this horizon is set the ecclesial service that teachers of Catholic religion offer in the school.

"Their teaching contributes to the integral development of the students and to knowledge of the other in reciprocal respect."

"For this reason," he added, "the desire is extremely intense that the teaching of religion be recognized everywhere and that it have a proper role in the educational plan of school institutions."

The Holy Father focused on this same point Jan. 24 in his address to Spanish bishops, when he said that "young people have the right, from the beginning of their formative process, to be educated in the faith."

"The integral education of the youngest cannot do without religious education also in the school, when parents request it, with an academic valuation in accordance with its importance," he said.