Archbishop of Seville, “Inscribid your children in religion class”

17 April 2012

Dear Brothers and Sisters
In the coming weeks, many of you will have to reserve a place in public or private schools for your children for next school year and, in the case of public school, you will be asked if you wish your children to attend class Catholic religion and morality. This is a fundamental right that guarantees you the Spanish Constitution and the agreements signed between the Holy See and the Spanish State. It is not, therefore, a privilege granted to Catholics, or a gracious concession of State. As recognized by our Constitution, parents have the inalienable right to choose the kind of education they want for their children, especially in the moral and religious right that governments can neither limit nor suppress without making unjustifiable arbitrariness in a democratic state. It would be an outrage.
This course, parents and students have the right to religious instruction in schools is conducted under conditions similar to those of other areas, without introducing constraints or barriers that discriminate against the teaching of this teaching, which sometimes give the impression of wanting to choke presenting it as if it were a marginal area and a weight added to the curriculum load. Nevertheless, recent data released by the Spanish Episcopal Conference, three of every four public school students, choose the kind of religion because, thank God, are still many parents who understand the religious and moral part of the education of their children.
There are many who believe that school is not the proper place for religious education, which belongs rather to the family or to be taught catechism in the parish. It is the position of those who wish that religion was evicted from public school. The family and the parish is certainly an irreplaceable position in the Christian education of our children and youth, as must also the school if you want to fully educate the new generations.Sometimes, even in Church circles and is cited as key reason for this, that without a thorough understanding of Christianity and the Gospel is impossible to understand our history, culture, art forms, painting, sculpture, literature and music , born in the heat of the faith. Is a valid reason, but not the only or most important.
The religious training school provides students with the knowledge of revealed truth about God, answers to fundamental questions about the meaning of life, our origin and destiny of man eternal and transcendent, offering solid reasons to live, struggle and suffer. Religious education offers
the student insurance principles and moral standards of behavior towards God and towards neighbor, both the personal and social, in areas as critical as the coexistence, respect for all, justice, commitment to others, sacrifice , brotherhood and service, so that we can say that religious education school holds an obvious social value, it helps form good citizens, an aspect that our authorities should value it deserves. At present, when our society views with concern the loss of moral and social values ​​of some of our youth, which too often arise outbreaks of violence, if not of crime that are in everyone’s mind is more urgent than ever to offer our children a solid education in the religious and moral values. This is what we can offer religious instruction in school, during school hours and the methodology of formal education.
However, the most important thing the subject of religion can give students is the encounter with Christ, the Way, Truth and Life of men (Jn 14.6) and only hope for the world, the only one who can answer the infinite desires of happiness that teem in the hearts of our teenagers and young people, for Christ is “the center of mankind, the joy of the heart of man and the fulfillment of all aspirations” as we say in the words accurate Vatican II (GS 45).
Therefore, I invite our Archdiocese Catholic parents to enroll their children in religion class, as a good religious and moral training is the best legacy we can leave. My invitation is extended to young people attending school and are in a position to choose for themselves. Finally I invite teachers to take seriously the responsibility entrusted to them by the Church. To all I express my affection, appreciation and gratitude for the work they do, sometimes with great difficulty.
To all, my fraternal greeting and my blessing.
+ Juan Jose Asenjo Pelegrina
Archbishop of Seville

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