Saturday, June 30, 2007

Fantastic Speech by Pope Benedict XVI on Education

Pope Benedict XVI recently gave a speech to Rome's diocesan convention on the topic of education. An English translation of the text is available here. The Holy Father addressed the
great "educational emergency", the increasing difficulty encountered in transmitting the basic values of life and correct behaviour to the new generations, a difficulty that involves both schools and families and, one might say, any other body with educational aims.
Because of modern society's emphasis on moral relativism, Pope Benedict says,
education tends to be broadly reduced to the transmission of specific abilities or capacities for doing, while people endeavour to satisfy the desire for happiness of the new generations by showering them with consumer goods and transitory gratification. Thus, both parents and teachers are easily tempted to abdicate their educational duties and even no longer to understand what their role, or rather, the mission entrusted to them, is. Yet, in this way we are not offering to young people, to the young generations, what it is our duty to pass on to them. Moreover, we owe them the true values which give life a foundation.
Pope Benedict makes it clear who bears primary responsibility for educating children:
it is very obvious that in educating and forming people in the faith the family has its own fundamental role and primary responsibility. Parents, in fact, are those through whom the child at the start of life has the first and crucial experience of love, of a love which is actually not only human but also a reflection of God's love for him. Therefore, the Christian family, the small "domestic Church", and the larger family of the Church must take care to develop the closest collaboration, especially with regard to the education of children.
Families are called to greater participation in catechesis and the entire process of Christian initiation for children and adolescents. Parents are additionally reminded to shield their children from negative influences of our culture, the
relativism, consumerism and a false and destructive exaltation, or rather, profanation, of the body and of sexuality.
While Pope Benedict does not specifically mention homeschooling, it is clear to me that the practice addresses many of the concerns he has about modern education.

[HT: Deep Furrows via CIN]

1 comment:

jennifer said...

Thanks for the excerpts of this speech, and I agree, homeschooling in a Christian home certainly does address the "educational emergency."

Families are called to greater participation in catechesis and the entire process of Christian initiation for children and adolescents. AMEN!

p.s., my wireless internet is down at home...I'm checking in at the office every few days until it's back if you email me about Red Sox merchandise, it may take a few days to get back to you...I've set aside a beautiful Red Sox stainless steel coffee mug for you, it's the last one I have, just in case you want it. :-)

Jennifer in OR,