Aparecida 482-483: Formation in Faith and Values

Teaching children and youth to make moral discernments? The bishops think it can be done–that it should be done. I would agree:

482. The Church believes that children and young people have a right to be motivated to appraise moral values with a right conscience, to embrace them with a personal adherence, together with a deeper knowledge and love of God. Consequently it earnestly entreats all those who hold a position of public authority or who are in charge of education to see to it that youth is never deprived of this sacred right.(Gravissimum Educationis 1) 

More damaging than deprivation would be the inability to give good example.

483. In view of the difficulties that we encounter in this regard in various countries, we want to strive for the religious formation of the faithful who attend state-run public schools, seeking likewise to accompany them through other formation initiatives in our parishes and dioceses. At the same time, we are grateful for the dedication of religion teachers in public schools and we encourage them in this task. We urge them to pursue doctrinal and pedagogical training. We are also grateful to those who through prayer and community life strive to be a testimony of faith and consistency in these schools.

We struggle with religious education faith formation here in the US also. I wonder if our establishment–from the bishops to the parents–model too closely on schools when the operative example is the apprenticeship modeled by the Lord in the New Testament.

For deeper examination, an English translation of the 2007 document from the Aparecida Conference.

About catholicsensibility

Todd lives in the Pacific Northwest, serving a Catholic parish as a lay minister.
This entry was posted in 2007 Aparecida document, bishops, evangelization and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

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