Congregation for Catholic Education

…judges Francis’ idea that the Pope should not judge

  • Sacred Scripture and Tradition has considered the practice of homosexuality as intrinsically immoral, a grave sin and an impediment to Holy Orders

From the time of the Second Vatican Council until today, various Documents of the Magisterium, and especially the Catechism of the Catholic Church, have confirmed the teaching of the Church on homosexuality. The Catechism distinguishes between homosexual acts and homosexual tendencies.

Regarding acts, it teaches that Sacred Scripture presents them as grave sins. The Tradition has constantly considered them as intrinsically immoral and contrary to the natural law. Consequently, under no circumstance can they be approved. […] the Church, while profoundly respecting the persons in question (Cf. Catechism of the Catholic Church, n. 2358; cf. also CIC, can. 208 and CCEO, can. 11.), cannot admit to the seminary or to holy orders those who practise homosexuality, present deep-seated homosexual tendencies or support the so-called ‘gay culture’ (cf. Congregation for Catholic Education, A memorandum to Bishops seeking advice in matters concerning homosexuality and candidates for admission to Seminary, 9 July 1985; Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, Letter Notitiae 38, 16 May 2002, 586). (Congregation for Catholic Education, Instruction concerning the criteria for the discernment of vocations with regard to persons with homosexual tendencies in view of their admission to the Seminary and to Holy Orders, no. 2, November 4, 2005)

…judges Francis’ idea on Catholic Education to the Youth

  • Religious liberty does not impede the right/duty of the Church to teach the faith

In Catholic schools, as everywhere else, the religious freedom of non-Catholic pupils must be respected. This clearly does not affect the right/duty of the Church ‘in [its] public teaching and witness to [its] faith, whether by the spoken or by the written word’ (Dignitatis Humanae, 4). (Congregation for Catholic Education. Circular Letter to the Presidents of Bishops’ Conferences on Religious Education in Schools, no. 16, May 5, 2009)

  • A form of education that ignores the religious dimension is incomplete

A form of education that ignores or marginalises the moral and religious dimension of the person is a hindrance to full education, because ‘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.’ (Congregation for Catholic Education. Circular Letter to the Presidents of Bishops´ Confereces on Religious Education in Schools, no. 1, May 5, 2009)

  • Without Catholic education, students are deprived of an essential element of their formation

A concept of the human person being open to the transcendent necessarily includes the element of religious education in schools: it is an aspect of the right to education (cf. CIC can.799). Without religious education, pupils would be deprived of an essential element of their formation and personal development, which helps them attain a vital harmony between faith and culture. (Congregation for Catholic Education, Circular Letter to the Presidents of Bishops’ Conferences on Religious Education in Schools, no. 10, May 5, 2009)

  • Marginalization of religious education harms students

The marginalization of religious education in schools is equivalent to assuming – at least in practice – an ideological position that can lead pupils into error or do them a disservice. Moreover, if religious education is limited to a presentation of the different religions, in a comparative and ‘neutral’ way, it creates confusion or generates religious relativism or indifferentism. (Congregation for Catholic Education, Circular Letter to the Presidents of Bishops’ Confereneces of Religious Education in Schools, May 5, 2009)

  • Incentive for the development of personal and social responsibility

Moral formation and religious education also foster the development of personal and social responsibility and the other civic virtues; they represent, therefore, am important contribution to the common good of society. (Congregation for Catholic Education, Circular Letter to the Presidents of Bishops’ Confereneces of Religious Education in Schools, May 5, 2009)

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