(CWNews.com) - In a May 29 talk to the Italian bishops' conference, Pope Benedict XVI argued that a democratic state should support Catholic schools.
Since the government invests resources in many different projects, the Holy Father reasoned, "there does not appear to be any justification for excluding adequate support for the work of Church institutions in the field of education." Public investment in Catholic schools, he said, "could not fail to produce beneficial effects" for secular society.
The Italian bishops are holding their 58th general assembly in Rome this week, with the meetings taking place in the Vatican Synod hall. The Pope spoke to the bishops about the main topics for this meeting: education and evangelization.
Italy today faces an "educational crisis," the Pope warned, raising a theme that he has mentioned frequently during his pontificate. The Pontiff has repeatedly spoken about the need to provide young people with adequate moral and cultural formation. From the Catholic perspective, he said, the educational crisis involves "the transmission of the faith to new generations."
Educators and pastors must battle with a culture of relativism, which "puts God within parentheses and discourages all true commitment," the Pope told the Italian hierarchy. To overcome that sort of opposition, he said, the Church needs to muster greater "evangelical energy" and to demonstrate the joy of faith....
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