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Thursday, May 27, 2010

EDUCATION: HELPING NEW GENERATIONS RELATE TO THE WORLD

VATICAN CITY, 27 MAY 2010 (VIS) - Today in the Vatican's Synod Hall, the Holy Father met with participants in the general assembly of the Italian Episcopal Conference (CEI), who are meeting from 24 to 28 May to consider their general pastoral guidelines for the period 2010 - 2020.

  "The Holy Spirit guides the Church in the world and in history", said the Pope. "Thanks to this gift from the Risen One, the Lord remains present in midst of historical events. It is through the Spirit that we can recognise the meaning of human vicissitudes in Christ".

  "Supported by the Spirit and continuing down the path shown us by Vatican Council II, in particular with the pastoral guidelines of the last decade, you have chosen to adopt education as the principal theme for the next ten years. This temporal horizon is proportioned to the importance and breadth of educational requirements.

  "Though aware of the weight of these difficulties", the Holy Father added, "we cannot resign ourselves to lack of confidence and despair. Education has never been easy, but we must not surrender for we would fail in the mandate the Lord Himself entrusted to us when He called us to feed His sheep with love. ... Education means forming new generations that they may know how to relate to the world, strengthened by a significant memory, by a shared inner patrimony of real knowledge which, while recognising the transcendent goal of life, guides thoughts, emotions and judgements".

  Pope Benedict continued: "The inner thirst of the young is a call for meaning, for authentic human relationships which can help them not to feel alone in the face of life's challenges. ... Our response is to announce God, the friend of man Who in Jesus approached each one of us. The transmission of the faith is an indispensable part of the integral formation of the person. ... The personal meeting with Jesus is the key to understanding God's relevance in everyday life".

  The Pope explained how "the quality of our witness remains a decisive factor" in the duty to educate in families, schools and parishes.

  Going on them to mention "the weakness and sin" of some members of the Church, he highlighted how "this humble and painful admission must not, however, make us forget the gratuitous and zealous service of many believers, first among them, priests. The special year dedicated to the clergy has sought to be an opportunity to promote their interior renewal as a condition for more incisive evangelical and ministerial commitment".

  "What gives rise to scandal must, for us, translate into a profound reminder of the need to re-learn penance and accept purification; to learn, on the one hand, forgiveness and, on the other, the need for justice".

  Benedict XVI encouraged the bishops "never to lose faith in the young. ... Frequent all areas of life", he told them, "including those of the new communications technologies which now permeate culture in all its expressions. It is not a question of adapting the Gospel to the world, but of drawing from the Gospel that perennial novelty which, in all times, enables us to find the best way to announce the Word that does not fail, fecundating and serving human life. Let us, then, again present the young with the exalted and transcendent measure of life as vocation".

  Referring then to the "current cultural, spiritual and economic crisis", the Pope concluded by renewing his call "to the leaders of public life and to business people to do everything they can to lessen the effects of the employment crisis. I exhort everyone to reflect on the premises of a good and meaningful life, which lie at the basis of that authoritativeness which alone educates".
AC/                                    VIS 20100527 (630)

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