Mexican Cardinal Says Education Is an Emergency

Notes Schools Are Used for Power, Not Service

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MEXICO CITY, MARCH 18, 2011 ( The Church is ready to help Mexico solve an «educational emergency» rooted in the perception of education as a tool to gain power, the archbishop of Mexico City says.

Cardinal Norberto Rivera Carrera assured the Church’s ability and readiness to help in a statement directed to the 3rd National Meeting of Parents and Teachers. The archdiocese of Mexico City released the statement Tuesday.

The cardinal called for a rediscovery of educators truly committed to the profession, warning that the crisis of education in Mexico endangers the very basis of coexistence.

The cardinal’s address presented education as the nation’s greatest potential and the principal pastoral service of the Church.

He said the Church shares the concern of several sectors in seeing a lack of methodology in teaching, as well as failure to progress toward goals.

Cardinal Rivera Carrera proposed that underlying the dire state of education, there is still a failure to respect human dignity. As well, he claimed that parents are not involved enough in the educative process. And there is a «militant, anti-religious materialism» still prevailing in some areas of the official educational system, he noted.

The cardinal further pointed to a subordination of human life to economic needs.

«Education has been managed as an instrument of power and not as a service; what is more, power has become a criterion of truth and of conduct,» he said.

The 68-year-old cardinal decried an overemphasis on bureaucracy, saying «precious time that should be dedicated to what is really important, which is the pedagogical and formative, is lost in administrative transactions.»

«Catholicism has an original proposal in the educational area,» the cardinal said, regardless of «historical misunderstanding» that brought the Church to be accused of interfering in state institutions.

He highlighted the role that the Church has had in the spiritual and social formation of the people of Mexico, continuing the socio-cultural work carried out by the great missionaries who, with their teaching and tireless activity, «laid the basis of the nation.»  

«I would like to reiterate once again our willingness to collaborate with every educational sector,» he said, «as our work seeks to give hope and purpose, which will attend to local problems with real, profound quality solutions, to imbue the best that we have, which is the Gospel.»

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