Pope Stresses Importance of Religion to Italian Schoolteachers

Schools Must Be Tailored to Students, John Paul II Says

VATICAN CITY, JAN. 6, 2002 (Zenit.org).- John Paul II urged Catholic teachers to promote “the perennial human values, which stem from the evangelical view of life,” in order to have schools that are tailored to students.

The Pope made this proposal Saturday when he received in audience the participants of the national congress of the Italian Association of Catholic Teachers. He urged that the “necessary reform processes of the school” be undertaken which must always favor the “needs of students.”

The Holy Father stressed that education centers should become “privileged places for cultural promotion, capable of recovering social esteem and credibility.”

John Paul II urged teachers to transmit “the contents of the Catholic religion with competence, elaborating didactic proposals that respond to the formative needs of students and respect the nature and objectives of the school.”

The Pope praised the work of Catholic teachers in an atmosphere of “open dialogue and, at the same time, critical of the surrounding reality.”

He encouraged them to continue forming students in order to “contribute to the construction of a peaceful and just human coexistence, founded on dialogue between cultures and acceptance and appreciation of differences.”

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