Cardinal Camillo Ruini, the former Vicar for the Diocese of Rome, said this week that the education of the younger generations demands parental involvement in teaching an authentic discipline that allows for true personal freedom and always points towards what is better.
At a conference this Monday to mark the 140th anniversary of St. Charles School in Milan, the cardinal said that when relativism, nihilism and naturalism prevail in the world, “the first and most necessary contribution to the formation of persons” is always that which comes from “the fundamental experience of love that children have, or should have, with their parents.”
The relationship between teacher and student, the cardinal continued, “is always an encounter of two freedoms, one of which is in formation. A good education is one which allows later for the correct use of freedom. When a child grows and becomes an adolescent and later a young adult, the risk of freedom must also be accepted, being ready nonetheless to help to correct wrong choices.”
“Moreover, what we definitely should not do,” the cardinal continued, “is support mistakes pretending that we don’t see them, or worse yet, embracing them as if they were an expression of creativity and personal freedom.”
Cardinal Ruini later explained that “suffering is part of reality and of the truth of our lives. In striving that less young people experience difficulties and pain, we run the risk of creating fragile people, despite our best intentions, of creating people who are fragile, not very realistic and not very generous: the capacity to love and give of oneself corresponds to the capacity to suffer and to suffer together.”
“In order for it to be complete and adequate,” Cardinal Ruini continued, “or better yet fully human, education should seek not to leave unanswered the questions of suffering, above all of innocent suffering, and in the end those that death itself poses to our consciences.”