The archbishop of Toledo and vice president of the Bishops’ Conference of Spain, Cardinal Antonio Canizares, said this week the class Education for Citizenship is a “clear government project” in line with “a secular view of the life in which religious are relegated exclusively to the private sphere.”
The cardinal made his comments during a seminar on the controversial class organized by the University of St. Paul and the Garcia Morente Foundation.
Education for Citizenship, which Spain’s new education law mandates be taught in all schools, “is more than a class,” the cardinal said. It is completely at odds with “the rights parents have to determine what kind of moral and religious formation they want for their children.” Education for Citizenship, he said, is a “clear government project” in line with “a secular view of the life in which religious are relegated exclusively to the private sphere,” when in reality, “religious instruction should be fundamental in personal formation.”
“The teaching of religion is not a privilege that the State grants, but rather [the State] fulfills its duty” by facilitating its availability. He said the government course should be adapted to “the religions convictions of parents” who, in his opinion “are not being given consideration.”
Cardinal Canizares said the course “denies the existence of universal principles” and teaches that what is important is “what I decide, and what I make up.” Therefore it is in essence founded upon a nihilist view of the world, with no regard for universal moral principles. It portrays those who believe in such principles as naïve, he added. “Pluralism for all is accepted except for those who believe they know the truth,” the cardinal stated. He warned that the course represents the imposition on society of “insidious anti-clericalism, a cultural project that seeks a change of mentality.”
In conclusion he warned that to teach the course in its current form is to “collaborate with evil.”