Archbishop Agustin Garcia-Gasco of Valencia last week defended the importance of Catholic schools and universities in the formation of men and women who challenge today’s society to remain committed to the promotion and fostering of human dignity.
“One generation cannot set out to relativize values, question human virtues and turn a deaf ear to the demands of love without causing serious social harm, human and moral decadence. Every school and university is called to go in another direction and to be the clearest expression of the commitment to the human dignity of the students, as an essential service to families and to society,” the archbishop stated in his latest pastoral letter.
Catholic educational centers, he noted, incorporate into their curriculum the fundamental truth that “in God the source of human dignity is found,” which results in a unique way of educating that is “animated by the gospel spirit of freedom and love.”
“Catholic education sees the quality of education as linked to the Christian vision of man and of the world, which it receives from the faith. It is not reduced to a specific time or to a particular activity: it is present in the entire educational mission of the school or university, in such a way that the student acquires a true synthesis of faith, culture and life,” he said.
Students should look to Christ as their example to follow, the archbishop said, and Christian humanism teaches young people “a concept of life that is open to God, who loves each person and invites him or her to be made more and more into the image of His Son.”
“The fundamental element, the key to all education, is the concept of the person who is being taught and that underlies any educational initiative, both in public schools as well as in any other kind of education,” he explained.