In a recent pastoral letter, Archbishop Luis Martinez Sistach, of Tarragona, Spain, said Catholic parents should request their kids be given Catholic moral and religious education in their schools, even though their children participate in parish religious education, because “the two are distinct and complementary.”
According to the Tarragona Daily newspaper, Archbishop Martínez Sistach writes in his letter that young people should understand that religion is “an integral part of their human and social education” and that it is part of their preparation to live “peacefully” in society with others.
In the letter, which will be read in parishes this Sunday, the Archbishop reminds Catholics that the Spanish constitution recognizes the rights of parents to request from public authorities religious and moral formation that is in accord with their convictions.
The Archbishop criticizes the West for having “forgotten the importance of religion,” saying “the Bible is absolutely necessary for understanding Western education.”
Archbishop Martinez Sistach pointed out that “in the 2002-2003 school year, in elementary schools 85% of parents placed their children in religion classes, and 60% in high schools.”
The newly elected socialist government in Spain has announced it will reverse a law passed in the last legislative session, which allowed parents to request religion classes for the children in public schools.