Last week at the 15th European Forum for the Teaching of Religion, the prefect of the Congregation for Catholic Education, Cardinal Zenon Grocholewski described the importance of teaching religion in schools as a “privileged tool for understanding and accepting others.”
According to segments of the Vatican prelate's address delivered to participants of the forum and reprinted by SIR news, he remarked that religion must be recognized in education as a "genuine discipline, in dialogue with other subjects.”
In this light, he said, religion classes "will not hinder an authentic intercultural education, but will become the privileged tool for understanding and accepting others.”
However, he warned, “A teaching of religion that merely presents the different religions in a comparative or neutral manner can create confusion or relativism" and a mindset of indifference to religion in students."
In response to the great ethnic and religious diversity in modern-day Europe, Cardinal Grocholewski noted the importance of "a high-quality confessional teaching, capable of retaining the identity of the teaching, introducing the students to the understanding of the Catholic religion..."
Through this methodology, continued the prefect, the foundations will be laid "to raise confident identities, that will thus be able to communicate with the other religions as well."