Archbishop of Valencia questions “absolutism of State” in Spanish education


In his weekly letter, Archbishop Agustin Garcia-Gasco of Valencia said those who support the absolutism of the State in the area of education are violating the country’s constitution and basic human rights.

“In many places in Spain,” the archbishop wrote, “there exists a wave of opinion that seeks to spread radical secularism, with special opposition to the Christian religion” and to push relativism on the country’s educational system, including Catholic schools.

Those who support the radical secular agenda, he stated, are “ignoring the mandates of the Constitution.”  For centuries, the Church “has been the great institution that has fostered education, before the States created schools and promoted universities,” the archbishop emphasized.

The Church’s educational institutions have always reflected “her concern for serving the development of the dignity of the human being, of his personal growth and his desire to know the truth.”

Archbishop Garcia-Gasco reiterated that parents have the right to ensure that their children “receive the religious and moral formation that is in accord with their convictions, within the context of freedom of education.” Such a right, he said, is enshrined in Spain’s Constitution, which “nobody can harm or minimize,” and the government has the duty to “defend it and extend its principles.”

He noted in conclusion that the “Catholic school and university are at the service of education, not because of a privilege or concession of the State, but rather in order to offer this type of Catholic formation to those who freely want to receive it.”  Likewise, he noted, religion classes in public schools “is not a concession of the State, but rather a response to the right of parents to ensure their children receive the formation that is in accord with their own moral and religious convictions.”

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