Circular Letter on Religious Education in Schools Summary

Last week the Congregation for Catholic Education released a letter sent out to the presidents of bishops’ conferences in May 2009 titled Circular Letter to the Presidents of Bishops’ Conferences on Religious Education in Schools. This letter is a reminder of the Church’s teachings about religious education in Catholic schools that can be found in previous documents: Vatican II’s Declaration on Christian Education, The Catholic School, Catechesi Tradendae (JPII), and The Religious Dimension of Education in a Catholic School, and the General Directory for Catechesis.

Check out the letter for in-depth summaries provided within the text. To save a little more time check out this list of the major points:

  • The mission of education is the integral formation of the human person
  • Parents are primarily responsible for the education of their children
  • Parents have the right to choose for their children religious and moral education
  • The Catholic school ensures parents’ freedom of choice
  • The principle of subsidiarity is exercised between families and schools
  • Religion is a part of culture and should be taught as a part of human formation
  • Religious education in Catholic schools is an inalienable characteristic of their educational goal
  • Religious education is different from and complementary to catechesis

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Jared Dees is the creator of The Religion Teacher. He is the Content Marketing Manager at Ave Maria Press and the author of 31 Days to Becoming a Better Religious Educator, To Heal, Proclaim, and Teach, and Praying the Angelus.