THEME 9: THE EDUCATION OF CHILDREN: A PRIMARY AND INALIENABLE RIGHT AND DUTY

1. Opening song/hymn

2. The Lord's Prayer

3. Scripture Reading: Ephesians 6: 1-4

"Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. 'Honour your father and mother' (this is the first commandment with a promise), 'that it may be well with you and that you may live long on the earth.' Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord."

4. A Reading from the Teaching of the Church:

The task of giving education is rooted in the primary vocation of married couples to participate in God's creative activity: By begetting a new person...parents by that very fact take on the task of helping that person effectively to live a fully human life. As the Second Vatican Council recalled: "Since parents have conferred life on their children, they have a most solemn obligation to educate their offspring. Hence parents must be acknowledged as the first and foremost educators of their children...Hence, the family is the first school of those social virtues which every society needs".

This right and duty of parents to give education is essential, since it is connected with the transmission of human life; it is original and primary with regard to the educational role of others...and it is irreplaceable and inalienable and therefore incapable of being entirely delegated to others or usurped by others.

The most basic element, so basic that it qualifies the educational role of parents, is parental love, which finds fulfilment in the task of education as it completes and perfects its service of life...the parents' love is also the animating principle...inspiring and guiding all concrete educational activity, enriching it with the values of kindness, constancy, goodness, service, disinterestedness and self-sacrifice that are the most precious fruit of love.

In the raising of children conjugal love is expressed as authentic parental love. The communion of persons, expressed as conjugal love at the beginning of the family, is thus completed and brought to fulfilment in the raising of children.

Parents must trustingly and courageously train their children in the essential values of human life...a correct attitude of freedom with regard to material goods...a sense of true justice...respect for the personal dignity of each individual...a sense of true love, understood as...disinterested service with regard to others, especially the poorest and those in most need.

The family (represents) the most concrete and effective pedagogy for the active, responsible and fruitful inclusion of the children in the wider horizon of society. Sex education, which is a basic right and duty of parents, must always be carried out under their attentive guidance whether at home or in educational centers chosen and controlled by them. In this regard, the Church reaffirms the law of subsidiarity, which the school is bound to observe when it cooperates in sex education, by entering into the same spirit that animates the parents.

For this reason, the Church is firmly opposed to an often widespread form of imparting sex information dissociated from moral principles. That would merely be an introduction to the experience of pleasure and a stimulus leading to the loss of serenity - while still in the years of innocence - by opening the way to vice. (cf. Gravissimum Educationis, Familiaris Consortio, Gratissimam Sane)

5. The Bishop's Reflection

6. Dialogue:

What are the central values of irreplaceable parental education?

Can the duty to educate be delegated by parents to the school or to others?

How is the sexual education of children to be carried out?

7. Commitments

8. Psalm 126 (127)

"Unless the Lord build the house."

9. Hail Mary....Queen of the Family: Pray for us.

10. Prayer for the Family

11. Final song/hymn

   

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